Eton Man Middle Distance Triathlon- Tracy Markham
Eton Man Middle Distance Triathlon was really a spur of the moment decision, which I am so glad I made!
After a disappointing race last weekend at IM 70.3 Kraichagu I was feeling a little flat and needed a bit of a pick-me-up. Gareth, who clearly knows me well, suggested I do another race. He sent me the Eton Man races, offering various distances and, after chatting to my coach, I decided to sign up for the Eton Man Middle Distance.
Due to the 70.3 on the weekend I had pretty much done nothing all week (don’t tell my coach!!). I therefore thought I was going to be sluggish for this race, but it seems my legs quite enjoyed the rest, as I woke up feeling pretty good on the day.
After a race briefing we all got into the water for a wet-start. The swim was a 2 loop square and I felt fantastic in the water! Dorney Lake is a really great swim venue with clean water and easy to see buoys. If anyone is a bit nervous of open water swimming then this is the place to start.
I got out of the water in 27:30, about 2 minutes ahead of the girl in second place. After a not so speedy T1 (again, don’t tell the coach!) I was off on the bike…ready for the 10-lap flat and fast course!
The bike course was a horse-shoe shape around the lake. I have to admit that I was not really looking forward to 10 laps as it seemed REALLY boring. In the end the laps flew by and I was heading into the last lap before I knew it! I think the variation of fighting the wind (it was a rather breezy day), then getting a bit of a push on the turn-around, combined with the sharp 180 degree turns at each end of the horseshoe made the time go really quickly as you had to keep concentrating.
I got into T2 about 18 minutes ahead of the next girl, whipped on my running shoes and was out onto the run course!
I decided at this point not to look at my watch and to just run on feel. The scenery around Dorney is gorgeous and I just wanted to take it all in. I also didn’t want to turn this race into a pressure race, I just wanted to enjoy racing, which I love!
I also have to say that the other competitors that took part have to be the friendlies bunch of triathletes I have ever met! As it was also a 4 loop course you were constantly seeing other people who smiling and cheering you on. The guys at the water points were also so helpful, encouraging and friendly. Votwo can really be proud of their team and volunteers!
I crossed the finish line in first place, feeling so good! I knew I had given a good effort and I had enjoyed every moment of the event. When I looked down at my watch I saw that I had run a 1:34 which was so exciting, as this is the time I had in mind for this season and hadn’t managed to achieve yet! I had no idea what my total time was and when Gareth said I had come home in 4:41 I couldn’t believe it!! I had come into the race on really tired legs so to get a PB (by 22 minutes!) was something totally astounding.
Thanks so much, firstly, to Gareth, for knowing me well enough to push me to do 2 x 70.3 distance races in 1 week, for supporting me, for getting my bike ready, and for just generally being awesome! Also, a huge thanks to Diana at Dinamic Coaching for getting me race ready and for pushing me that little bit more than I think I can go in training.
Final thanks goes to Votwo events for an exceptionally well organised race. Your team are wonderful and you can be proud of the positive energy you bring to the sport of triathlon.
Until next time