The decision to do another half iron was taken in Yolo back over a few cocktails and an iPad to google possible events to enter. In the end, 6 Pont Tri crazy people competed in the half ironman (Tina K, Nikki R, Abby D, Pete D, John McG and myself) with Lyndsey Curry ‘aka the Machine’ stepping up to the full ironman distance. It has got to be one of the best triathlon events and courses in the UK, possibly in Europe and this race report explains why.
The Swim: It’s in Derwentwater which is gorgeous and it wasn’t too cold and there were no weeds. It’s a mass start and my tactic of going near the front to keep out of trouble didn’t really work as I was swept up in the washing machine for the first 200m or so. After that I found my pace, relaxed and enjoyed everything about the swim (except having to turn right a the first yellow buoy for the half course – see below). Once out the swim it was carpeted up to transition where the lovely marshals handed you your run kit, packed away my wetsuit and sent me on my way. I did have a chat with Pete at this point about what to wear on the bike. I think he was still thinking about it when I left him behind in transition.
The Bike: 56 mile circular course which meant that although there was quite a strong headwind on the way out, I knew we’d have it behind us on the way back (Nikki and Abby dispute that it was ever behind us). It was undulating enough to keep it interesting and had some good fast sections too. I just kept pedalling, waiting for John McG to overtake but amazingly I hit T2 before him and again was met by lovely marshals who gave me my trainers and packed away my cycling gear.
The Run: The run was really special, with so many supporters and triathletes to keep me focused and running. The course was a mixture of trail and road and was 5 loops which meant we got to see Susan Dorani every lap for that extra boost with her amazing fluro yellow sign and cheering. I kept looking over my shoulder for John and then he was there on the course but going in a different direction – I didn’t know if he was ahead or behind but he was looking so strong and fast I thought Id better just keep running. Before long, everyone was on the course – Abby, Pete, Nikki and Tina and I loved the fact we kept passing and high-fiving each other, although Nikki was absolutely flying and it took a lot of determination to catch her up.
Then 5 laps done and a sprint down the finishing shoot, pass the cheerleaders, to cross the line and celebrate before quickly running back out onto the course to see everyone else cross the line. Then we realised Lyndsey must have started her marathon leg so we checked resultsbase and she was in 2nd place overall. We were going crazy waiting for her to cross the timing mats so we could tell whether she was catching the race leader – and she was, With 8km to go, Abby, Pete, Fiona and John legged it back down to the finish area to watch our very own machine Lydnsey cross the line in FIRST PLACE. Wow, she’s amazing and totally smashed it.
So how did I feel at the end? Absolutely buzzing but by then I’d already decided to sign up for the full next year. I’d pretty much already decided at registration, but my mind was made up by the first buoy on the swim – I really didn’t want to turn right for the half route, and I was sold by the end of the bike. And the great thing is that I’m not the only one who loved it so much they are coming back next year for more. Tina and Nikki are also paid up for the full ironman distance, and the half already has Fiona McCargill, Emma Turnbull and John McGargill on the start list. Why? It was such a well organised, friend event with a fantastic atmosphere and it was brilliant racing with a large group of club mates and right on our doorstep. Go Lakesman! This race sells out quickly so if you’re thinking of doing it next year, sign up at resultsbase straight away