After missing out on competing at the English National Triathlon Championships, due to an unfortunate travel nightmare. I was looking forward to getting back onto the start line at London Triathlon- the world’s biggest triathlon!
I’ve now competed at many triathlons around the world, but the scale of the London Triathlon is on a level I’ve never seen before! Thousands of competitors, with waves going off throughout the day and the most congested course I’d ever seen. But this also meant that the support out on the course was incredible despite the horrible weather conditions which I’ll come back to a bit later.
I arrived at the Excel Centre with plenty of time which turned out to work in my favour given that I’d forgotten my helmet at a coffee shop in Stratford. I Jumped straight back on the train and by the time I’d arrived back at the race venue, it was an hour to go until the race kicked off. Cutting it a bit fine you might say.
THE SWIM, The traffic jam
When your start wave has to get split into two because it is so big, you know it’s going to be a hectic 1500m in the water. Starting off the front, to give myself a good opportunity for a clean first 100m, I quickly found myself in no man’s land with two big groups either side of me. I settled into a solid tempo pace, finding it hard though to keep up the pace with the sheer amount of competitors in the water but that was the same situation for everyone. Exiting the water in 24:03, it was far from my best swim but I was keen for the rest of the race.
THE BIKE , Another swim
By “another swim”, I mean the torrential rain and hail arrived in perfect time for the start of the bike! Battling through the weather, the bike leg wasn’t only about who could go the fastest but also who could handle their bike on a particularly technical course. With the dangerous conditions, there were plenty of crashes and the road rash that comes with that. Fortunately, I was glad to have a hassle-free and crash free bike leg, clocking a time of 1:04.
THE RUN, Fast, Flat and Feeling good
After just about managing to avoid an embarrassing slip into transition, I hit the run fast and feeling probably the best I had felt in a triathlon. Partly due to a big personal focus on nutrition which I had failed to stick to in previous races and my recent training had been going really well. The run seemed to fly by perhaps because the course was a tad short? But I was still happy to finish the “10km” in 34:29.
Not realising it but I had in fact just WON THE LONDON OLYMPIC TRIATHLON, a massive personal achievement and it was great to have my family there too. I’m now looking forward to heading into a decent training block before the British Half Ironman Championships on the 9th September. Still plenty of racing to come before the end of the season. Also a massive congratulations to fellow Athlete Lab member, Lee Thompson who finished 2nd in the sprint distance event.