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1st of the Summer Tri

This was a well-executed race by Hamish. He was completely prepared and knew his competition and worked hard throughout to win the race outright and still had the energy to take the course record and hopefully put it out of reach - well until he goes back…

"First of the Summer Tri" is located in the small town of Holmfirth. If you hadn't worked it, the name of the event has been very much influenced by the legendary BBC TV series "Last of the Summer Wine" which of course was also based in Homfirth. And yes, before you ask, there is a "Last of the Summer Tri" at the end of the season too!

I was feeling good coming into this race with a good result under the belt at Chirk two weeks previous. There was only a small field of 150 or so racing, but there were a number of fast triathletes there including Jonny McLean, the previous winner of the event and Gold medal winner at the European AG Sprint Championships. Alongside Jonny and myself in the wave was Jon Metcalfe who won "Last of the Summer Tri" and set a new course record in October 2013. Both knew the event well. It looked set for a good showdown and a course record could be on the cards.

The swim was always going to be a little hectic. Holmfirth pool is only 20m long and with 3 swimmers setting off behind me at 20 second intervals there would be 4 swimmers in the lane. I knew that I had to get through 4 lengths in under 60 seconds to get ahead of the last swimmer in the lane before he started so I took the start of the swim very hard to try to minimise hold ups in the lane. I made it through just before he pushed off. Thankfully, I didn't have too many problems overtaking when I caught the other swimmers.

Exiting the swim and through T1, I had around a 15 second lead over Jonny and told myself to keep it that way. The bike course was a three lap affair with two short sharp hills per lap and the rest was relatively fast on the aero bars. I resisted the temptation to look back to see where Jonny was. It was quite useful that on the second hill of each lap, he had a spectator cheering for him which gave me some bearing as to Jonny's distance behind me. On the second lap the cheer was a little more distant, so I knew I was beginning to put time into him.

It was beginning to hurt a bit on the third lap, but I knew if it was hurting me, it would be hurting Jonny just as much, if not more. I didn't even hear the spectator cheer for Jonny on the third lap. I had dropped him. As I was coming out of T2 onto the run, Jonny was just entering T2. I figured I had a good 40 second lead. In previous years, this may not have been enough, but I have spent a good deal of time working on my running and I felt comfortable that this was in the bag. I battled up the hill on the run and then stretched out my legs on the flat and the downhill sections. With about 2k to go on the run, I had a glance behind me and couldn't see Jonny in sight. It was now a race to see if I could beat the course record. I dug deep and pushed for the finish.

I crossed the line to take the win. After regaining my breath, I went to the timing tent and discovered I'd beaten the previous course record by 1 minute and 53 seconds. Result! Needless to say, I am very pleased with the result. I felt good throughout and the race went very well.

Photos courtesy of www.eventphotos.co.uk

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