James Emery is the Manager of TORQ's Triathlon team. He's a keen triathlete having raced all distances from sprint to Ironman.
Martin has had a busy August, his latest race was the Aberfeldy triathlon. This race coupled as the Scottish Long distance triathlon championships. This race is a firm favourite on the Scottish calendar and has been run for 22 years. Indeed it attracts a broad range of athletes from local first timers, to the Scottish triathlon star Catriona Morrison, who predictably won the women’s event and finished second overall. This is Martin’s race report...
‘I was excited about coming to race Aberfeldy again this year, training had gone well (over the past 6 weeks) and I was keen to see how I would get on, especially as last year was done with a broken hand! The forecast was good with promise of sunshine and 20deg+.
Race morning dawned (not to early a leisurely 8:30 start is late by long distance standards), the lovely weather didn’t look like it would materialise with a cold mist lying over Loch Tay. Racked my lovely Quintana Roo and got all set up for the race. Lots of bike envy going on with a photographer seeming to take ages photographing the various parts of my bike!
Into the lovely cold water; 13 deg apparently! Not too much hanging around as they start the race promptly here so off we went. Immediately I was clear and swimming off on my own, Catriona Morrison swam up beside me after a couple of minutes and swam with me until just before the first turning buoy. She must have thought I was to slow as she disappeared after that, not to be seen again until the prize giving. The swim went very well, clear water all the way so I knew I was near the front, 3rd individual out of the water.
I flew through transition recording the 2nd fastest split and off onto the bike. The course involves a gruelling uphill section for about the first 5 miles, then rolling hills followed by a relatively flat circuit around Loch Rannoch and then back the same way. I was pleased that only a few people passed me on the hill (always the way) but onto the rolling section and flats and the FFWD wheel equipped Quintana Roo CD01was motoring, I re-passed several people.
The loop round the Loch was fairly constant pace swapping places constantly with a group of 4 others, which was excellent as it kept the pace high. Onto the rolling section before the fast downhill back to transition and the group of 4 got away from me, but then I caught them all on the downhill. This is where the CD01 came into its own; the combinations of the super aero frame and FFWD wheels meant I could almost freewheel downhill and still keep up. The 54t chain-ring also helped.
A relatively quick T2 and out onto the run course, starting with a very steep hill. My HR monitor battery had died therefore the run was all done on feel; I thought this will be interesting. A rolling course on quiet country roads meant I set a fairly quick pace early on, passed the half way mark on target for about 1hr29 half marathon, pretty good I thought as my PBs 1hr26. All went well and the TORQ Banofee Gels were going down a treat, the temperature was still rising and topped out near 26deg, which took it’s tole in the last 20minutes. The legs started to seize up and my pace slowed (maybe the lack of consistent training has finally found me out), but I kept going and even ran the last hill which is a wicked steep section before entering the finish chute.
Finish time was 4:49:32 which was 1min slower than last year. Although I was slightly slower I managed 7th overall and 4th in my Age Group.
The highlight of the day had been my swim and bike which were faster and the same speed as last year respectively, the run could do with a bit of work still.
Only 4 weeks until the Big Ben Nevis Triathlon, a Half Ironman with a run up Ben Nevis to finish. Aberfeldy was a great tester for the event and gave a huge moral boost and pointers for what I need to work on over the next 4 weeks.
A big thank-you to our team sponsors for the support and products that make such a fast combination!
Bikes: Quintana Roo www.quintanarootri.com
Wheels: Fast Forward www.ffwdwheels.com
Power: Saris www.saris.com
Cycle shoes: Lake www.lakecycling.co.uk
Delicious, natural and healthy nutrition: www.torqfitness.co.uk