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Bala Middle Distance Triathlon

TORQ had two of our athletes racing the Bala middle distance triathlon, this last weekend. Both of which were using the race as a build event towards Ironman UK. Whilst they were both affected by the torrential rain and high winds they still managed to perform well, getting a second in age group and 12th overall...

Photograph: www.joolzedymond.com

Dave Mawhinney’s Race Report: What a day! Rain was forecast but not the strong easterly wind or 4 degree temperature. The weather was atrocious with over 140 people DNF’ing!

Using my new 2XU V:2 wetsuit, I had a good swim up to the turnaround point, but then turned into the wind where the water became very choppy making the return leg hard work (at least everyone else was suffering). Having finally completed the swim I entered T1 and removed my wetsuit and put on my arm warmers and hoped for the best on the bike.

I started to feel very cold straight away and then started to experience severe buffeting from the cross winds particularly on the fast descents, which made me colder still. All the time there were people abandoning the race due to the weather conditions! At the turn around point there were rows of bikes and people with silver survival blankets on who had abandoned. At this point I was starting to shiver and thought about DNF’ing but I kept telling myself just a bit further. It was tough coming back into the wind but having to work harder on the uphill sections helped fight off the cold to an extent.

On the run I couldn’t feel my feet for the first half of the run section and my legs were so stiff with cold I couldn’t get any rhythm at all. However I carried on determined to finish even it felt like the slowest 13 miles I’ve ever raced.

At the finish line finding out that I had finished second in my age group was a real bonus after a very hard race. Lessons learnt = Sometimes even in June a tri suit and arm warmers are not enough, be prepared for the British weather!

Martin Goodlad’s Race Report: The weather forecast was bright and sunny to start with showers later on. How wrong could it be? Very wrong it rained for the full race with strong blustery winds and single digit temperatures. Not really a day for lycra clad triathletes to be out!

Photograph: www.lluniaudobson.com

Never mind I slipped into my 2XU:V2 wetsuit as early as possible, to keep warm and dry! Then into the lake which would normally be classed as cold, but on the day was warmer than the air temperature. The start of the swim went well positioning myself at the correct end of the start line from the off. On the way out I got into a small group and we swam a fast but comfortable pace. However on the way back it was a lot harder work in the choppy waters, and the pack broke up with us all swimming alone. I was out of the water in 10th place which was great for my first open water race of the year, and first real judge of how good the new 2xU:V2 wetsuit is!

Into transition and the wetsuit came off like a dream and I slipped on my winter weather clothes (well a thin Gilet) and off onto the bike. The first 1hr were horrible, and to be honest I absolutely hated it, together with my chain coming off on one of the early climbs I was close to DNF’ing and saving myself for another day. However never having DNF’d before I was going to start now! I got my head down and worked out that the faster I went on the Merida Time Warp, the less buffeting effect the wind seemed to have. The combination of the Merida and FFWD F9R’s (yes using deep section wheels in a gale) seemed to do the trick and resulted in passing several people on the downhills. On the way back it was evident that lots of people were pulling out (none that were in front of me though!). It was hard going back into the wind but I kept to my race plan of higher power output on the return than the way out. The Lake Tri shoes were a dream and despite not wearing socks my feet weren’t frozen, the large Velcro strap was easy to grab to undo in preparation for transition.

Into transition and the bike was racked, next challenge get the helmet off and trainers on. Sounds easy! I had to get a race official to undo my Limar helmet clip (frozen hands). I had worked my way up to 7th/8th at the end of the bike so was looking forward to gaining a few more on the run, but the cold took its toll. From the start my legs felt like they had already completed an Ironman run, I lost 3 places on the run and came home 11th in Senior Age group and 12th overall.

A good result just too finish in these conditions and lesson learnt that it would definitely have been worth spending time in transition to slip on a windproof jacket and leg warmers!

The race organisers wrote an entertaining article on the day’s racing @ http://www.wrecsamtri.org.uk/

With thanks to our sponsors:

Delicious, natural and healthy nutrition: www.torqfitness.co.uk
Frames – Merida: www.merida-bikes.com  
Cycle Shoes – Lake: www.lakecycling.co.uk  
Helmets – Limar: www.limarhelmets.com  
Glasses – Limar: www.limarhelmets.com
Cables – Jagwire: www.jagwireusa.com  
Aerobars – USE: www.use1.com  
Wetsuits – 2XU: www.2xu.com  
Wheels – Fast Forward: www.ffwdwheels.com  
Powermeters – Powertap: www.cycleops.com