James Emery is the Manager of TORQ's Triathlon team. He's a keen triathlete having raced all distances from sprint to Ironman.
Grafman Middle Distance
As a rule, Iain has concentrated on the Sprint and Olympic Distance Triathlons and truly excels in both - regularly winning various prestigious titles. However, Iain was keen to find out as to whether he would have the legs for a Middle Distance - which is twice the distance of his favoured races? Iain clearly demonstrated his ability to go the additional distance through sealing the English Middle Distance Championship Age Group title…
As a rule, I predominantly focus and concentrate on my Standard Distance races, however, I was keen to have a look at a Middle Distance race, as a bit of an experience. I chose Grafman as it would provide the experience, was one of the closer races to Norfolk and it also happened to be The English AG championships.
My first attempt at a Middle Distance race (at the end of last season), resulted in a DNF, as I had ridden far too hard on the bike section. I was therefore determined to get my pacing better on the bike this time.
The swim was a two lap course, with an Australian style exit after the first lap. I was in the second wave with the Vets - which is something I have reluctantly become used to this season. The swim went really well for me, with only a slight incident, where I lost my goggles (whilst re-entering the water after the first lap). I was leading out of the water, which I don't think has happened before, although I knew that I could be some way down on the first wave times.
The bike course was flat and had the potential to be fast, but the conditions were pretty horrible with heavy rain and wind throughout most of the ride. I felt comfortable, although I had plenty of people to pass, I never had any company throughout the ride. I came across a group of about 10 athletes from the first wave, who seemed to have formed together. Therefore, throughout the out and back loops, I was able to gauge how I was getting on. I felt good and towards the end of the ride (approaching T2), I passed a former team mate Matt Lawes. I knew (from our previous training sessions together), that Matt had a similar run pace to me.
Although the run is fairly strong for me, in the back of my mind I knew that my Winter training had not included as many long runs or longer interval sessions. Whilst doing a 10k is manageable with shorter sessions, I knew that running a half marathon would be different. Matt caught me at about 5k and we decided to run together. This was fine for the next 7 or 8k and we went along nicely. Approaching the final 5k loop, I very quickly felt like I was beginning to struggle and this is where Matt strode away from me. I was surprised at the amount of ground I was loosing and realised it was not due to him speeding up! I knew I was on for a good result if I could just keep going. I made it to the line feeling pretty rough.
I finished 10th overall and 1st in the 40 - 44 AG. This had been a great two weeks, two National AG titles at both the Standard and Middle Distances. Time for a very easy week, before another busy month of racing.
A big thank you to our Sponsors for making it happen:
FFWD Wheels – Race Wheels
Huub - Wetsuits
Schwalbe – Cycle Tyres
ISM - Saddles
Lezyne - Pumps, Tools, Bottle Cages
Altura – Triathlon and Cycle Apparel
Fenwicks - Lubrication
Camelbak - Bottles
Tifosi - Sunglasses
Limar - Helmets
Lake - Cycling Footwear
Jagwire - Cables & Housing
Swans - goggles
Shimano - Groupsets
Amphibia - Transition Bags
Stages - Power Meters
Race Ware Direct - Custom Garmin Mounts
Zero Point Compression - Compression wear