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Henley Standard Distance Triathlon

Chris is having a very strong second half to the season and just missed out on winning the event after a hard fought battle with professional athlete Sam Gardner. Chris appears to be getting stronger and stronger as the season progress. This is his race report…

Chris exiting the swim in first place

After a late night and too many days covering shifts at work I awoke at 4.30am to participate in the Henley standard distance triathlon. Coffee consumed and everything packed, I was on my way physically, but not yet mentally! With the help of a printed route map, I managed to get a bit lost and ended up using my phone's satnav to correct this. I arrived with only 20 minutes until the start, not cool.

A quick registration, transition setup and it was straight down to swim start. TORQ gel consumed alongside a sip of TORQ energy, a quick race briefing completed and into the water I jumped, I was definitely awake now.

The horn sounded and I was off. A double lap swim meant I could swim comfortably for the first lap and wind up the second and this was exactly what I did. A quick kick of the legs and I was out of the swim heading up the lovely hill to transition having established a good lead. 2XU wetsuit off and Limar ultralight helmet on it was riding time.

Feet into my Lake shoes I was in time trial mode. It was a two lap out and back course which rolled pretty fast. I was motoring along and hit the far turn point with a good lead - happy days. Managing to maintain this onto the second lap, I pushed on to the far turn point again, but someone was making ground. Back towards transition, the chaser had caught me. I recognised Sam Gardner from a previous race and I was confident I could outrun him.

About 15 seconds down into T2, I had a great transition and we headed onto the run together. I used him as a pacer for the first 2k, but wasn't feeling particularly comfortable with my running legs. I decided to try and break Sam, a short kick and I was away, although only briefly. About 400 metres passed and he had caught me again. We ran together for another Kilometre or so, then Sam did as I had done to him, he kicked. I tried to respond, but there was nothing there.

I ran the rest of the race on my own, willing my legs to fire again to give me the strength to chase. Back up the step hill again towards the finish line, I crossed the line 30 seconds down in 2nd place, which was not what I had hoped for. This is the nature of sport though My running had been going well in training, so I remain confident that this was an anomaly, so it's time to focus on next weekend's sprint race.

Thanks again to Team TORQ and our sponsors. Here's to a couple of easier days and more sleep!

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/eng/
Glasses – Limar: www.limarhelmets.com/eng/
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