James Emery is the Manager of TORQ's Triathlon team. He's a keen triathlete having raced all distances from sprint to Ironman.
Much Wenlock Sprint Triathlon
Dave and I decided to enter an event that is literally just down the road, at the country town of Much Wenlock. The name may be familiar as one of the Olympic mascots is called ‘Wenlock’. The connection to the Olympics goes back to 1850 where Dr William Penny Brooks founded the re-birth of the games. With a 2nd and 5th overall and wins in both our age groups it was certainly a successful outing…
Dave Mawhinney: In an Olympic year I thought it would be appropriate to take part in the 126th edition of the Much Wenlock Olympic Games. The games consisted of a 1 week program of sporting events for competitors from young children to adults. After what seemed like weeks of heavy rain it was a relief to arrive at the venue to be greeted by sunny conditions!
The swim consisted of a 500 metre pool swim. Starting in the last wave, I had a steady swim with no problems with crowding in the swim lane and after a swim of 8 minutes 15 seconds I was into T1 and on to the Wilier twinfoil. The first part of the bike course consisted of a very fast 2 mile descent on the tri bars at over 40 mph and I was passing plenty of people from the previous heat. On the undulating part of the course I was able to continue to push hard and catch people. The last part of the bike leg consisted of a 500 metre climb up a hill with a gradient of 14% which sapped a lot of energy from the legs and then it was into T2 after a bike time of 33 minutes 57 seconds. The first mile of the 5 mile run consisted of an off road section through woodland which due to the recent heavy rain was very muddy and I found it hard to keep a fast run pace. Once back on the road I was able to speed up and set a fast pace on the undulating course. After the turn around point, there was a fast downhill section, then it was back into the woods and to the finishing line. I completed the run in a time of 31 minutes 51 seconds for a total time of 1-16-01.
The time was good enough for 5th overall and a win in my age group. The first 3 of each age group were presented with gold, silver and bronze medals which seemed fitting in Olympic year!
James Emery: Prior to the start of the event I studied the entries to understand who my main competition was and what their strengths were. I won the event last year by a 4 seconds, so knew it would be close. I figured that Paul Rogers of Black Country Tri and Mark Griffiths of SY Tri would be my main competition. Both are similar athletes with slightly weaker swims, good biking ability and excellent running strength, so it was a case of building the lead and hoping my chasers would not catch me!
During the event I was flying yet, Paul came past me in the run so strongly, I guessed I was then racing for 2nd. At the turn around for the run, I knew I was looking good and providing I dug deep and kept my chasers at bay, I shpuld be able to hold off the others including my fast charging team mate Dave!
I finished in 1.13.00 giving me second place overall and the win in my age group.
With thanks to our sponsors:
www.wilier.it - Triathlon Frames
www.ffwdwheels.com - Aero Wheels
www.ritcheylogic.com - Aerobars, Saddles and Finishing Kit
www.cycleops.com - Power Meters
www.racezone3.com - Wetsuits
www.limarhelmets.com - Helmets & Glasses
www.lakecycling.co.uk - Cycling Footwear
www.jagwireusa.com - Cables & Housing
www.scott-sports.com - Running Footwear
www.shimano.com - Groupsets
www.triathlonspecific.com/Sable/Sable.html - Swim Goggles (Sable Water Optic)
www.max-mediagroup.co.uk - Team PR
www.amphibia-sport.com - Transition Bags
www.schwalbe.com – Tyres
www.lezyne.com - Pumps, Tools and Bottle Cages
www.champ-sys.com - Custom Trisuits and Cycle Wear