James Emery is the Manager of TORQ's Triathlon team. He's a keen triathlete having raced all distances from sprint to Ironman.
Oswestry Sprint Triathlon
TORQ was sponsoring this event, so Dave and I were present with the TORQ truck, the trade stand and the TORQ gaffer. Well that added a bit of pressure as we certainly wanted to maximise our exposure at the event and get some good results. I had no idea how Matt was going to race, but I knew Dave would be consistent and place well and I knew from the previous week’s win at Much Wenlock that I was certainly hitting some mid-season form....
Matt’s race: Matt was first up in the first wave. Whilst Matt is a talented rider and runner, swimming is not his strong point. With some relief he exited the water and got down to work on the bike course. He soon passed everybody who had passed him in the swim and continued to push on. With the swim and bike complete, he entered transition pulling on his running spikes (and doing up his shoe laces sitting on the floor, which I haven't seen in Triathlon for a long time) and posted a very credible time finishing 11th overall. An excellent result considering his last swim and run was two years ago at this event. Perhaps he should become our secret weapon doing duathlons!
Dave’s race: After finishing my peak training for IM UK, I entered Oswestry sprint triathlon not really knowing how I would race having concentrated mainly on long distance endurance work rather than high intensity speed work that suits the shorter distances. So 2 weeks out from IM UK, It was with some in-trepidation that I turned up to the race. The weather forecast was for heavy rain but we were really lucky and the roads were mainly dry for the tough hilly bike course which had several tricky descents.
The 400m swim went better than expected and I exited first out my heat and after a quick transition was out on the Merida bike. On going up the first steep hill I realised I was a bit under geared with an 11 – 23 cassette and really had to work hard on the hills. However I was able to push it on the descents and faster straight parts of the course to make up some time. After a tiring bike leg I had a fast T2 and was out on the 5km run which consisted of 3 undulating laps of a sports field. After the first 200m I started to feel really comfortable and began to push it hard and was able to keep my heart rate high and began to pass quite a few people and managed a good sprint at the end to finish the run in 19mins 23secs; which I was really pleased with having not done any run speed work, for a total time of 1-17-44 and 8th place overall and 1st in my age group.
That’s the easy part done now for Ironman UK at Bolton!
James’ race: I was in the last swim wave and was keeping pace with an excellent swim specialist, until about ½ way through, when he managed to build a small margin, so I exited a length behind. However I quickly found the lost time by exiting transition before him (he should have bought some Lake tri shoes instead of putting road shoes on in transition).
I don’t think he liked being taken down after such a good swim, as he pulled alongside and then ahead on the first climb. I looked down at my powertap and let him go. However after a few metres he was slowing, I guess he was racing on emotions. I quickly passed him and then maximised the rest of the climb and first descent.
So onto the proper climbs, I was riding my ever faithful Merida tri bike and none of the terrain was an issue. I noticed that a lot of the competitors were riding road bikes and yes it was hilly, but it is a race against the clock so the fastest bike will always win!
In the previous wave a strong local athlete (Alan Lewis) was racing and I was desperately trying to get as much time into him before I hit the run. I past a lot of the previous wave but there was no sign of Alan. On entering T2 I raced to drop off my bike and had to brace myself against the bike-racking as I slid forward on the wet grass. I grabbed my run shoes and got straight into the run leg. The first lap I ran by myself to my own pace but the 2nd lap one of the guys I had passed on the bike exited transition as I passed through. He ran on my shoulder for a short while, then tried to go through. After looking at his form, I quickly realised that he was on the limit, but running a good pace, so I decided to stick with him. We came to a small uphill and I got a few meters on him, this I managed to hold until the first quarter of the 3rd lap, where he came alongside me again. I knew that he would slow on the uphill, so I ran on his shoulder and sure enough I got my few meters again. Additionally Alan's name was announced as he finished, so I glanced at my watch and realised that I had just over 3 minutes to complete the lap, so it was now a big push to the end.
Well I managed to win, despite a disappointing run split, but that’s racing.
TORQ 1st, 7th (1st in age group) and 11th out of a field of 150.
Click the link below for the race details:
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