James Emery is the Manager of TORQ's Triathlon team. He's a keen triathlete having raced all distances from sprint to Ironman.
Triathlon de Elche
Another of our new recruits, Eleanor Haresign, has started the season with a podium in a half-ironman in the sun. The race was very competitive yet three Brits were in the top four earning great plaudits from various British triathlon news website and rightly so…
My first triathlon of the year took me to Alicante for easy access to racing an early season middle distance tri and some glimmer of hope of warmer weather. It certainly delivered! With temperatures in the mid-twenties and an attractive prize purse on offer, there was a strong field in both the men’s and women’s races. After a solid swim in clear calm waters, bridging a couple of gaps to get on some faster feet, I exited in 5th (if you exclude the couple of pro men who barrelled over the top from the previous wave – scary fast!). Given the size of the field, it was the longest run from the sea to my bike I think I’ve encountered yet!
Although the bike route was to be generally flat and fast and furious, there was a cheeky rise straight out of transition. In fact, I didn’t bother leaving my shoes on the pedals as I didn’t trust myself to get my feet in in time! After training all winter on the hills of Yorkshire, the unrelentingly flat terrain was perhaps not playing to my strengths but I was glad of all the time spent training on the tt bike. The race took place on a closed circuit of dual carriageway with plenty of space. So, it was a slight shame that packs of men (well, it was the men!) still insisted on forming, despite the race being part of the Sin Drafting series and the organiser’s reiteration of the no-drafting rules, it seemed a bit blatant when a group passed me just level with the penalty box area. I didn’t really have much clue where the other girls were and the return leg from the dual carriageway was a lonely route, trying to keep my pace honest and ‘on it’.
I managed to return to T2 in third to begin the run, with the usual fear of being run down keeping me from walking up the 75 steps that tested all the competitors barely a kilometre into the run. I passed the leader, fellow Brit Holly Lawrence, coming the other way looking very strong and hopes of gaining on her rapidly dissipated! I was immediately overtaken by a tiny Spanish gazelle, but then, at the far end of the course, I managed to move past the girl who had had the strongest bike. Then it was onto the rough trail section before re-joining the road and preparing for the beach section. Very soft sand and I don’t think anyone found it easy. It was a long 300m indeed! I knew Amy Forshaw would be gaining and on lap 2 I was wondering why she hadn’t caught me yet. However, remembering that it’s not over until you cross the line, I hammered the last km as hard as I could away from the beach on lap two which turned out to be a good job as I held onto 3rd spot by only thirteen seconds. It’s not the first time we two have finished so close and I’m sure she won’t be letting me away with it next time!
You can check out the race video here; you can see the evil steps and broken people with severe cramps, all in Spanish! Women’s race starts around 9mins 45sec into the clip:
Brief write up on tri247.co.uk, describing the British domination:
With thanks to our 2013 sponsors for making it all happen:
www.huubdesign.com - Wetsuits
www.limarhelmets.com - Helmets & Glasses
www.lakecycling.co.uk - Cycling Footwear
www.jagwireusa.com - Cables & Housing
www.shimano.com - Groupsets
www.max-mediagroup.co.uk - Team PR
www.amphibia-sport.com - Transition Bags
www.schwalbe.com – Tyres
www.lezyne.com - Pumps, Tools, Bottle Cages
www.juicelubes.co.uk - Lubrication