Tuesday, September 20, 2011

End of the road

Another week and another race report- this time from Challenge Henley in the UK.
After Ironman Wales I made my way over to Henley midweek and started preparations for one of the "Challenge" series new events.
After a few races over here this year I have learn t that there is always going to be two common factors in the United Kingdom  1. Bad weather 2. Terrible roads
I had accepted that before the race had started  so there was no surprise that I was almost vibrated off my bike in the pouring rain several times during the race.
What was a surprise though was the atmosphere of the race and the lengths that the organisers went to, to make sure the athletes had the best day possible and were looked after.
As with anything for the first time there will be alot of things to change or improve but for their first event I thought it was great and am hoping that I will be able to get back next year.

As far as the race went, I finished third and put some more experience in the memory bank for the next race.
From the swim start Steve Bayliss and I broke away.  Steve did all the navigating following the lead canoe through some thick fog at the front while I tried to follow his feet and just hang on.
Getting out of the water we had close to a 7 minute lead to the next group of pro guys which is totally unheard of, Steve and I didnt know what had happened to them but went about trying to extend that lead during the three lap 180km ride and managed to push it out to about 10minutes at one point on the second lap.
On the last lap I tried to open it out even further and started to push a bit harder for the last 50km which broke Steve and I apart but the others now in a 5 man group also had the same idea and I hit transition with a couple of minutes to Steve then about 5 minutes to the group.
400m into the run as I went past the first aid station I started vomiting everywhere, I'm still not exactly sure why but I managed to get running again and some nutrition into my stomach but had started to lose alot of time. I hung onto the lead for the first two laps of four to make up the 42km but was passed shortly after by the eventual race winner and second.
I still thought it might be possible to get some form back over the last 10km and catch up with them so fought on as best as I could, running with Steve for a good part of it and finishing about a minute behind second and two minutes behind the winner.

I was planning on staying on in Europe for another couple of weeks before Challenge Barcelona on the 2nd of October but after a quick chat to Brett and a good think about it have decided to head back to Oz later this week to have some recovery time and start to prepare for the Australian season later in the year.

No comments:

Post a Comment