The GE Strathclyde Triathlon had issues with me from the get go. First it was a standard distance which would be my furthest Tri, secondly I wasn’t sure if I could swim the 1500m and last of all it was to be my first open water swim. Two of these issues sorted themselves out when tons of sewage from Glasgow poured into Strathclyde Loch giving 56 competitors of a swimathon the Norrovirrus. This would have been a good thing if you were trying to lose weight but it’s not too healthy drinking other people’s remnants of fish suppers and god knows what else was washed into the loch.
So the Tri was now a Duathlon with an added 1500m run to start us off nicely.
5am starts don’t really agree with me, especially after a few glasses of red wine the night before but I dragged myself up and got to Glasgow in time for registration and to collect my Large T-shirt and towel. Now I did have the thought of turning around right then and going home as I’d got the T-shirt which is usually a pre-curser for going home but I had an issue that two days earlier I couldn’t run 3kms without getting a painful knee caused by the dreaded ITBs.
Any sensible person, and there were many telling me this, would tell me to not do it and not risk further injury. Tina being one of the main culprits and even tried to drop it altogether to go for a ride around bathgate instead. Even my other team mate, Sick Note Alan had bummed out and decided to go for a ride instead. Blaming it on the duathlon and a really horrible bike course.
The odds were against me but I’d turned up and at the very least I could do the bike part and get some cycling miles under my belt and experience a well organised event. Which it was by the way. It was very well organised and even had the nice blue transition bit which made me feel more elite than I actually am.
So onto the race. My strategy was to sprint the 1.5km, then get through the bike, then try and run the 10kms and see if my IT band held out. I was in wave 2, starting at 9:20am. They split up the group as it is a non-drafting race so that there wasn’t as many on the course at one time.
Off we went for a quick jaunt up the loch, around a turn around point and then into the transition area.
Into transition I don’t have cleats so I was keeping my trainers on.
Off onto the bike course it was out the water sports centre and straight up a bloomin hill! I was still panting from the sprint and didn’t catch my breath for about 2kms in. The course went up, then down for a bit, then straight up and then down a long stretch to a 360 degree turn at the roundabout, losing all momentum and then straight into the long climb up, then down then up and a right turn on the down hill to take you to the centre. This was done seven times. Yes that’s SEVEN times! On that first climb I started regretting the 40km ride I did the day before with Scott. By the 7th lap I was cursing going out the day before and my legs were starting to twinge!
The course was sheltered but the surface was bumpy. I spied Rob who was shadow officiating having a go riding pillion on the back of those motorbike people. Gave him a wave and that was my last lap. He later asked if I was finding it difficult when he saw me, which I was as my face must have said it all!
Onto the run it was an out and back 2 lap course along the side of the loch but they did manage to get some inclines in there. I was fine and got into a nice rhythm running at a reasonable pace. 2km in, I could start to feel the friction from my knee building. By 3km it was sore so I stopped and stretched and contemplated a DNF. By 5km I’d got into a good stride which helped reduce the pain so I carried on stubborn stretching a couple more times, and then by 8km there was no pain. So I picked up my pace and finished the race along the nice blue carpet. 2 Hours and 14mins.
I’m not sure I would be in a hurry to do the race again due to the bike course but it was a well organised event and seeing the elites do a sprint afterwards was good to watch.
Official results are in and they’re not bad though I have no idea how many of my age group took part!
Male 25-29 (Age group)
Place overall 182
Age group place 15
38k Bike time 01:20:49
10km run time 00:46:53