Ok, as promised, herewith he race report. Sorry it's taken a while, I
was feeling more than a little embarrassed by my failure to better my 2007
time(1:51:54 for those who are interested).
2008 took me 1:56:19, or 21:35 for the swim, 46:47 on the bike and finally
38:49 on a very tired pair of legs. The times separate down a little as
there are two transition times included as well, but I'll not bore you with them
just yet (besides, it'll take an age to dig all five times out of the records!).
The day itself was glorious, the air temperature was in the high 20s (I've
seen it quoted as 27 degrees) but the water was officially 15.3 degrees.
The former made the latter seem particularly icy which, being one of the first
in on my wave made for a chilly few minutes.
When we finally got away, the swim went pretty much to plan. I'd been
carrying an injury to the bicep for much of the year which made front crawl
difficult, so I spent much of the time pulling breast stroke. I'd started well
to the outside of the field by choice which, although meaning a longer swim,
kept me out of the way of the 'thrashing salmon'. It seems a good choice
and, as it turned out, I managed to keep on station with a couple of crawlers,
even beating a couple in to the shore line.
The run up hill to T1 was, as to be expected at Blenheim, long and awkward;
it's a big transition but at least the area is well signposted and relatively
easy to manage. Going out on the bike leg is quite easy as well, more than
can be said of the bike leg itself.
Blenheim is three laps, totalling 1.8 km, and starts off downhill over the
bridge. Once dry land is achieved, there is a left hander up the hill,
long enough to be sapping then a fast left downhill to a tough right-handed
uphill. Hit the top and a reasonable cruise to a long drop down to a
right-hand turn past the bridge and a climb up to the relative flat of the car
park, a left-hand sweep under the foot bridge and a right-hander to start all
The run is a bit of a sod. Once you've dropped the bike and made your
way out of the racks, you have a metre high ramp to clear, up onto the plinth of
the house. Soon after that, there is the small matter of a 3metre high
bridge to negotiate which takes you over the bike course and onto the run
The first 1km is on the flat, after which the course drops away to the turn
for home. There is a water point at the turn which, in 2008, was preceded
by a water splash due to the earlier rains in the season. The water point
offered impromptu showers - signal for a splash! - which, given the
temperatures, were much welcomed; however they may not have helped the climb
back up to the house.
Back on the flat the run was hard, but manageable - as was the run down -
but the turn and climb back up as hard work. I was fortunate in that
someone stopped by long enough to pick me up and together we climbed back up to
the house. I forget who he was, but I hope he got a decent time.
So, back up on the top and, with the finish in sight, it was foot down and
what passed for a sprint to the finish. Having seen my finish footage it
was more of a lumber, but it can be viewed
(thanks to Virgin Media for making it available).
Provisional results: 4469 started, 3341 finished. I was placed
2853, 200 in age group.
In other words, I finished and got the t-shirt, job done! Well almost,
the t-shirts had sold out and are on order.