I have to say that I'm really impressed with the organisation
that puts these triathlons together. Quite why that is I'm not sure, but I
suppose it is in great part because of the camaraderie that exists in transition
before, during and after the race. Today, for example, I turned up to rack
my bike and the guy on the gate is someone I recognised from previous
attendances at the Stratford-upon-Avon events. So take a bow Wayne, you're
a good man, a pleasure to know and your support as I lumbered past was very
Hmm, support. This is one of the most important parts of
triathlon - or any event for that matter. To allow us athletes (those who
know me will appreciate I use the term loosely - at least when applied to
myself) will understand that, without having a bunch of folk standing around
pointing the way, often in the most unpleasant weather conditions, we'd just
never have a race. I always try to smile at them as they smile and cheer
me on and, if I can, I gasp words of thanks. So, to the girl at the far
end of today's run course, as we finally turned for home - and to all other
volunteers, thank you. Without you, we would not enjoy the day nearly so
Ah yes, today. The first running of the Caldicot
Triathlon. I have to say that, as events go, it was a pleasure to be a
part of such a well organised and supported event. Only a couple of
hundred runners in total, though I suspect that if all interested parties are
content with the day, it could well expand as much again for next year.
For me, easy to get to, parking not a problem - though an increase in size might
be problematic - and nicely contained on the site.
I have to say the the pool was a problem. Four hundred
metres is no great shakes, but trying to swim competitively in such a small pool
was, even for someone of my limited swimming skills, hard work. Four
narrow lanes, 20 yards long, and five lengths to a lane - there was bunching and
I do recall one guy behind me complaining that I was too slow at one of he turns
and would I kindly get the f* out of the way. Yes I was breast stroking
and made a point of slapping his heels at the end of the following length - him
being a crawler it wasn't difficult to catch up....
Good transition, even if I did elect to stop and put on socks.
The bike course was altered from the one originally laid out and I have to say
I'm glad. The climb into Chepstow would have been tortuous and as it was,
the revised course had more than enough technical elements to keep us weekend
warriors happy (or not, depending upon your convictions). The rain hit as
I returned to Caldicot and was quite 'stingy'; I did have trouble seeing where I
was going so peered over the lens a lot but thankfully it didn't last for too
In fact, hitting the run it became rather warm and I have to
say that I do not enjoy running on grass. The course was well laid out,
four circuits for us 'sprinters', but I found it quite hard going. Whether
that was due to the grass, the tough bike leg, or what I couldn't say, but it is
something I will need to consider for next year.
The final lap seemed to be a little quicker than its
predecessors, not sure if I upped the pace or was looking forward to a free
coffee afterwards. Got to the end in 1:26:15, a time I am more than happy
with, though I realise I could easily shave six minutes if a) I worked on my
swimming and b) managed to run as well as I know I can. Next time....
As usual, I met and talked with a bunch of really nice people.
It was a pleasure to meet Matthew Jones and his family - thanks for stopping on
the way out - but a huge HELLO to Stephen Carter (and thanks for the coffee).
Both lads were on their first triathlons and achieved good times; Stephen
however was great fun to be around, even as I tried to chase him around the run
course, always there with a smile and was just a top bloke. He's going
Olympic in London in three weeks time, I'll keep an eye out for him and really
wish him well.
It's late, and I'm tired. What can I say? Great
event, good people, roll on next year!
PS - nice t-shirt :).
PPS oh yes the details:
Start time was 09:21:30, race number is 44 (if anyone would like
to buy a picture for me from SportCam -
and whist you're at it, don't forget to look at the Blenheim and Stratford pix -
Position: 69/93 men. 10/13 age.
Splits: 9:38, 42:45, 33:52 - total 1:26:15.
Like I said, well done to the guys at
for a good day.