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Caldicot 09


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 welcome.

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 much.

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 long.

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 - thanks).

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 Fun2Tri, thanks for a good day.

Last updated: 12/07/2009 23:49:34
Shogem 2009