The Immortal Sport Triple Crown Weekend in Wimbleball, Exmoor consisted of a 10k run race on the Saturday morning, an Olympic distance triathlon in the evening (1500m swim, 28 mile bike, 10k run) and then on the Sunday morning a half iron distance race (1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike and a 13.1 run).
The 10k route started off with a short section alongside Wimbleball lake then the hills started. There were two very sharp uphill sections which ranged from 100m on the first one and the second shortly after was a quarter mile. Whilst they were not very long they were very steep causing your thighs to be on fire very early in the race. At this point, there was a small group of about five people which got stretched out. I decided to commit to a strong pace up the hill which pushed me into second place. First place pushed on at a strong pace which I decided to hold back from because I had a long weekend ahead of me. After a very steep downhill section there was the only flat section of the run which was across a dam. However, when running across the dam you see what is coming up. A long two-mile section climbing at least one hundred and twenty-five metres. At this point I was very committed to attempting to take my first opportunity at a podium place, so I attacked it as hard as I would run a flat. The last half mile of the climb was a long gradual stretch of land which you could see what was in front and the lovely views of Exmoor. At the top of the climb I turned around for the first time to see where third place was. They were a few hundred metres behind which made me very motivated to push on the downhill section back to the dam which was a very quick downhill. Then a few final short steep climbs alongside the lake took me around to the finish line. I finished in 2nd place (on the left hand side of the photo below). This was the best position that I have finished in as I have never been on the podium before. However, would this mean that my other two races would be jeopardised because I put it all in on the 10km?
The gun went off and I tried a new tactic and tried to push myself to the front of the swim pack. However, quickly the small group started to pull away, leaving me in no man’s land in-between the front pack and chase pack. I kept pushing all the way around and about 200m from the end of the swim I started to cramp in my left calf. I got over taken by a couple of people but this allowed me to get onto the back of their feet and they pulled me in. Once you get out of the water there is a steep 200m run to the transition. This becomes very hard whilst you are trying to shake off the lack of balance you have after the swim. Jumping onto the bike with a fairly slow transition I started the 28-mile hilly course. If anyone has raced or trained in Wimbleball you will understand the severity of how hard it is to cycle. I gave it my best effort and was only over taken twice early on but then I did not see anyone else. This made me think had I gone the wrong way. Coming into transition two, I was told I was in 10th place by a random spectator watching over the bikes, which was a massive shock to me! I carried on and pushed that to the back of my mind and went out to try and catch the person in front of me. I ran fairly hard considering I was fairly fatigued from the morning. I ran 5 minutes slower than the morning and did not see a single person in front or behind. I came through in 10th place, which was a great result for me and this meant I came 4th overall in my category of 20 – 29.
On the Sunday morning after an early wake up, I was feeling very sluggish and my body was very sore after a successful day of racing the day before. We started off with the swim and it felt a lot harder than the swim the previous evening. I started off way too quickly and that made me pay in the last 200 metres of the swim where I slowed down tremendously after losing the feet of the front group. The bike was two loops on the Sunday and with your legs aching from the day before this proved to be a very hard two laps with the significant climbing. So, I decided to work hard when my legs allowed and spin out if they were aching. During the bike, I realised that I would not be putting in an amazing performance so I decided to make the most of the experience and push the bike and sacrifice my run. This is exactly what happened as when I got onto the run my body just gave up and I ran walked the whole run. This was a very hard day, but mentally it is helping to prepare me for Ironman Wales. So even though it was not a successful race on the Sunday, there were many positives of a hard day out racing/training to add to my racing experience. Not every race is going to be amazing and a personal best so this was a good way of levelling myself after a successful day before.
Overall, I came 2nd in the Wimbleball Triple Crown Weekend.
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