Before I raced at Mumbles I took my bike in to Pembrokeshire Bikes to get my brakes checked out, (my rear brake wasn’t working at all) Later on I had a phone call from Ollie saying that the rim was not gripping with the brake blocks, but that they had tried some other wheels and it worked fine. Luckily I had some cheap (heavy) wheels that I bought last year so I had to put them on for the race. There always seems to be some equipment malfunction before a race. (I’ve been thinking about getting new wheels anyway!)
I drove down with my mum as it’s an early start (8am) We left home at 5am and I had a sandwich in the car, along with a couple of beetroot juice shots, (never tried them before, but I have been reading about their performance enhancing benefits in my new book “Roar“) We arrived in plenty of time and I was first to register so walked back and forth to the car a few times racked up and then did my warm-up along the front.
Run #1 Garmin data here
I lined up fairly near the front as I wanted to get a good first run. In the past I have paced myself too easy on the first run and then lost contact with the leaders a bit, so I stuck near the front and kept my eye out for other women, I was 3rd out on to the bike.
Bike Garmin data here
I had forgotten how busy this course is. The first part of the course goes along the road next to Mumbles seafront, and there are a lot of athletes on the road, traffic, and a couple of roundabouts for the first 5 or so minutes. It was hard to get any power down for this section, I thought it would only be this section, but it turns out, that I found most of the course to be like this. I kept having to slow down for other athletes and traffic, as there were bunches of people together, and it was hard to pass safely as the course is quite technical. Going up the steep hill up on to the moor I had a hedge cutter behind me which overtook at the top and then a group of us got stuck behind it until the next junction. I managed to get some effort in over the top of the moor, and then there was a descent before getting back near suburbia, which had more traffic problems. I was stuck behind cars the whole way back along the front to T2. So to cut a long story short my power was way under what it should have been for a race of that distance, but looking at the other women’s times, I was 2nd fastest on the bike so we must have all had the same problems!
Run #2 Garmin data here
I got in to T2 in 3rd place and soon spotted 2nd place. I managed to overtake her within around 100m, I then saw first place ahead, she had a bike behind and I started to catch her up. The bike rider kept looking around to see if I was catching her, and the guy I was running alongside said “go on you can catch her”. At that point I was running faster than her. I scrabbled to get a glucose tablet out of my tri suit, and took this. As we got nearer to the turnaround point I was not catching her up anymore, and she started pulling away a bit. I think I gave up a bit at this point and maybe should have had an extra glucose tablet in T2! I knew she would see me at the turnaround point and that she may put the pace in a bit but she seemed to be running around the same pace as me so we just maintained about a 30s gap until the finish.
Race analysis Full results here
I was still happy with my result, I knocked nearly 6 minutes off my previous time from 2015, but I know I could have gone a bit harder on the bike and possibly caught up 1st place on the run. For the first race of the season its a good result especially as I have been plagued with colds over the winter. Looking forward to seeing what the rest of the season brings!