This is a race that some club members have done in the past, and it appealed to me because I lived in Llanberis for a year when I left school. The slate quarries are very familiar to me because I used to climb there a lot. I entered the race as a practise for Wimbleball, so I didn’t taper for it and it coincided with the last week of my hardest training block! (there’s my excuses out the way ;-))
We camped at Plas Gwyn in Llanrug which was 10 minutes drive from Lllanberis, there were a lot of other triathletes there and we met my friend Rachel and her husband Craig there, they were having a weekend away from the kids and we had ours with us. My aim for the race was to finish in under 2hours 55 and I was hoping for a top 3 position. On Thursday I had a phone call from the race organisers asking me if I wanted to go in wave 1 for the swim, as I was down to go in wave 2, so I decided to change, even though my swim is not my strength! On Saturday I registered at Electric mountain and took the kids on the traversing wall in there, Devon was really enjoying it. The night before I tried to get as much set up done as possible, as my brain doesn’t work on race morning and I make mistakes, so we applied number tattoos, and stuck stickers on bikes etc.
Drove down to the start at 7.30 with Rachel and left the men to bring the boys down later, Rachel was doing the sprint so she didn’t start until 10.30, which meant she could keep hold of my stuff until Patrick came.
The swim, Garmin data here (6th woman)
We started at 9.30. At race briefing we were told that the water temperature was 13.5 degrees, which meant that for the first time the swim would be 1000m. In the past they have cut it short because the water temperature was colder. I’m not sure how the water could have been warmer this year than in previous years after the freezing weather we have had, but that is what we were told!! It was a deep water start, which I have decided I quite like, I got to the front, and the wave I was in was quite small so I didn’t get into any argy bargy. It took me until the first buoy to get breathing properly, it felt very cold…Finished the swim in 20.59.
The bike Garmin data, here (5th woman)
Th bike leg goes up the pass and down Ogwen valley, there was a diversion, because of road works, so the course was a bit shorter (48km instead of 51) I was really looking forward to cycling up the pass, and it was great, the weather had picked up and the views were amazing. I was using my power meter to keep a pace and managed to stick to it and pace myself well up to the top. The rest of the course was flowing and a lot of downhill, apart from one long drag the other side of the valley, when I got to Deiniolen I knew I was almost home. My quad started cramping up and I panic drank some water, as I don’t think I’d had enough, and I only had one gel on the bike, because I was feeling a bit nauseous. My bike split was slower than I’d hoped, but I had been pacing myself for the run…
The run, Garmin data here (3rd woman)
When I got into transition I pulled on my shoes and my stomach cramped up, more like a pulled muscle than nausea so I had to sit down to get my shoes on, which made for a slow transition. I then started the run feeling…not good. I managed to do 6.30 minute miles on the first bit of flat, but my heart rate wasn’t going up even though it was feeling hard, I was also conscious of the fact that I hadn’t finished all my water on the bike and that I had only had 1 gel, but I pushed on. The first bit of the run is flat, and then you go up the zig zags into the quarry, by now it was also getting hot! An experience that I haven’t had for a long while. The trouble with the zig zags is you are hoping its the last one, and then you look up and see another one, but I knew that it was downhill after that so I just got on with it, grabbed some water at the water station and started going down. Going down was fine, I used to do fell running so passed a lot more people, but then got to an evil little steep climb. I had to walk for part of it and finished off the gel that I was carrying, then thankfully it WAS all downhill (apart from a few little bits;-))
The end, final results here.
I was so pleased to finish, and Patrick was at the finishing shute to give me a high 5. Our names were printed on our numbers so we had people cheering us on by our names which was nice. I finished in 2.53, with a run time of 53 minutes, which I was really pleased with. I came 5th overall out of the women, so no top 3 but there were some really good athletes taking part (Rhian Roxborough to name one) Rachel came 11th in the sprint, which was her first sprint triathlon, a baptism of fire! I thought the race was fantastic, and really well organised by Always Aim High Events. There was a climbing wall and bouncy castle set up so the boys had lots of fun, I would definitely do it again, but first I need to rest up before Wimbleball!