I chose this race because it is a local event that I had done before. I was using it as a practice/training session, and was expecting to get the same time as the last time I raced it.
I was pretty relaxed about the event, as I had no expectations really, I thought my run would be slower, and my swim about the same, I thought my bike would be faster though! I got up at 5.30am so I could pick up a fellow Narberth Dynamo rider, Mat. It was his first triathlon (he’s doing Ironman Wales this year) so he said he was a bit nervous, but didn’t show it! I had a kind of bircher muesli for breakfast that I’d prepared the night before, (oats soaked in coconut milk, with nuts/seeds etc and fruit)
The Swim garmin data here (2nd in gender 44th overall)
My pre swim nerves are improving and I felt quite happy, relaxed and confident at the start. The start was a narrower start than usual because the storms had exposed a lot of rocks on the beach, so it was a bit uneven underfoot, but we were soon in the water and swimming. Up to the first buoy I was boxed in slightly, usually I would have stayed behind the slower swimmers to avoid any barging etc, but I felt confident enoght to swim through and get ahead. I tried to get near some people to draft, but seemed to be on my own quite a bit. As I came out of the water I overheard the commentator shouting “here comes the 4th woman out of the water” (2 of them must have been relays). I was pretty surprised, and thought that there must be some work to do on the bike
T1 garmin data here (3rd in gender 38th overall)
T1 went smoothly, I managed to jump on without my shoes falling off or anything untoward happening!
The bike garmin data here (4th in gender 74th overall)
Last time I raced this I averaged 18.5mph, I was hoping to get over 19mph this year, as I have increased my cycling volume. The bike leg was the usual men overtaking me going uphill, then dropping their power on the flat and down so I would pass them again. I was aiming for consistency (IF you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs). It was quite hard, especially when you get someone who is twice the size of you and obviously less fit trying to take you on the hills (blame the testosterone!) I got quite annoyed with one guy and called him a twonk, I don’t think he heard me but I didn’t see him again, oops…I passed 2 women on the bike and they didn’t respond, but I still thought there were 2 ahead of me so I kept it going trying to hit my power target, which was difficult with the power dropouts again!
I was leapfrogging with a guy from Tenby Aces on the way back in to Broadhaven and a pack of men overtook, (obviously drafting) and they took him with them.
I knocked about a minute off my bike time from 2012, I would have liked it to have been more if I’m honest!
T2 garmin data here (3rd in gender 48th overall)
No issues again, even managed to get off my bike at the line. Shoes seemed to go on easily!
The run garmin data here (1st in gender 27th overall)
Apart from almost going the wrong way at the start, for some reason I thought you ran down the road at the start, the run was the biggest surprise so far!
I started out and thought “I went too hard on the bike”. My quads were pretty sore, but I got into my rhythm and tried to enjoy the view on the coast path. I was preparing myself for a slower run time than 2012 and I couldn’t see any women to overtake, so I assumed they must be way off. To keep me motivated I started picking off men. I decided to count 5 passes. By the time I was on the road I had passed 6 or 7 so I counted another 5. I think overall I passed about 13 or maybe more. I was trying to keep focussed because I knew that behind me was a strong runner, I had heard them announce her come in to transition as I was running on the beach. I just kept going and as I was approaching the beach I looked at my watch and realised I was on target for a PB on the run.
I still didn’t know what position I was, and finished through the gantry, one of the other joys of being a woman is that you never know if they will announce the winner or any other position of women.
At the finish Celia White came up to me and congratulated me, I asked her how I did, and she said “you won”, I replied “are you sure”? Patrick came up next and he confirmed that I had indeed won, so smiles all around and a trophy!
At the prize giving I also won a bottle of champagne for the team prize (I think! couldn’t really hear as I was round the corner) So we celebrated that evening.
Overall I had a fantastic race, and knocked 5 minutes off my previous time, roll on Ironman Wales!!