The Trident Triathlon is the standard distance race which is held along side the Rubicon Middle distance organised by Functional Fittness Events which is starting to make a name for itself and attract large numbers of race entries as well as having an Elite start list.
I found out about this race whilst searching for a race to fit in around August which would prep me for my final two races at Sandman and Snowman triathlons.
I came across this Video of the Rubicon which instantly attracted me to look into racing this event, I then came across the Trident standard distance which was perfect as I didn’t want to risk not recovering from racing a middle distance race having competed a lot already this season.
I decided to travel to Newby Hall on Friday after work and choose to camp over which was free, this allowed me to get up Saturday morning and do a race prep session which was 45 minutes on the bike at a high cadence with 3 short race pace efforts, I did a 2 mile run off the bike with the first 1/2 mile at race pace and finished off with some strides, after this I fuelled up and spent the day doing something non triathlon for once, which kept the other half happy.
We was blessed with some nice weather for the weekend which made Sunday morning a chilly start with the clear blue skies.
Camping onsite made life much easier and it was a matter of a 5 minute walk down to transition for registration and racking, once this was done there was time for a short warm up jog and then it was time to make the 1 mile walk along the river to the swim start.
Swim – 1500m (river)
This river looked nice for fishing in but I wasn’t to sure about the swim, It looked dark and daunting and from what the kids had said the previous day it was very cold.
All these thoughts disappear once on the start line and after having a little laugh at my mate holding his leg in the air whilst in the water and repeatabley asking people if his chip was there which was obvious it wasn’t, we was off.
The initial 100 – 200m at the start is a good indication of how the first leg of a triathlon is going to go, I could see I was moving clear from the off but not moving away with ease.
This swim was one of the strangest I have ever done, the sun was glaring directly in my eyes everytime I tried to sight which blinded me from any kind of forward viewing. The river was lined with submerged tree branches and I was conscious of swimming into these so I attempted to stay down the middle and just relied on a sideway judgement on the distance from the bank to guide me down stream. It was very strange swimming and not knowing where about I was, eventually I heard some cheering from the spectators at the swim exit and rounded the bright exit buoy to be dragged out and on my way on the long run up to transition.
Bike – 40k
After the long run up through the gorgeous Newby Hall Gardens I entered T1 and noticed another athlete entering 15 seconds behind me, all I knew about him was he had a Great Britain AG suit on so I got to work on the bike and put some solid power down from the off.
After 2 miles I had a quick look behind as I round a corner and the chasing athlete wasn’t in sight, I’m a strong believer of “out of sight, out of mind” and settled down into a rhythm.
The Trident/Rubicon bike course is flat with some long stretches of out and backs which is great for gauging your progress in the race, at around half way I had a gap of around 60 seconds on 3 chasing athletes, with them battling together and seeing what they needed to do, I aimed to put a faster 2nd half bike split in and gain a bigger cushion to take onto the run.
Run – 6.7 mile (mixed terrain)
After entering back into Newby Hall and riding through the vibrant spectators, I was fast approaching the dismount line with the live commentary announcing me as the race leader, it was at this point I had to make a very swift exit from my Lake cycling shoes just in time to hop off into T2 and exit onto the run.
The initial section was on grass which lead me to a flyover which was to get the runners over the bike course safely, if the triathlon itself wasn’t challenging enough then this was a real test, as I opproached the very steep ramp which was like something from tough mudder, I realised I wasn’t getting all the way up without a last ditch grab of the hand rail, getting up was the first step and getting down was the next, I imagine this was the best spot for spectating as there must have been some funny moments.
It was a 2 lap run and for the first lap I had guidance from a lead bike, this was great for keeping me relaxed as we had a bit of chit chat until he pealed off moving into the 2nd lap, I had been told I had a 3 minute lead off the bike and I knew at the pace I went round the first loop that it would have taken something special to close the gap, this allowed me to ease back a little towards to end and enjoy the great atmosphere.
One of the highlights of my race was to be running side by side with my Dad as he started the run and I came round for the second lap, he had a great race and did me and himself proud.
First place was always an aim but my priority for this race was a positive performance, I finished with the fastest swim, fastest bike and second fastest run.
The Event rating – high
Big event feel
Well marked routes
Good option pre and post race
Free race photos http://www.sportsunday.co.uk/
The free camping was a bonus but still brought a few complaints of not enough toilets in the field, maybe there was much more camping than first thought.
No post race massage tent
Thanks to SportSunday Photography
Club Roost Wheels
Mark Lomax Chartered Accountants