2015 was the third year that Liverpool has hosted the British Standard Distance Triathlon Championships, the swim takes place in the jellyfish infested docks, the bike is on closed roads and the run is spectator friendly, the big difference about this race to others is that the transition takes place inside the Eco Arena, this means taking your wetsuit off prior to entering and then running to t1 with your wetsuit in a bin bag.
Having transition in the arena adds a good few minutes to your overall race time as its a long run in and out of the place.
Liverpool is always an early start and due to this the organisers recommend registering and racking your bike the day before which is what I did.
With this race being the British Championships and a not so well publicised World Qualifier, it meant that the event was split into age group waves, my wave 30-34yr age group was the 3rd which was set off at 7:10am.
I didn’t really know what to expect out of this race, I’d raced better than ever this season until two weeks previous at the European Championships in Geneva, I had a knock of confidence after this race in my ability to run off the bike, I had won a local Aquathlon midweek leading into Liverpool which regained my confidence and I had already decided that there was only one way I was going to get a result and that was to go hard and be confident what I can achieve.
There was two names on the start list which I had picked out to be the main challengers, one of these was James Travers who is in his first year racing in the 30-34yr age group, James has beaten me twice this season, one of them he claimed a Silver European medal in Geneva with a great performance, well done James.
The swim (1500m) 19:01
I lined up on the pontoon far left which gave me full view of the competition as I generally breath to my right, after a few hundred meters I had moved clear at the front and kept on working hard. The docks is salt water and I have never seen so many jellyfish in one place, there was liturally thousands and I was convinced id end up with a small one in my mouth.
Towards the end of the swim I had navigated through the back markers of the wave before and opened up a nice lead coming into t1.
Bike – (40k) 58:59
Although this bike course is probably the flattest you will race, this doesn’t mean its easy, with it being flat with a slight incline means you are constantly putting top end power down, in this race we had quite a strong wind in one direction, this was the place I put more effort in as mentally wise a lot of people would choose to go easier and then try harder when the wind is on the back which makes you feel fast but you aren’t going much faster than everyone else because they are gaining the same wind assisted advantage a bit like riding down hill.
After my two previous races being beaten by the strong biker Travers, I knew I needed to give it everything and ride stronger than ever over the 40k course, in my first race I was overtaken by James after 4 miles, in Geneva he came past after 14 miles so I was aware of the challenge it would be trying to hold him off and give myself a chance going onto the run.
The Liverpool bike course is 4 laps of an out and back, this is great as you can keep a check on how the race is going, i had a few people who I was taking time checks from and this kept me pushing hard and I came off the bike in the lead.
Run – (10k) 34:46
Prior to the race I was a bit anxious about how I would run off the bike, iv never felt as bad as I did in the euro champs but once in the zone getting off the bike at Liverpool I didn’t once think about not hitting the run hard, I had ticked 2 of the boxes with the swim and bike and put myself in pole position to compete for a British championship medal
The run is 2 loops of again an out and back course, I hit the run hard and felt good, i focused on keeping good form and at the half way turn around I had put time into 2nd place, this helped me relax but it was only at this point I actually thought about taking the British title.
To come through the finish and realise I was the British 30-34yr age group champion was a proud moment and a highlight of my 4 years in triathlon, after a couple of interviews for the TV and British Triathlon I walked through to the recovery section and found out I was 2nd overall and only beaten by my mate Alex Lawton, he had been wanting his result of being the overall British Champion for a few years after he was on for the title but made an error on the run which cost him, well done Alex, top performance and result.
30-34yr British Champion & 2nd overall
–As always a massive thanks to my support crew, there’s been some early starts this year and some not so nice weather conditions but they still turn out to help me along, racing without these people there would not be the same, thanks.
–A big thanks to my team ChampionSystem/VCUK and sponsors.
Club Roost Wheels
Mark Lomax Chartered Accountants