Box End Sprint National Championships 4 September 2021
Genuinely entered this as nothing more than an opportunity to re-awaken the legs after last months Ironman and before Weymouth in a couple of weeks time.
Night before race spent camped in my son’s room and up and down with a little boy who felt sick after eating too much toad in the hole! Decided getting to start line so unlikely I didn’t even do my last minute kit checks and almost forgot my helmet. Slept through alarm. Awoke to find sick bucket hadn’t been used and race was game on.
Arrived at Box End without my usual va va voom. Struggled to motivate myself for a shorter distance race after all the long distance events this season. Saw Geoff and would have done anything to swap his 7:30 start time for my 8:30. Transition was easily sorted -no arm warmers or extra layer for the bike, no peanut butter sandwiches, soreen, gels or anything else just a few emergency jelly babies shoved in my bike pouch. The simplicity of sprint distance! With all the men having started at 7:30 it was just women in the lake at 8:30am. I’m not sure I’ve ever been in a race against just women before. That meant every swimmer in front of me – and there felt like a lot of them – was faster than me. I managed to catch up a few on the swim and amazingly overtook a lot in transition.
Onto the bike and I soon discovered a bunch of ladies all cycling at a similar pace. Thank goodness the passing cars were understanding as it was a constant battle for the front. I must have over taken the same lady about 5 times. Eventually a marshall came by on a motorbike and told us to thin out. This coincided with the point where we left the big wide road behind and hit the country lanes so inevitably we did space out. I managed to overtake a couple of further ladies as we climbed the small hill into Box End and then retain that lead into transition. Lovely bike course and felt I’d given it all I had.
Out onto the run – how I did 4 laps of that course a few weeks ago for the middle distance I don’t know. The long grass, tree roots and hills make it very heavy going. It was a treat to just do one lap yesterday. Gave the run all I had and ended with a sprint finish.
Back at the van I spotted a text from Allie which had a picture of a silver medal. My response was What? Really? It genuinely didn’t feel like my strongest race and certainly I get stronger the longer the distance. Turns out I had re-awakened the legs and got a silver medal in age group in the National Championships thrown in for good measure