Back in my happy place of middle distance today and what a cracking course the Grafman is. Left home at 4:45am and still seemed to run out of time before the 7am start.
6:45am quick lake dip was really welcome and reassured me that the water temperature was indeed pleasant. Swim course was perfect. Two laps with an Australia style exit and run along the beach half way through. Felt strong given swimming hasn’t been the easiest thing to train for recently with pools closed and lakes too chilly for longer distance training. Delighted with my swim time of 31 mins…and escaped the ‘killer prawns’ (some unwelcome microscopic bacteria in the reservoir which James and Mike had made sound very sinister on the race briefing).
Next up was bike (once I’d located it… never had that problem before and won’t do that again. I’d run out of time setting up transition before the race start and hadn’t taken the time to observe where I was…) one lap of a course with four turnaround points. Beautiful countryside and some lovely long straight roads, perfect for Tri bars. A few inclines around the 40 mile point but a good 95% ridden on the Tri bars which was great practice. I was really pleased to finish the bike sub 3 hours (although all these times were a guess at the time as my watch had failed to start at the beginning of the race. now fixed by turning it off and on again!).
Run was two laps and I was familiar with the course having cycled it with the kids on mountain bikes recently. Saw Jonathan (from Triforce club) on his second lap whilst I was on my first. Overtaken by one lady but otherwise I was the overtaker. Took a new Maurten gel halfway through which went down well. Found hidden reserves in the last few miles and overtook about five ladies finishing with a sprint finish and a run time of 1hr37. All on all I won my age group and got a big PB to finish in a time of 5:07.