Tameside Off Road Triathlon

Tameside off road triathlon is a race I love coming back to do each year and there are two reasons for this:

1) It was the first race I ever did, 4 years ago (i’m a sucker for nostalgia)
2) It has the most hardcore, mudbath of a course i’ve ever come across.

Paria Rider, and all around good bloke Jonny Milton runs us through his post race report after the Tameside off road triathlon.

This was my final triathlon race of the season so I was really looking for a good final blast. I came into this off the back of a month of training at Uni in St Andrews. This meant a month of balancing my training, social commitments, oh and a little bit of medicine on the side. My training had actually been pretty consistent, and finally after 2 years of trying, i’ve managed to consistently make it to the morning swim sessions! Because of this I was feeling reasonably confident that my coach (Jake Ragan) had set me up as well as he could for this race.

The race had a later start time than i’m used to, so after breakfast I found myself sitting around twiddling my thumbs for a few hours, slowly annoying everyone in the vicinity, but eventually I found myself warming up with the resistance band on the poolside. The swim was a 500m pool swim, so 20 lengths of monotonous line following which thankfully was over in a new fastest time for me, so thank goodness for that! I came out of the swim third in my wave, knowing I had a bit of catching up to do before I caught the guys out front.

First transition went relatively smoothly and I was out on the bike in no time. The first few miles of the ride were a steady climb up a nice tarmac road and I managed to close a bit of distance to the guys in front but I could really start to feel it in my legs. I eased up a little and just kept the guys in sight for the next kilometre before I put another push in to try and catch them. By this point the course had taken a turn for the muddier and the bone shaking began, the first descent was so rough in fact that I lost my water bottle, something i’d definitely end up regretting further into the race! The remainder of the ride went smoothly, albeit muddily and I got past one of the guys in front after he unfortunately suffered a puncture. I came into transition about 20 seconds down on the leader but unfortunately at this point my luck seemed to run out…

After struggling to fit my bike onto the undersized, cramped rack I went to put my (brand new and newly laced) fell shoes on for my favourite leg of the race. At this point, my shoe laces thought it would be a great time to snap and lose their quick tightening clasp, leaving me with a frayed minuscule amount of string to tie a knot in. So I set off on the run, not sure if my shoes would remain attached to my feet and with a mouth as dry as the Sahara, but with a bit of spring left in my legs.

I felt good throughout the run, albeit a little dehydrated but my legs felt excellent. Once we got onto the climbs I managed to pull closer and closer to the leader and as we hit the road about 3 kilometres out from the finish I really tried to pull him in, but he had other ideas. We both seemed to kick at the same time and the distance between us never seemed to close. I gave it everything I had in the final kilometre but alas it wasn’t enough.

We crossed the line and had a nervous wait as all the results were collated and people’s start waves were calculated into their times. Eventually I discovered I had come third, a result I was over the moon with given what had happened that day! When my splits came back I was even happier, all three aspects of my race were quicker than the previous year, i’d knocked about 4 mins 30 secs off my total time.

It’s great to finish a triathlon season with a podium, particularly when you’re about to start a winter of cold, long, dark training in the run up to the European championships next year in Lisbon. I want to thank the organiser Uberfit events for putting on a great event yet again, Paria for the great kit for training in, and Jake Ragan for his expert long distance coaching!

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