Set in the well-loved Cotswold Waterpark Lake 32, the Cotswold 113 is a middle distance/half ironman triathlon that is described as flat, fast and beautiful. To be honest, this description does the race justice.
Setting the alarm for 2:55am is never fun, but pre-race nerves soon shook me from my slumber in a tent. The long anticipated heavy rain hadn’t yet materialised, and the Met Office forecast was looking significantly better than at any point in the week.
The pre-race briefing set the tone for what was a well-marshalled event, with good levels of support. The swim was a busy affair, with George Hughes setting a very fast time. A pack of Cheltenham Triathletes left T1 near simultaneously, with Marc Roberts having had the swim of a lifetime!
The bike course itself is extremely flat, with one short hill at the half way point on each of the laps. It was pleasing to put some seriously expensive TT bikes in their place on this short climb! The roads are very quiet and the bottle drop and pick up (one the move) was a new experience for me. One section of the road was narrow single track, although with a very good road surface. This led to some hair raising moments as competitors travelling in both directions began over taking. Such narrow roads necessitated some groups riding for a few km, although, disappointingly, this seemed to continue for far longer than necessary. George enjoyed the course so much he completed an additional loop of the circular section – an extra eight miles… Towards the end of the bike leg, which in total was 86km long, I began to feel my legs cramping a bit – I hoped this wouldn’t be a bad omen for the run.
T2 was pleasingly empty on my return, and with socks and racing flats donned (13 miles would certainly be a new experience in these), the run began. The course winds around lakes and villages
and really is exceptionally flat, yet with enough beautiful scenery to keep the mind occupied. It was congested in parts, but the marshals were very good at shouting instructions to keep left. Slightly sporadic mile markers meant I was shocked to clock a 5:40 mile at one point – sadly I doubt this to have been a true reflection of my pace! The finish gantry is a professional looking affair with great support. To say I was relieved to reach it would be an understatement.
If you are looking at racing over this distance, I really recommend the 113 – it is a beautiful and fast course, and is about a third of the price of the big name races. Well done to all the Cheltenham Tri Club athletes.
|Name||Overall Position||Category Position||Overall||Swim||Bike||Run|
A number if CTC members ran in last Sunday's London Marathon:
Juliet Champion (deferred place from 2012), Sarah Roberts & Karen Hilton (club places for 2013), Graham Beddis, Bill Jones & Richard Edgerton - running as other club/ballot places.
It was a very hot day in the end so tricky conditions for everyone especially as we'd all been training in pretty much sub-zero conditions for the last 16 or so weeks! It was the busiest ever with so many spectators and a huge field - so much so that it was very congested at times which made running 'your own race' difficult. Still, it was a totally amazing experience, we all finished and are now looking forward to the pending Tri season!
A huge well done to all I say ...
Juliet - 3.05.17
Richard - 4.15.53
Sarah - 4.17.52
Karen - 4.28.03
Graham - 5.09.11
Bill - 5.09.20
While having an early breakfast at 4.30 am I was heartened when I realised I could not hear the anticipated rain. As it got lighter it became obvious that the day was dull and grey and worryingly cold. The air temperature was 4 degrees but a fresh breeze made it seem considerably colder.
Registration opened at 6am where competitors collected numbers, timing chips and an event tee shirt.The area around transition was full of athletes jumping and jogging, skipping and stretching, trying to keep muscles warm without expending too much precious energy for the race. The race commenced in 4 waves with all ladies in the last wave. We were about half a mile into the route when we met the leaders returning from their first 10k run.
I decided to wear my Cheltenham cycle top over two thermal jerseys along with two pairs of gloves and a thermal skullcap on the bike and this was a good choice for my top half. Unfortunately I should have taken time to pull on extra shorts or leggings in transition as I suffered from extreme cramps in my legs and feet.
The course is correctly described as undulating and the efforts on the hills did help to generate some body heat. At about twenty miles a cold drizzle developed and although I was cold and wet I realised I wasn't too far from home and an energy gel gave me a welcome boost of power.
Run 2 felt good-through the wooded area again to the turn point just before the dam-back through the trees and past the farm and I could see the finish gantry across the water on the little peninsula where we had started.
I was first in my category (65-69) and was pleased to be awarded a gold medal and BTF National Championship trophy for the third consecutive year.
It was a glorious day for Anthony's hilly bike ride and he lead us through some spectacular scenary. Hills we were promised, and hills we certainly got, with a fierce headwind up the final long drag.
By the time I'd got over Cleeve hill and back home, I'd done over 4000 feet of climbing.
A perfect start to the new year!