The day started with the alarm ringing out reminding the Dobber house at 04.15 that the season was just about to begin. Quick shower, pack the car and we was off, arriving at Rutland water just after 6.30. We weren’t the only early birds though as Marcus Plume, Emma Phillips and Mark York had already arrived and was preparing to walk over to registration. There were a few nervous faces around as this would be the 2012 opener for quite a few of us.
Transition set up and 800 people stood around listening to the race briefing!!!!!! It was here……3-2-1 go. The young guns had set off and Marcus was on his way. Great for spectators as we could see him racing the other side of the lake!! 10 minutes later the middle agers was off and Mark led the way with Steve and Tony chasing through a very busy starting 100 meters. 2km in to the race and again the perfect view point you could here Mrs Dobber shouting “GO ON DOBBER” from the other side of the lake…. A customary hand wave for her efforts was followed by some of the other athletes who were running close by saying “Bloomin hell, there cheering already and we have only just started. I didn’t own up at this point to be the one who she was shouting about!!!!! Alan and Emma was soon away bringing up the rear and all Team Lincsquad was well on there way.
It wasn’t long before Tony whipped past Dobber setting a cracking pace before we crossed the Dam. It was fairly obvious, looking at each other as we passed over the out and back 10k run that we was all enjoying the beautiful scenery and the weather was helping us all set respectable times.
T1 was on and the aero helmet and carbon was on its way out of transition with me on it!! A few shouts of “COME ON” from Mrs Dobber and we was all on our way on the 42k Rutland Ripple ride.
This is where it went a tad pear shaped for me as although elated that it was the new bikes first outing (and boy is that baby fast!!!!! ) I soon realised that lack of practise and lack of set up was not good when you are travelling close to 40MPH down hill and the whole bike starts to shake. With my heart in my mouth the brakes smoking and the wobble getting worse I managed to stay on the thing and bring it to a gradual stop. “Bum cheeks”…..I thought…..That’s my race over!! Off the bike and checking the tightness of the wheels……All appeared to be good so off I went again, well for 5 yards and then off again. Something was seriously wrong, but what was it? I didn’t have a clue!!!!! Back on the bike, having a little word to myself and I was back chasing the hundreds who flew past me whilst I was having a wobble!! Giving it everything attempting to make up the couple of minutes that I had lost soon found me at the infamous ripple and out of the aero position just hanging on with fingers tickling the brakes as wobble, wobble, wobble again!!
Now getting used to being blown around like a kite in the wind with the deep rimmed wheels I was making some time up and passing a few bikes….and a few cars (wink, wink). I hadn’t seen any other Lincsquadders so every one was going well in tough breezy conditions.
A few more shouts from the Dobber and Plume supporter crew and we hit T2 at speed. In fact I put a hole in my lucky socks when I jumped off the bike before the dismount line …..Drat!!
The second run was also a toughy as the lactic acid was kicking in. Mark was flying as he was on his way back in. Feeling my legs coming back I was able to kick in for the last 3-4k and saw Alan, Tony and Marcus on their way out on the run.
Over the line (2:26:24) I passed after a sprint finish to be met by Mark (2:19:14) who had finished and was recovered cheering us through the line. Soon to finish was Alan (2:26:33), who went off in wave 3 and Tony (2:36:33). All of us now gathering to cheer Marcus over the line (2:48:12) who had just finished his longest event ever as he had only covered sprint distances last season and Emma (2:45:46) who started in the last wave came over to complete the crew. Soon after there was a few stories being shared and the customary team Lincsquad photo.
Writteb by Steve Dolby