This was the second running of this relatively local event. Organised by Paul Drinkwater Sports Management who also organise events at Tadcaster and Wetherby. This event incorporated the British Universities and Colleges Sports Championships so had a combined field which was heavily made up of students. Based at Manvers Lake near Wath-on-Dearne this was described as a fast standard distance race. The cycle course uses a rolling rural 4 lap route. The run uses flat surfaced footpaths on a 2 lap route around the lake area.
I met fellow Lincsquadder Alan Woodcock on the morning of the event in transition. This was a bit of a free for all due to no numbering on the bike racking. More racking had to be added at last minute to allow all competitors to get racked.
The briefing was on the bank in front of the new clubhouse overlooking the swim. When the route around the various buoys was described, numerous questions were raised as it looked quite a bit further than the standard 1500m. The BUCS wave with nearly 90 twenty-somethings were off first with the open field of 68 more mature triathletes following 5 minutes later. The large buoys were a great aid to sighting around the course. Judging by swim times and accounting for the distance to T1, I think the swim was slightly over a mile. The route to transition was enough to test the most hardened triathletes feet. A little more carpet over the stoned up section of slipway would have been very welcome.
By the time I tried to remove the bottom half of my wetsuit my feet had picked up quite a lot of mud. T1 felt like one of the slowest ever as I tried to towel off the worst of the mud before getting in to my bike shoes.
The bike went reasonable well but I wouldn’t call it a fast course. There were about 5 roundabouts to cross before reaching the start of the 4 laps. Each 5 ish mile lap had approximately 187 feet of climbing. The downhill sections were mostly through Bolton-on-Dearne which was a built up area with parked cars and junctions which needed more caution than most peoples ‘race mode’ sometimes allow. Each lap also had two narrow bridges under the railway with single way traffic. Fortunately I had no hold ups at these points. After successfully counting four laps it was time to head back to the boat club for T2 and the the run.
Again the lack of rack numbers made it a liitle more tricky to find your rack poosition, bright orange laces in my trainers were useful here. Out of transition I was soon on to the run course which was on a surfaced / gravel path around the lake. This was well sorted with two water points, although somehow I ran past the second at the finish/ 2nd lap start without realising and then kicked myself as it was now quite hot. There was a bit of two way traffic around the path with walkers and sunday morning moutain bikers. Halfway around the first lap I was surprised to see Steve Lormor and Jo Walker casually running the opposite way, not looking half as tired as I felt. Turns out they were there to watch Steve’s young brother compete in the BUCS race (finishing in 02:24:07, 23rd position). Good to see familiar faces for a mental boost.
At the finish it was a great relief to kick of the trainers and jump back in the lake for a cool down. Timing was good old fashioned stopwatches with times published prompty the same day on the website. I finished in 13th place in 2:26:45 with a swim +T1 of 31:04, bike of 1:10:40 and T2+run of 45:01. Alan I finished in 27th place in 2:38:59 with a swim +T1 of 33:58, bike of 1:17:14 and T2+run of 47:47