Sunday, 23 August 2009

A good TT and a National Gold!

After doing OK in the BRAT midweek aquathlon last week I decided to use the 'Stealth' in a club TT whilst back in Lincolnshire for the evening. I had just finished rebuilding it with shimano parts(the only campag bit left is the chainset). I got some Planet X tribars from Breezy and set them quite narrow. I turned up for the Aslacksby 10 held at Bourne Wheelers(my old cycling club or one of anyway).
I didnt do much of a warm up but set off in the 39 ring....accidentally but an easy start all the same and was soon on the 53 heading downhill. Not long after I'm back on the 39 for an uphill. The 1st two miles are rolling then its pan flat till the last 200 metres. Most of the club were doing a 2up TT but I needed a solo as a marker. When I got over the hills and turned left I had the tailwind but twisty section through a few villages. I was catching a pair of riders before the last village turn but held back slightly not risking catching them on the junction. A quick glance at my watch told me I was on for a fast time but I still had 1-2 miles to go possibly into a bit of wind. The Stealth was fast and I felt really aero but my wrists were aching on the straight bars. I caught the ladies 2up TT team of a mother and daughter just before the last left to the finish. The mother was 71 years old! and she was on the front. I drifted out to apex the junction and another glance to the side and I saw a black helmet. Little did I know this was my minute man catching me. A downhill dash then the last uphill in 22 min 47 sec and a new course pb for me by 2 secs. I glanced over my shoulder on the line to see the minute man Ian Redding there. He did a 21:48 for a new course record.
I left the race feeling great as I have been lacking a bit of bike speed. It gave me confidence ready for the National Club Relay Triathlon Champs to be held at the weekend. I was going to be racing for Birmingham Running And Triathlon (BRAT) club as a Vet40.

So fast forward to Saturday at Holme Pierpoint. I was third man in the relay with Steve Cock the lead out man, Duncan Hough second and Mark Hirsch bringing up the rear.
The start was manic and Duncan hit the water in about 30th place. The RAF team with Mike Masters was already away swimming as was the BRAT A team. By the end of my swim lap we were ahead of BRAT A. Not sure were the RAF teams were. I had a good swim and was constantly overtaking. I just couldn't get past one swimmer at the end of the swim but I nailed him and a few others in the sprint along the slippery rubber matting. I handed over the chip to Mark then set off to get my bike and do some streching ready for the 15km TT. The bike legs felt fast and easy upto about 800m to go. A quick bike rack and hand over the chip again to Mark H then try to recover for the 5km run.
Just prior to setting off on the run I was bricking it. Our team was leadiung the Vets but I didn't know by how much. Its all or nothing in the run and a set off as fast as my little legs would go. I just had to dip over the mat to register the chip then set off up the grassy hill. I just kept counting steps to maintain a focus and kept the pace all along the back leg with the tailwind. I caught a few runners from my wave including a TFN guy. My confidence was building and my achilles heel was holding up. The last leg into the wind was tough and the straight goes on forever. I was just winding up for the sprint finish and got a big cheers from the BRAT supporters. How pleased was I to hand over to Mark. My job was done. My splits were 7:36/20:42/17:49 not bad when you think there is a little lost in the changeovers.
The big thing was getting Gold for the Vets40. I was the only member of the team beforehand without a gold medal at any national event. The BRAT club took six medals in all; 4 golds and 2 bronze. The young lads did the club proud taking a bronze against considerably older and bigger athletes.
The event was awesome with a fantastic astmosphere. Definately one of the most fun events I've ever done. This is a must do race and as a spectator event much better than the Hyde Park fiasco!
The Gold medal fits in well with my Silver at the Middle distance and World Bronze for Aquathlon and my Ironman 2nd place. Happy days


Turbo Man said...

Mat, you are an inspiration to us all and something for the youngsters to aspire to. Bravo on your gold medal.

Daz Sharpe said...

Looks like the form is coming back old man! Great result mate.

Sags said...

Nice one Mat. There is a chance that I can return and once again follow you from a distance!

jc said...

still legs in the old boy yet!