The Box End quadrathlon is the only off road race of the British qaudrathlon series and its bloody tough for a sprint distance. Thw swim is like most lake swims and visiblity isnt bad. I couldn't stay with the leader and he seemed to verr about so I stuck to my line and finished in 11:17 but i think that includes the transition time. This is where I messed up a smidge... thinking I was in a triathlon I donned my helmet and shoes before noticing the paddle perched next to my bike. Hmm will anyone notice? My daughters boyfriend did.... on camera, oops. Time lost.
Into the kayak and a few wobbles from the start straight away. After a few hundred metres then its a portage over the spit of land. This is where you get out of one lake and enter the other. Its a little awkward and throws your rhythm. It is also annoying when you're not sitting straight and wobbling even more. I had a mare in other terms. Not my usual kayak phase and I got overtaken and ended up in sixth place but managed to claw back a place when Tom Stead fell out the wrong side when docking. Bloody shame as he was paddling really well and has improved immensely.
Onto the cyclocross/MTB phase and I planned to work really hard. I had my tyres pumped too hard and came a cropper on the 180 degree downhill turn, slipping on the wet grass. I dont think changing to new brake blocks the day before helped much. I caught a few of the paddlers but as there was a triathlon running similtaneously it was difficult to know the overal position. Tom overtook me in the middle lap on his home turf and put a decent gap in despite my efforts to get on to his wheel in the draft legal race. I seemed to make ground on the last lap, maybe he fell?
I know my running is my strong point and knew I would catch him but what about the others. Tom's Dad was given time checks and I asked about those ahead to which the answer was I was leading. I didnt exactly stop for a chat but kept running. Running down the side of the lake to finish I noticed other runners had overtaken Tom and that they weren't going to catch me so I saved my legs for the World Champs next weekend and eased up. Tom lost a few more places against stronger runners and maybe more experienced athletes but he has improved a lot and has more to come.
I was only a minute quicker than last year but Ali managed to take 7 minutes of her time. A fantastic swim and paddle followed by a very impressive bike ride on her heavy MTB to finish with a similar run.