My third Columbia Triathlon. Each year I've PR'd but each year it gets tougher. This year I managed to shave 33 seconds off my time. The benefits of ageing up though meant that far from being 21st in my AG like last year, I was 11th this year. But it was so nearly 10th.
Swim - 23'40
Fairly uneventful. Bit too much pond weed for my liking. Thought I was going to exit looking like a swamp monster.
T1 - 2'42
Wetsuit got stuck big time around my ankles. So much so that one of my AG came in to my aisle at transition well after me and then exited while I was still struggling. I may just have to cut that lovely XTerra Vector.
Bike - 1'10'01
Now here's the rub. I may be - ahem - slight of build but on my n=1 study on Sunday it is **of no value*** to be light on the Columbia course. What, you say. No - it is true. I had the company of about 3 (bigger) people in my AG whom I was concentrating on (strange to be actually treating this as a race this year - I wanted to be in the Top 10 if possible) and they all powered past me on the flats and downhills while I reeled them in on the hills. That went on for two thirds of the course. But by the return down Folly Quarter they were gone and I couldn't catch them. QED. (Or perhaps they were fitter than me.)
T2 - 0'53
In. Out. No shaking about.
Run - 45'44
Nasty. Wanted to hit 43mins but came nowhere near. Will have to do naughty boy planks until Eagleman. I was joined by another Brit in my AG about 3 miles in and we ran together, exchanging no words apart from our counties of origin (him - Yorkshire, me - Gloucestershire. That passes for a conversation between out of breath middle-aged British introverts). I tried to push up the Gatorade Hill and succeeded in dislodging him only for him to come back to me along the top of the lake (no he wasn't walking on water - I mean the dam part of the path). Then he passed me on the final right turn and we sprinted to the line. He won by 1 sec.
I was disappointed. But if the London Olympics 1st/2nd place finish is like that between two Brits then I'll be happy.
I can't complain with the result given that I haven't put in as much training as last year. The base from IMFL is still there though. Thanks to the great support along the route and of course to the wonderful folks at the MMTC tent. You rock !
And so that is my final Columbia. I've had fun (mostly before and after the race). Onwards to Eagleman for my last tri in the US before returning to England.