I’d done a couple of triathlons and was desperate to do another. I’d heard a few positive comments from this triathlon and no negative comments so thought I’d give it a try.
Before the race: An email is sent before race day to advise of start times; race numbers are collected on the day. There is a briefing before the race which was held by the swimming pool area.
Firstly, the swim: a 400m swim, which is held in the leisure centre. The swim starts at 7:30am and staggered at 30 second intervals; my swim started at 8:00.30. A marshal is positioned at the end of each lane counting each swimmers lengths and you are advised when you have 2 left to do. Getting nearer to my start time, I started feeling the nerves starting to twitch. As soon I was in the water, I don’t know if it was the adrenalin kicking in but once I set off on the swim I felt great.
Next, the bike: This is 20km bike and a 2 lap course. Marshalls are on the course but there are also signs en-route pointing where you need to go as and when necessary. Marshalls were great in encouraging you along the way. The bike route is on roads but these are not closed. Most of the roads are small estate roads which are not too busy there are a couple of stretches on dual carriageway.
Lastly, the run. This is 1 lap of 5km on pavements through a housing estate. This is not marshalled but pointers show the right direction.
Afterwards: Prize-giving and buffet in the Longship afterwards.
I didn’t know much about this one so read up using the reports which were submitted last year by Peter Bell and in 2010 by Andy Glass. Jan had emailed earlier in the week looking to share a lift, there were entries on the day and the start was a nice civilised 2pm so I thought, “Why not?”
Kilburn took a little bit of finding but we arrived, nicely early which was lucky as with all the recent rain, (I seem to be typing that a lot recently), the field which is normally parking was closed, so we had a little walk to the outskirts of the village. ‘The Feast’, an annual summer fair was in full swing with some usual stands (tombola) and some unusual ones (Crockery smashing/throw a bean bag at the politicians).
Registration in the village hall was easy and we retired to the village pub to get a pre-race coffee. Blackhill Bounders were already there in force ‘pre-loading’. Jan also pointed out the expensive ‘Mouseman’ furniture which I had never heard of before
The course is one big loop and sets off slightly downhill before a short climb just after the first mile marker, sneakily taking you back down again to 3 miles and beautiful Bylands Abbey but it then climbs unrelentingly all the way up to 6 miles, when finally you drop back down to the village. It’s a little further than 7 miles and on roads all the way, which seems quite common in North and East Yorkshire. Sensibly headphones were banned so you can hear the traffic and marshals instructions but you don’t see many cars anyway.
I had one eye on my watch as I was looking at Peter’s time for last year and was pleased to beat it, but will be even more pleased when Peter is back to full fitness and pushing me every step of the way as usual. Jan came in looking relaxed but said she found it a struggle – even picturesque roads just aren’t her thing and she’d rather be out in the wilds or up on the tops. The prizes were extensive, especially for the over 65s – anyone in that category who hadn’t already won a prize got a bottle of wine anyway. The oldest were in their eighties and I thought that course was tough at half their age!
Not a bad way to end the weekend and a well earned pint after.
||New Marske Harriers