Wednesday, 21 July 2021

Hathersage Hilly Triathlon 2021

On Sunday I completed my first triathlon the Hathersage Hilly. Back when I lived in Edale for the summer 2001 after graduating I heard about this triathlon when swimming at the pool, I remember thinking I'd love to do something like that but couldn't imagine being able to. Well 20 years later I did it!
On the Saturday Ali took me to register, I was quite stressed by it all. I'd made notes on all the rules but was ready to turn round and not register. Ali managed to calm me down and then the race organiser kindly answered all my questions. So I collected my numbers and we walked through the transitions so I knew where I would vlve going.

Sunday morning and transitions set up we got to the pool ready to be called for my start which was sometime between 730am and 8am. It had said you had to wear a mask when setting up transition and when moving around the event before racing, but no-one else seemed to be. There was also no social distancing. I was surprised as other events I have done have been strict about this and with triathlon having lots of rules I was expecting it to be enforced. But it did mean I was a bit less worried about making a mistake with the rest of the rules.
Once in the pool it was a lot quieter and I had a quick chat with the lifeguards which helped me feel a bit more relaxed. Soon it was time to start, first length and my Garmin flies off! I dived down to get it and swam holding it, I realised partway through I should be counting lengths as it might not be doing it correctly.... When it buzzed for 14 lengths I wasn't sure so did another 2, once out I knew I'd done 16 and checking my watch later showed it was correct. 
Into transition and I wasted some time trying to put my watch back on, until I realised the clip that held it to the watch was broken so shoved it into the pocket of my trisuit. But otherwise felt my transition was quite efficient and I was soon rubbing out with my bike.

It took me a little time to get my feet into my pedals, been a while since I've used one sided pedals, bit soon I was on the way to Grindleford. I know the road well from riding to and from the pool for a swim which was an advantage for the little hills that suddenly appear. Arriving at Grindleford I was talking to myself "put your foot down, put your foot down" as I was so sorry I'd forget. There is a stop sign there and the rule was you had to stop and put your foot down, usually I just pause in a trackstand.
Soon it was the left turn onto the Froggatt climb, this is my commute to work and it was lovely riding it on Ruby and without panniers. Near the top a tractor with a trailer went past me and when we turned at the top I got stuck behind it descending for a while, fortunately it turned off before I was on the long descent to Hathersage.

Into transition 2 and it was a quick rack of bike, change of shoes and grap my running pack so I had water before heading out on the run.

I had wondered if I should leave my pack as noone else was, but it was a super hot day and I was glad of the liquid to sip on the way round. The run route was lovely, super tough uphills but with some lovely downhills as well.  I walked all the uphills as my running is beginning to feel a lot harder with the lack of training.

Coming into the finish I could hear Ali cheering, no chance of a sprint finish in the heat but I felt strong still.

So would I do another one? Probably! I'd do this one again but not sure about one with a mass swim start and a road run. I also think I'll wait till I feel happier with covid and stick with the small running events that feel safer with their covid measures.

Also pleased with my time, swim obviously longer than expected due to swimming 480m instead of 420m and diving down to collect my watch. Bike was great and run wasn't embarrassing. Have to not think how fast and strong I was two years ago. The last few months I've barely trained due to CFS/ME so really really pleased, I was hoping for sub 2 hours and smashed that. Super big thank you to Ali for looking after me and taking lots of photos!