Smooth no-nonsense transitions are the key to doing well in these sprint races. To do them well is a real skill. My school report for T1 would have said “B+, could be tidier”. I lost vital seconds fiddling around with my race number belt, and I have never got the hang of trying to put my feet into shoes which are already clipped in to the pedals.
The bike course, although only being 25k, had it all. Long drags, sharp hills, technical bits, ultra-fast descents, flat time trial sections. You really had to concentrate on what was coming up next. The road surface was pretty grim in places and brought home why padded shorts are obligatory extras.
T2 was a little slicker than T1, and then it was the steep descent into Knowle Park. The run was all off road and consisted of a long 2 mile up hill to the half way turn before returning downhill. It was a hard run to judge the pace correctly, particularly with very few people around you, and it would have been too easy to slip into lazy “training mode”.
Finishing time: 1.40.59 – 69th out of 380.
Sevenoaks Tri club proudly claim their goody bags to be the best on the circuit. The contents were worth the entry fee alone, and I can only guess that the person responsible for the budget had somewhat missed a zero. For those patient enough to wait for the last finisher to cross the line, there was a lucky dip with some very generous prizes on offer ranging from a laptop to a triathlon camp in France for two.
It’s therefore easy to see why Sevenoaks Triathlon regularly wins the coveted 220 Triathlon Event of the Year award – this years race sold out in less than a day. Admittedly, it's not a race for getting a PB. However, for sheer variety on both on the bike and run, it's up there amongst the best. More importantly, it's the human touch that makes the difference. Everyone associated with the event was friendly and gave you encouragement, and I can’t think of any other race I have done where transition is 50 meters from the car park.
As Arnold Schwarzenegger said, “I’ll be back”.