‘A Pain in the Lakes’
On Sunday 30th June I tackled my first ever half Ironman; I decided to take on one of the toughest in the UK known as ‘A Day in the Lakes’. The conditions for the day were far from ideal, with strong cross winds and intermittent rain. Ah well since when has the Great British summer ever been anything but.
The swim was in Ullswater, it was tough with a head wind on the way out. I exited the swim in about 25th place which I was quite happy with as on the swim leg it’s all about not losing too many places for me. I spent far too long in T1 struggling with my wetsuit but before I knew it, I was tackling the bike leg. It takes in two very tough climbs Kirkstone Pass and Shap Fell. I had my support crew at the top of both climbs cheering me on and informing me how much I was moving up the field. I made it back into T2 in about 8th place with the 10th fastest bike split of the day. It was about half way through the bike leg I started to get cramp in my quads a regular and very annoying occurrence. As I jumped off the bike they locked up and I still had the 13 miles of fell running to do!
I spent too long in T2 again but partly due to trying to stretch out and massage the muscle. I knew I was wasting time though so thought I will try running it out. That never happened the whole of the run they were cramping I just tried to put it to the back of my mind and forget about the pain. I was told it was a tough run but I had underestimated the severity of some of the climbs. I have never done any fell running which was a bit naive of me to be honest, but I did enjoy the challenge. Running is usually my strength and where I can usually gain some more positions, however not on this occasion! The very challenging terrain mixed with the cramp, put me on the back foot.
I came through the finishing line in 5:24:32, 6th out of the seniors and 11th overall. Not too bad for my first half, but some great lessons learnt hopefully all in time for the big one on the 4th August, Ironman UK.
I would recommend this triathlon to anyone who wants a challenge and a break from the norm; I will be going back next year better prepared and ready to do battle with some of my OTCF RT team mates!!!.