Grafham Triathlon - Sun Aug 12th 12

Tue 14 Aug 2012

Grafhman Triathlon 2012 (Middle Distance) - Sunday August 12th 2012

With some trepidation I awoke on Sunday morning at what appears to be the "standard" for triathlons of ten past four and was soon on my way up the A1(M) to sign in for the NiceTri Middle Distance triathlon. Set in and around Grafham Water, Cambridgeshire, the Grafhman was my first attempt at the half-ironman distance which incorporates a 1.2 mile swim, followed by a 56 mile cycle and completes with a 13.1 mile run, I was a little concerned about what I was embarking on, and whether the training would be sufficient or at what point I would need to start crawling on the run.

A hundred and fifteen competitors ran into the water from the beach at 07:00am watched on by a few tired looking family members. The swim consisted of a two lap triangular course with direction complicated on one leg by sun being directly ahead making spotting of the buoy fairly tricky while looking up briefly mid stroke. Baring in mind the distance ahead I tried to keep to an easy and consistent pace and was pleased as I exited the water feeling I'd been able to keep from swimming too hard but still going into transition in under 40 minutes.
The cycle course took us out from Grafham Water to do a 2 lap course between St Neots and Kimbolton, a pretty flat and fast course with only two tricky 90 degree bends through one of the villages to contend with. Pacing the cycle was the big challenge as I knew that if I went too fast that I'd have nothing left for the run, but also that the cycle was where I could best pick up time (all those B group rides have to count for some sort of training right? :o) ). The 56 miles were thus spent moving between, "stop racing that person", "keep working you've caught another person" and "don't work too hard you'll regret it in the run". Despite this I moved on to the run feeling positive after 2 hours 36 minutes on the bike and feeling there was at least a little left in the tank.
The flatness of the cycle was soon made up for by the run which though started off flat (running along the dam and back) soon turned hilly as the trail seemed to be consistently rising and falling as it wove around the lakeside along paths and cycle trails. This of course could be influenced by that as I pushed past the three and a half hour mark my body started asking what I was doing, and more importantly why! Thus every slight incline felt like a big hill. Tricks of the trade like counting down miles in sections, pretending I was just doing the Olympic Triathlon and thus only had 10km to run not 21, and confirming to myself that this feeling was what I needed to ensure I didn’t look at the full Ironman distance, seemed to keep me running. Despite the slowdown, I managed a final "sprint" for the finish line completing the run in just over 2 hours and the whole event in 38th with a time of 05:21:02.
The event was won by Philip Westoby who completed in 4:24:12.



Overall Position

Age Group Position







Bryan Holland

38 of 115

15 of 44







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