London Triathlon - 23rd September 2012

Mon 01 Oct 2012

London Triathlon – 23rd September 2012 


I lined up with 570 others in my age group for the mass start in the dock at Exel Centre on Sunday morning for what will be my final triathlon of the season.  With the biggest participation being in this group the wave was split in two (separated by 2 minutes).  With the water noticeably colder (16 degrees centigrade) than usual (the event having been moved back from August to avoid clashing with the Olympics) I prepared for the off. 

I made a good start in the swim and was in the middle of the aptly named “washing machine” down the initial drag. With bodies seemingly everywhere there was a lot of jostling for position and wasn’t too far down the line when  a good kick to the goggles came my way. Swimming on I tried to keep as straight a line as possible (notably more difficult when you can’t see the black line on the bottom) and hauled myself out the water after completing the 1.5km swim in 29:21, and went on to the T1 and the bike leg.  

With an amended course the main concern was to remember not to turn at the first turning point (as per last 2 years) but to continue past Billings Gate and down the embankment to through to Big Ben.   This had the positive result of Big Ben arriving on the horizon much quicker than expected and although this plainly related to the change in route it was just the psychological boost needed.  The reduced second lap was very busy with competitors from later waves joining the course and it was noticeable that few riders seems to be following the no drafting rule with many seemingly deeming it was better to apply the always draft rule instead. Despite this  I pushed on and came in to T2 with a respectable 01:05:10 for the 40km bike leg. 

 The run was a 4 lap course (10km in total), and was to prove to be the hardest of the three disciplines on the day. Tired from the previous legs I started to drop back rapidly and wasn’t helped by a fall on the moving plastic matting which was used to “flatten out the course”. A slow run of 57:28, for me, saw me finish in 2:38:09, which proved to be an improvement on last year at the same event, but a few minutes of my season best.

As always a well organised and run event, and great to participate in.

Bryan Holland

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