On Saturday July 2nd, 2016 the Second Isoman Triathlon was held, based at Arrow Valley Country park. These are the reviews from some of the club members who took part in the various events.
I turned up early to watch the start of the half swim, I thought the food and drinks station was fab with loads of variety! Lots of marshals to help too and loved seeing the kids involved! I loved the swim! I Didn’t realise the lake was actually that big, for somewhere like Redditch to have it, I thought was great.
A really well organised event. I was on the food station at from 6 until 11am then did the 1/4 bike ride. There were a couple of emails before the day confirming times and tasks and who I would be working with…. Bike ride was an interesting route with enthusiastic marshals. Fell off bike at mile 11 but other than gravel embedded in knee a great day. I was picked up by a very nice man who put the chain back on the gears for me….. If he should read this report … Thank You again!!
As a volunteer and a competitor, I knew exactly where to go/what to do before I arrived and had plenty of time to get ready for the bike ride. Wish that I had done the run also …. maybe next year..
Half Isoman- got convinced to enter this at the Olympic Stadium of all places in April shortly after recovering from a wrist fracture. Met the Iso team there and give it was a local event, this would likely be the best time to enter as I am normally aiming for an IM race around that time but injuries had prevented that in 2016.
So parked up and it was nice to meet Phillip en route to T1 and registration. All racked up with the speedy GB swimmer next to me in his GB kit. Swimming is my weak point so I knew he would get me on that (he did by a good 20 minutes!). The swim was enjoyable – having grown up in Redditch in the 80’s I was not quite sure what to expect in that lake ?. Swim done in not the fastest of times but I survived. Now to pick people off like!
The bike was enjoyable….once off that duel carriageway!! Down into Webheath and out towards Bentley I kept picking off other White Half
Iso competitors while giving anybody with a yellow bib an acknowledgement of utmost respect for their epic 7 mile swim! Momentum kept going with the help of shouts from Rhona on one of the turns and then out towards Hanbury, trying not to get slowed too much by the queuing traffic waiting for the country show! Other than some showers the bike was uneventful and as I came up the skateboard ramp and back into T2 (1:32) I spotted Dave the GB swimmer just leaving.Bike quickly racked it was out to the run.
My run fitness has been slow to return so it was back to basics and running tall to try and keep measure of pace and cadence. I felt the garmin buzz to indicate a mile and shortly after I spotted the swimming GB man – took a while to claw those 20 minutes back but it was done. Passing the feedstaions under the bridge was fun with some good shouts of support from fellow Triathlon Redditch / park run peeps. The run got a bit empty at times so in some ways was harder then the events with a lot of spectators as mentally you have to keep with it. That said the course was great and I resisted temptation to shoot off to the Goose for a drink! A couple of rain showers came and went but as I approached the country side centre for the last time and right then left to the finish I was pleased with my day. Run was 1:37; overall 5:22 and 11/48 in the half event.
As others have said very pleased with the event, the organisation and the volunteers who were all fantastic! Sadly the following day I came off my bike and broke my collarbone and had a nasty dislocation of the shoulder so my A race plans have now gone for 2016- that makes the day of the Iso even better in retrospect and even if I cant race it in 2017 I will make sure I am there to help and shout everyone on!
A great race and my second attempt at the Half Isoman. 2015 was a double fail where I snashed my knee at the start of the year and hasn’t done any training of my legs whatsoever. Unfortunately, due to having no legs, I ended up over training and pulling out of the full swim I had swapped for (number 125). I knew I had to conquer it this time. On arrival for registration I received all the usual gubbins but I was especially delighted with the comfy timing chip and smaller size number and a load of stickers to advertise my number (126). The next day I awoke feeling tired, which isn’t a good start considering the 3.5 mile swim, 30 mile bike and dreading the half marathon. Knowing I’d conquered a half Ironman this year, I decided I shouldn’t worry. Racking and getting to the start were close enough to the car, if I had forgotten anything in my bag (or wanted to do a quick escape!)
The swim was one where I think the distance meant wearing a wetsuit over my swimsuit would have been a much better option. Once in the water, I decided it actually was a little colder than Ragley and decided that extra nutrition would be required to add to my warmth. A good 10 mins of acclimatisation helped me get ready for the start! On the B of bang, I was surprised to see two guys fighting it out for the lead. Further up I decided that one of them can assist me round as I know I’ll need to keep my energy for the run! Lap 2 and the kind ladies getting me the banana and energy drinks I required, thanking them as I dived into lap 3. The brief stop and food giving me the energy to catch back onto my draft buddy. Lap 3 ending I decided to be grateful for the nutrition stop before getting into the last lap. At this stage the Orange hatted guys had started and there was a new task other than hanging on, it was interesting to go around them as they seemed to be everywhere! With a quick sprint finish I then knew I had time for a rest! I decided to dawdle to my bike, finding my flip flops and using the facilities. Enjoying being able to dry and change completely (including adding chamois cream) I was off out on the bike. I enjoyed the bike as I knew all the roads, having been on them at one point or another, helping me keep my average speed high! Once the bike was over, I decided to swap into shorts and my trainers and I was off on the run. I was going perfect, even deciding to stop and listen to DJ Gould and MC LittleGould while I stuffed my face! I was then back out, going at a comfortable pace upto about 6km in. This is where I started suffering with pain in that knee that stopped me doing this event last year. I had a quick break, and a stretch and started going again at a gentle pace to see how it was. With a bit more run walking, the pain decided to get the better of me and I had to walk the remainder of the lap (halfway!) Regrettably I had to make my way to registration to pull out. On reflection I probably should have carried on walking. When I got to my car (and congratulated Phil on his Quarter) the heavens opened up and that was my decider. At least I know what taper should mean to me – don’t go crazy in the last week!!! Luckily, with some rest, I discovered it was overuse and performed well the weekend after! I’m definitely doing it again next year!
I entered the quarter distance which is a 1.75-mile open water swim followed by a 15.3-mile cycle then a 6.55 mile run. Suz had entered the same as me at first but then changed her mind and went for the Duathlon which is a cycle and a run.
The open water swimming is all new to me, I went swimming on Saturday mornings before parkrun and a few Wednesday evenings after work at a few different lakes, Suz joined me a few times and Taz and Tony came to watch, well laugh actually but the support was great. I went to the briefing the night before, stood in the queue to get my bag and pay for my day licence then they stamped the number 218 on my leg and arm, this Triathlon is now real! It’s actually going to happen there’s no going back! I listened to the rules about no drafting on the bikes and how much energy the swimming takes out of you so they advise you to stop after each lap and have a drink and something to eat if you want.
So…. it’s now Saturday morning, Triathlon day! I arrived with plenty of time and watched Sharon and a few others run the parkrun before going off to rack my bike and get my wetsuit on. My Mom and Dad came to watch probably because they knew I was a bit nervous about the swim, Thanks Mom.
10:30am I’m in the water!! With another 60 swimmers all wearing the same orange cap, the gun went and it was like someone had let lose a pack of wild Piranha’s. Arms and legs flying everywhere, people screaming for help and shouting save me! Well it seemed like that at the time. I needed to escape into my own space, I finally got into my rhythm calmed down and focused on reaching the first buoy, the time was going pretty quick and after the first lap I stopped and waved to my mom and dad and had a quick drink before setting off for the second. Finally I finished the swim in 1h 8 mins, I got out the water a little wobbly and had a slow jog with Sharon and Pete up to the bike where I spent maybe a little too long getting my wetsuit off but hey this was my day and I wanted to enjoy it!
On the bike and the miles were going pretty quick, it was a hilly out and back course around the countryside of Studley I got to about mile 11 and I saw Suz where we managed to give each other an encouraging wave to each other. I finished the Cycle ride in 55 mins, but because I took 9m:30s on the transition they added the 1min 30 seconds onto my cycle time. (only had a window of 8 mins)
I had to jump off my bike at the timing mat and push the bike to where it was racked otherwise you risk a penalty, I did that and had a window of 5 mins to get ready for my run, I was pretty much ready so after a quick drink and a gel I was off. I was feeling pretty good with no signs of the jelly legs people were warning me of, the run was the best part for me as I started overtaking the cyclists who went past me earlier I got chatting to one of the blokes who was running the half marathon as he was doing the next distance up and while running I kind of wished I was running further myself as the whole day had been a fantastic experience which I didn’t want to end!
If anyone is thinking about trying a triathlon give it ago.