Four Redditch Triathletes lined up to start the 2017 edition of the Coventry Sprint Triathlon. Having raced this one before, and having worked in the area for 9 years I knew exactly what I was letting myself in for.
Transition was set up in the tennis courts of the Xcel sports centre. There was ample room to set up, with a numbered section of racking each, and a chatty atmosphere whilst setting up. Due to the staggered start times there was a constant flow of people coming into and out of transition to set up, and people racing, however the marshals were great in this respect, not allowing people setting up to get in the way of the racers.
I was off first of the club members to start, and after a short briefing, by a nervous marshal (she did have a BTF official breathing down her neck) it was off to my lane. The swim was a bit of a blur, but I do remember having only two other people in my lane during the whole swim, the first of which was only just in front of me due to a quirk of timing. Out of the pool into Transition. Out of transition with the bike, pushing it round the side of the leisure centre in the lanes made of hazard tape to the mount line. On the bike and out onto the open road.
The 20k bike leg is a two loop course, with parts of the course on both loops, so you always have someone to aim for on these parts. It starts with a short uphill section, and then onto a false flat which requires a greater effort for the speed, and really saps the legs. And its one of the bits you need to do twice! After the first local loop, you go out onto the big loop where you can really generate speed going from Burton Green to Kenilworth, which is perfect for big black SUVs to pull out of their drive in front of you and cause swearing and a change in design of the club trisuit to include a brown lower half. After a feeble apology from the driver, I continued to Kenilworth taking advantage of the extra adrenaline. On the way back to the massive power I generate made some of the bolts that hold the front derailleur on loosened, and I was then stuck in the inner chain ring. Luckily it was mostly up hill back to Coventry, but on those small downhill sections I could swear that I hit 200 RPM.
Off the Bike using a Flying dismount (Learned at the Tri Club Bike Technical session the previous week) and onto the Run. Its and out and back course with no flat. It’s downhill out of the Xcel, then business park is a gradual uphill. There is a left turn just before my old office, and then the rest of the run is undulating. Turn around in a local housing estate and reverse the route back to the start.
I crossed paths with Hayley Gwillam in her new Triathlon Redditch tri, suit as I was finishing, and she was starting the run, then crossed the line, had my timing chip forcibly removed and was given water and a Banana. A quick stroll over to the timing van to get my times, and then to work out where the others were on the course so I could cheer them on. – Russell Morey
My first tri of the season and though I am never prepared enough for these events i knew i would get around at least – though it wouldn’t be pretty. This was a well organised event, lots of great marshals and signage. Which was handy because I hadn’t made time to drive the route in advance. The cycle ride went out into Kenilworth in amongst some lovely countryside, when it is always difficult to remember you are actually racing. The sun was shining and an early start time meant there was no time to get nervous and start over thinking transition and things. It is always fun to see other Tri Redditch competitors at an event, but even more these days with our distinctive blue hoodies and kit, so seeing Lou, Russ and Colin during the event, at different stages, is a real boost to morale!! I would recommend this event as a starter for the season, it gave me a good overview of the work I need to put in before the Avenger…..Hayley Gwillam