Since the start of March the race season has started to get into full swing. I've raced Leicester Sprint, Belvoir Olympic Triathlon and my first Elite Olympic race at Lough Cutra. Training has been consistently progressing and I'm really pleased with how everything is going so far this season.
Leicester Sprint was a very well organised race put on by Race Time Events and close to home. Three of the Loughborough performance squad guys raced meaning competition for the win was going to be tough. The race format was a 400m pool swim, 20km bike and 5km run. I finished in 4th place with a good bike and run time. Results: http://www.stuweb.co.uk/race/ZJ/178.html
Two weeks after Leicester was my first olympic race of the season at Belvoir Castle. The swim was in a lake in the estate's grounds followed by an undulating 45km on the bike and an out and back two lap 10km run to finish. The swim was cold and very murky. As the lake was so shallow, all of the silt whipped up and as a result the water tuned black. Every time I came up to sight or breath it would be bright sunlight and then back underwater it was completely dark, a very strange experience. Following a long run to transition I was then out on the bike, I got into a good rhythm and managed to make up many places after my swim deficit. I came off the bike in 21st place and then ran my way up to 7th. I posted the fastest run split of the day by a couple of minutes.
The following weekend was Lough Cutra. The first in the elite castle series races held every month from May to September. Me and Max travelled over to Ireland on the Thursday, it was a bit of an epic road trip but we managed to get it done and had Friday and Saturday to chill in Ireland before Sundays race. We stayed in a very odd B+B, but it did the job for a couple of nights. The race was an olympic distance so 1.5km swim, 40km bike and 10km run. The swim was in a spectacular lake in the castle grounds, but it was incredibly cold, 11 degrees. I really struggled with the temperature and didn't properly warm up until the run later in the race. On the bike I managed to ride my way up though the field into 6th place, although the power I was trying to hit was reduced by how cold I had become in the swim. I had another good run with the second fastest run time overall and fastest finishing lap. I was 4th overall in the olympic distance race. Results of the race: http://www.stuweb.co.uk/event/1873#250.
This was my first taste of the Castle series, organisation was fantastic and the event was run incredibly smoothly, in a very iconic and stunning location. If you are thinking of racing triathlon for the first time this year or are still planning out your race calendar I would highly recommend giving the caste series a go, visit http://www.castletriathlonseries.co.uk for more info and to enter online.
I've got a busy couple of months ahead now with Deva Olympic 14th June, Ironman 70.3 Exmoor 28th June, European AG olympic champs 12th July, and Castle Howard 70.3 26th July.