Apart from the fact that we are still awaiting a RR from either Foxy or GBM on Loch Ness, we should congratulate NI on his victory, by a very comfortable margin in the Macc Half last week. Perhaps he'll share his recollections of the race.
My own racing has been a bit more pedestrian. My second tri last weekend was OK but only about 30 seconds faster than the first. My swimming is still appalling (10.07 for the 400m plus the 20 seconds it takes to exit the pool and begin T1. The two transitions were better than July but still painfully slow. The cycle and the running were OK but it is a bizarre feeling to go full tilt at one activity and then switch to another, also at high intensity. Still managed 17th OA out of 87.
Yesterday, I was on more familiar territory in the Congleton HM. Last year I just squeaked in under 1.30 by about 15 seconds. Conditions were just about perfect for yesterday's race, which was run on a new route this year, avoiding the long first climb out of Congleton on the busy road next to Tesco. But I don't think the new route was any easier, apart from about a 4 mile stretch from miles 4-8, which was fairly flat, the rest was undulating with a few sharp climbs including the final, famous, sting-in-the-tail climb. I started off averaging 6.35-6.40mm for the first 4, before running between 6.20 and 6.30mm for the next four. I felt pretty good and my recent knee problems are hopefully behind me. I slowed down a little for the final section, but every mile was 6.43 or less apart from the 'Sting' mile which was 6.52.
With a chip time of 1.27.02 I was 2.45 mins faster than last year and in what was my last HM as a 55-59, I managed to top my AG. Ironically, the 60-64 AG is probably a bit tougher with guys like Dave Gee, Tom McGaff and Stan Owen still so fast. And not forgetting of course that TST will be joining me in that group!
Congleton is very well organised, fairly priced and a friendly race with an interesting route. The only thing that they need to look at is toilet provision, which is a little weak. Nice shirt and prize-giving by former Olympians Annie & Robbie Brightwell, what more could you want?
3 weeks from today for Dublin. Hope to see some of you at XC this week.