Good start in swim, then meandered off to the far right shore. Got sorted and headed back towards the big orange buoy. Spent rest of swim passing people and being especially pleased if the had non-red hats as these were earlier and younger racers!
Quick for me transition, courtesy of running my sleeveless wetsuit in the tropical (i.e. non-Scottish...) waters of Rutland. Out on the bike, holding back, pacing carefully, up the Ripple, up that little lane, back to RW for end of lap 1. Funny, after 7 years of living and riding in Scotland, road seems smooth, fast and flat...
Lap 2 going well, pace up a bit while still monitoring HR & effort. Then the mechanical on the Ripple, and the completion of the bike with 2 gears, per earlier post. In two minds as to whether to do run, but decided, what the heck, I drove 350 miles for this damn race, I'm going on...
Straight into my planned 8min run, 2min walk schedule, seemed slow, but as the race thinned out, I seemed to be moving faster Struggled a little with imminent cramps in quads and back pain from the big gears on the bike, but nothing too mega, and trundled home ahead of schedule for the race and not far off schedule for run.
Mildly pleasing day. Nice weather, but the lake condition and the rising traffic later in lap 2 of the bike make me mildly concerned about this venue. Having the British Moto GP at Silverstone same weekend probably didn't help the traffic either... Traffic seemed much worse than when I raced in 2006 pre Scotland move and certainly both more volume and less friendly than "MacTraffic"...
With the mechanical and the impact from that on my legs, I reckon my "real" time would have been around 6:15ish. Which I'm very happy with (Actually after 2006 Vit, I'm happy with the time I did do even with the hassles). But that positions me nicely to realistically work towards sub 6h next year.
I had knee surgery in 2010, and stayed away from running afterwards for quite a while, only been running since last Jul when I cracked 112Kg, so that, plus the 16Kg I've lost since last Jan is verra nice indeed. 14 more to go (at least...) and a 2016 IM might be on the cards.
Had a mechanical on lap 2 on the middle slope of the Ripple. Bolt came out of the rear shifter on the tri-bar, giving me an instant upshift from the 25 to the 12. Laid the bike clear of the road and ran back to see if I could spot the bolt and retrieve, but no joy.
Used an emergency zip tie from the bag to secure the lever to the tribar, but couldn't get going in top gear up the hill, so pushed up. From there on it was either 39x12 or 53x12, or manually shift to gear of choice and hold lever perfectly still. Any movement or cramp in hand, and it instantly upshifted. (I experienced both)... Rode the rest of the lap, with a stormer along the flatter downwind bit onto the A6121, but was gubbed by the time I got up the little lane and onto the A606.
Then coming into transition, some spectator stopped on their mountain bike, right in the gap in the ******g speed hump, so I damn near lost my teeth trying to bunny hop at no notice at all (what was a spectator doing on the course inside the run to transition?)
Staggered out onto the run, forced myself into my scheduled shuffle 8mins, walk 2, got all the way round in spite of the gubbed legs from the big gears and did the run only 6 minutes slower than I'd scheduled.
Overall I was 20+ minutes ahead of schedule, and 57 minutes faster than the last time in 2006 (which was a train wreck). Swim was ace, bike was perfectly measured and paced, right up to mechanical meltdown. Had the gears not gone, I reckon I'd actually have been 20-30mins faster (I lost almost 15 looking for bolt and jury rigging the lever then walking up the hill, not counting the damage to my run legs from the gearing)
HOWEVER. Sorry, but that water was horendous . After movng to Scotland 7 years ago and swimming in crystal clear (but cold) Scottish lakes it was like swimming through green soup, and the weeds were dangerously close to the surface in places - I had weed around my neck when I completed lap 1... I won't be back. Next year I'll do Grafman as my "close to the in-laws A-Race".