Posted: 29/07/2014 at 21:57
Back from doing the half ironman distance over the weekend...mini race report.
Drove over Friday night and camped on site. All the entrants were placed in a field maybe 3k from transition on an adjoining campsite. Nothing special, reasonable toilets / showers...but that is pretty much it. No local amenities at all.
The super sprint, sprint and kids races were held on the Saturday. I went to check out the swim and the castle grounds to make sure there was something for the kids to do when I raced on the Sunday, then headed in to York to do the touristy thing (I'd regret that on the run the following day). A really warm weekend, so much so that it was a non wetsuit swim for some of the later races on the Saturday.
Registered for the Sunday race in the evening with the prospect of a non wetsuit 1900m the following morning and headed for an early night. Brewing up for bed time cuppa and my gas stove decided to pack in. Great, only had porridge for breakfast the following morning. Not great with cold water.
The swim was in the Castle Lake. Shallow, warm with wetsuits optional (thank god). The course was a very complicated inverted P. After going over the route 3 times, the Race Director gave up and said follow the canoes and the people in front. Not easy with zero visibility and black swim caps (never a great idea). 150 set of from a narrow deep water start so quite a biff-fest. Got a punch in the nose and lost my goggles for a moment. Quite a bit of weeds, but to be expected given the weather we'd had.Got out of the water in 38m.
T1 was a long up hill run (think Ironman UK 70.3...and double it) in to racking area and on to the bike route.
2 laps of the Howardian Hills. Mostly undulating with a couple of drags and as you got back to the castle, 3 short, sharp climbs, including a 15%-er. From memory 3 feed stations and sparse support...but very pretty coutry side and villages. 90km in 2h:50m
T2 is back where the bike started, right in front of the house. A very grand setting.
2 laps of the estate and MUCH harder than I expected. The whole bloody thing seemed up hill and 90% on trails, mainly grass and rock. After my 20k tourist yomp the day before, I just could not get my legs going. Also made the cardinal sin of not putting socks on which I regretted after dumping a cup of water over my head. Have some great blisters as a result. 3 aid stations, 1 just water was sufficient, but nothing else. Finish in front of the house where the race village was rocking with a local band. Half marathon completed in 1h:45m
Finish time was 5h:26m, 29th overall, 26th male and 16th in AG.
All in all a very good race. Camping is a little rudimental and the race was harder than it needed to be because of my prep, but a good addition to the tri-calender