Posted: Yesterday at 10:45
Gran a cup of tea and a jammy dodger...race report
The Brutal was always a race I’ve had my eye on, since someone mentioned it whilst racing the Slateman Triathlon one year. I think North Wales, and particular the area around Snowdon and Llanberis is as ideal as you could want. Crystal clear waters, challenging bike climbs and testing run routes, what more could you ask for!
I was lucky enough to blag an entry spot thanks to the guys in the Buccaneer Team. Free half ironman race in exchange for a race report (not this one…don’t worry)? Don’t mid if I do!
The half was being run at the same time as a full (one for the future) and a double (not enough tequila in world to get me to contemplate that one), but the total field was still only 150 athletes or so, so the event is really friendly and the sense of camaraderie between competitors really noticeable. Irrespective of the distance…we’re in this together!
I arrived late on Friday afternoon, registered and racked (and managed to get stung by a bee on the sole of my foot…first time I’ve been stung…bloody hurt!). Nothing as fancy as transition bags here. There was a tent…with chairs…first come first served…late entrants on the floor. Basic, brutal, but it worked.
Briefings were delivered that evening. As well as confirming the slightly longer distances (swim 1.9k, bike 93km, run 24km including a 15km ascent and descent of Mount Snowdon), rules like no using the railway (bugger!) and hands of the race organiser’s girlfriend and mum were established (as some Yorkshire man found out mid briefing).
The briefings ran a little late which meant I had to stand my date, fellow Pirate Matt Morton, up and headed off to bed in what can only be described as the world’s hottest and noisiest hotel. 4am start with porridge and coffee with a short trip down the transition area ready top race. Weather was ideal. Slight breeze and cloud cover had kept the temperatures mild. Spot on! 7am and it was time to rock and roll!
The swim was 2 laps of a square course in Lake Padarn. 15 degrees, that is warmer than when I raced in it in May. Matt and I had discussed the course before I started and he suggested it looked a little long. Surely not! This was my first open water swim since Liverpool in early August. And it showed. Not pace wise, I managed to hit 3.5kmph that for me is bloody fast. But in technique, my sighting was shocking, to the point where my Garmin showed I’d covered 2.4km, a full 500m more than necessary. It explained my disappointing swim time of 42:09, exiting the water 45th out of 81.
Swim Section: http://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/595242589
Transition was a jog back to the tent. Took my time as the weather is so changeable in that area to make sure I had everything I needed. Obligitory p##s taking by Matt (and now his dad too) and I was off for my 2 laps of the bike course.