Well done to the ERN triathlon experts (Tracy Paterson and Krista Black – the “Lycra ladies”) on another successful event. This time the ladies travelled to Haddington to take part in their annual “sprint” triathlon which involves a 750m swim (30 lengths), a 19km cycle and a 7km run. Good conditions, helpful marshalls and a friendly event made for a good day out.
|Tracy Paterson||Krista Black|
|Transition 1 Position||29||33|
|Transition 2 Position||36||75|
|Overall Position (112)||52||98|
Tracy said: “The Haddington sprint triathlon, organised by the East Lothian Triathlon club, was the longest triathlon Krista and I have attempted up to now. Prior to the start, we both noticed how participants are a lot chattier at triathlons than running events. A lot of this probably has to do with the amount of preparation and gear involved, and that someone always forgets/needs to borrow something. This time it was me needing to borrow a track pump, which I swapped for the ever-essential Bodyglide. Another big difference between triathlons and running events is the amount of waiting you have to do. You need to arrive early to register and set up your bike/transition area including shoes, towel, helmet, hat, glasses, tribelt etc, and attend the race briefing which is typically 1/2 hour before the first swim heat. There were 7 heats with the slowest predicted swim times setting off first. Because of the swim distance, each heat lasted 1/2 hour, which meant Krista and I waited between 2 1/2 to 3 hours before starting. This leaves plenty of time for nervous tummy, frequent trips to the loo and general panic. Some of the elite athletes starting last actually went back home to bed.
The swim was double the distance of what we were used to from previous races, however Total Immersion swimming again helped us coast through, a swim marshall marvelling and feeling compelled to comment on Krista’s brilliant swimming style! The cycle was a fairly flat 20km (a relief from Penrith) although a bit of a headwind held us back. This was my first race trying aerobars, and I was delighted with the improvement in speed and efficiency; I’m certainly a fan of more work with less effort. The run was very scenic, mostly along forest tracks and paths. I was pretty worried about this part, unsure about how my nagging Achilles would feel about the slightly uneven terrain but I seem to have minimised further injury. Unfortunately the paucity of marshalls and the fact that a direction sign blew down, meant that some runners got lost along the route and took the long way round. This made me realise how essential marshalls are, and how participants in any race rely on them to ensure the smooth running of an event.
One thing I noticed at this and other triathlon briefings is that participants are reminded to ‘be nice’ to marshalls, implying that this is frequently not the case. The fact that marshalls do it for free, for long periods of time and in often unpleasant conditions reminds me to appreciate how vital their role is. I’m inspired to emulate Aicha’s behaviour in smiling and thanking as many marshalls and volunteers as possible en route and after a race.
The Haddington tri is a friendly event and welcomes beginners to regular triathletes. The course is a scenic and pleasant one, highly recommended for 2011″.
See you soon!
Krista said: “Up at the crack of dawn to travel to Haddington for the triathlon. Race brief was at 8:15 so had to have all of our kit set up and ready in the transition area by then. The start times are based on your swim time with the slower swimmers setting off first which meant quite a lot of hanging about before we got in the pool. Lots of really friendly folk and Fraser came to cheer us on.
My pre-race jitters calmed down quite a bit once I got in the pool, I even relaxed a bit! It was further than I’ve swum in a triathlon before and just tried stay calm. The swim was over pretty quickly and ran out to T1. Jumped on my bike for 20k for a lovely loop through the countryside of Haddington, towards Pencaitland and then back again. Managed to drink a bit on the bike as I felt a bit dehydrated on the run last tri. T2 went pretty smoothly and then off on my jelly legs along the river.
The run was on varied terrain, woodland path, farmers field and back along the road. Pretty windy in some parts with a key marker in the farmers field blown down, after a few minutes of looking around for footprints in the grass and my fingers crossed that I was going the right way, I set off again. Back on the road, Tracy whizzed past me on her bike and she shouted encouragement that carried me through to the finish.
Really pleased with our times and looking forward to our adventures next season! A great triathlon for beginners and close to home.”