British Middle Distance Champs 2014 – Aberfeldy
August 21st, 2014 by Fraser
1st place – 4:16:22
This year Aberfeldy not only hosted the Scottish Middle Distance Championships but it also incorporated the British titles too, and by getting to the line first I managed a sneaky little double number and my first National Title across any distance I believe. – It wasn’t all plain sailing though!
I really enjoy racing at or indeed just being in Aberfeldy. It’s a fantastic part of the world and I think the location is just superb for a Half Ironman event. The swim in Loch Tay is ‘refreshing’ I suppose I could say (others would say freezing) but otherwise stunning if you take a moment to view the scenery before wading into the murky depths.
My own swim wasn’t particularly notable, however I was luckier than others who unfortunately had to make use of the safety staff/canoes out on the water – the cold water can really shock the body and when the wind also whips up waves that you would normally expect to experience in the sea you can quickly and understandably get panicked out there. Maybe next year we should all bring a kettle or two of boiling water to dump into the loch?
Out on the bike course I was toiling with my bike and struggling to get moving very well. I was chasing Stirling based U/23 athlete Douglas Roberts who had put the best part of two minutes into me by the time I left T1 which was more than enough distance for him to completely disappear ‘out of sight and out of mind’ on the technical and hilly 56 mile loop. I continued to ride solo until midway around Loch Rannoch which is the 20-25 mile fairly flat loop that we negotiated during the middle portion of the bike. I was passed by Peter Fenwick from Shetland who was riding considerably faster than I was and so I snapped out of my sluggishness to ensure I held onto his coat tails for the remainder of the ride. We were informed at around 50 miles that ‘the first bike on the road is 4 minutes in front’ … Douglas was riding very well!
Sadly for Doug when we arrived into T2 his bike wasn’t there – he had been sent off course in the final few miles by a wayward marshall. This is always a worry for lead riders on the road as you are the first athlete any marshall encounters and sometimes they are less than prepared for your arrival. I have been in the same position more than once myself over the years and I felt for Doug. It would have been good fun trying to chase him down during the half marathon, although I have a feeling I wouldn’t have seen him until the finish line. He’s got a bright future racing over the longer non drafting distances in my opinion.
I had a little hiccup in T2 locating my run gear but after a couple minutes of *logistics* I was able to get on my way and head out onto the run course which is a simple out and back affair tracing the river for 6 miles out of the town. I caught back up to Peter just on the mid point and was able to push home at a good pace. The nice thing about an out and back is that you can see ots of athletes coming towards you, and being close to home there were lots of Stirling Tri Club members out there to cheer with (amongst many others who gave their encouragement too – thanks!)
Special thanks as ever must go to race organiser Richard Pearson who does an absolutely supreme job getting this race rolling. It was great to see the event get extra recognition from British Triathlon this year and I hope the further travelled athletes had a cracking trip north of the border.