Bala Standard Triathlon 2008

September 15th, 2008 by

Fraser Cartmell Bala triathlon 2008
Where is the pontoon going?

I last raced at the Bala triathlon in 2001, as a not-so-fast-junior. Yesterday I raced as a not-so-fast-senior!

Common sense prevailing, I wouldn’t have raced yesterday – a mere 7 days after attempting Ironman UK, but I don’t have much of that (as my teachers often told me) and so Saturday lunchtime, whilst Blair was busy with the Triathlon Scotland squad time trials for the kids, (he would have said no and hidden the car keys) I got on the phone to Bala Tourist Information, found a bed for the night, threw the bike in the car (thanks GC) and tootled off down the motorway towards North Wales. 7 hours later (including the 90 minute car park around Chester) I arrived at said B+B. ‘Would like some tea? And you’ll take some cake?’ – Why of course, for it would be rude not to!

So, as I mentioned, the sensible person would have eased back into training, done a light run, or perhaps an easy 2 hour ride or something. As relaxing as that would have been, none of those activities would have helped pay rent this week. Since I claim to be a Professional triathlete just now, I couldn’t sit around all weekend knowing fine well there was a race within these shores (albiet blooming far away!) offering a little bit of money. Had I stayed in California, I would have had at least 2 races to head along to these past 8 days, so I figured I best go suck it up, whilst silently hoping I wouldn’t regret the trip around due to having to ‘dry my eyes’ the 5 mile mark on the bike …… (a very real possibility I reasoned).

The morning started off well; I mean we couldnt see the lake from the transition area. Which was right besides the lake! The organisor thankfully delayed the hooter for a half an hour or so, whilst we all waddled around the grassy bank in our rubber suits (the water being far too cold to contemplate entering). At this point I seriously was wondering what on earth i was doing there. Seriously.

It transpired my red swim cap was not indeed the first, but in fact only the 3rd wave to go. Not to moan, but I had my fair share of navigational worries during the 2nd lap of the Ironman swim last weekend. And yet here were the best part of 100+ ladies and veteran men for me to contemplate weaving through. Happy days.

To cut a longer story short: led the swim, had a shocking transition and lost 20secs to James Third as I got on the bike, rode very averagely and entered T2 in the region of 40 secs behind him. Started running ok, was passed by Jonathan Hotchkiss at mile 1, (who had eaten almost 3 minutes out of me during the ride to come into T2 right alongside) passed James at mile 5 and managed to get to the finish line in 2nd for a time of 1.50 something. – I only mention the time, (as I am never one for bothering about finish times) since it is obviously a very quick course (being mostly flat/rolling with a good road surface) and ensured I was racing for probably the least time possible, which onsidering my level of preparadness, was no bad thing!

Was the trip worth it? Yeah, I enjoyed the event – on closed roads no less –  saw a lovely part of the country that I haven’t visited in a long time, kicked started my training (or maybe delayed it, depending on how you look at it?) and did something with my weekend other than watch motorsport. Oh, and I paid rent.

A big thankyou to Julian the organisor for letting me enter at such short notice, and to all the helpers from Wrecsam Tri would made it run smoothly.

Oh – and for all those Audi Anoraks that i know so well (you know who you are), look at these cool old-school motors that pulled up as i was leaving:

audi anoraks