Stirling Tri 2013

June 5th, 2013 by

My oh my how the years roll by – it was just the other week that I was asking Andy at the Stirling Tri Club if he had any space for me to join in and race … but wait a minute … that was last year! And here we are again – the first weekend in June and the ‘Try a Tri’ event is here. I have said it before and will continue to do so, the events organised by Stirling Triathlon Club are simply superb. If you are looking to race locally in Scotland then these should be on your list each season!

Stirling Tri2 '13

The blue sky is creeping into view!

In just over a weeks time it will be the start of my block of summer racing – starting with my favourite home race, Ironman 70.3 UK at wimbleball Lake. Given I haven’t raced for a couple of months the local sprint event here in Stirling was just the ticket for blowing out any cobwebs that had settled in over the last few weeks of training.

There certainly isn’t much better a pipe cleaner for someone training for Ironman than an intense hour burst, I can safely say! The club have a great format for making things even more painful – with the 50m pool at the University being split into two pools, allowing for an ‘eliminator’ type race and the girls waves going a period of time before the mens, and the first across the line being the winner. This year the girls had an 11 minute start, which was a tough ask I thought!

Stirling Tri '13

Heading out of T1 at Stirling University…

Swim, bike, run and after pretty much bang on an hour I was done … but only 2nd across the line – the small matter of 90secs got in the way to the leading girl, but it was good fun chasing and it adds another element to the racing. It was also great to have to pass Ali out on the run course – I stress ‘run course’ as it’s been over a year since she has been able to finish a triathlon because of a pesky foot problem, but this was a great start and she had a big ‘ol grin on her face when she finished. Chuffed I’d say 🙂

However a short while after finishing I was disappointed to discover that I had in fact been disqualified from the race. Being DQ’d is not something that I take lightly – whether it be a local pool based race at home here in Scotland, or a major event overseas – and so I was not only disappointed because of how it reflects upon me and my own racing, but more so because it doesn’t look great for the race director and the event itself when the winner is no longer visible on the results sheet! Nonetheless I was most disappointed with the way in which my actions out on course were interpreted by the ‘technical officials’. – I was DQ’d for crossing the centre white line on the bike. I was quite sure (in my mind) that when I explained why – namely that I really had no choice given I was passing much slower moving girls who had no idea I was coming past them at a much greater speed – and that it was simply an accident avoiding manoeuvre and that a bit of common sense would be employed, given the circumstances. I certainly wasn’t causing any extra danger – I made sure I wasn’t pulling out into any traffic, and without doubt avoided the possibility of a collision. I have had plenty of experience of passing slower moving competitors (and many times having to cross the centre line) over the years and I never really thought about it during the rest of my race. The poor girl even shouted out how sorry she was as I swerved past her erratic change of direction. Surely any sensible marshall with even a passing understanding of racing would have read the situation? Clearly not…

As I said, I was frustrated with how it looked and having the race organisers apologising to me made me feel even worse for the whole situation! Perhaps a sense of discretion and discursive discussion might’ve been the better option, but hey I guess it’s a black and white kinda thing if you want it to be.

As always, a great day and a superbly organised race with some superb volunteer work throughout the day. – Some 600 plus competitors certainly enjoyed it thats for sure! Thanks again.