Brookettes Bring Back the Bacon in ETU Championship
What an honour it was for myself and Lauren to race for GB Age Group in Glasgow. We arrived a few days before in order to make the most of the multi sport event. We took part in the opening ceremony parade in Glasgow with all participating countries flying their flags. The event itself took place at Strathclyde Country Park on the Saturday. A couple of days before that, we were fortunate enough to watch the ladies elite triathlon taking place on the same course that we would be racing on. So with two days to go it was a flurry of activities with the briefings/bike/swim familiarisation and racking bikes the day before.
So race day morning - the familiar 4.30 am alarm again and the feeling of excitement and anticipation (and the usual trying to force feed yourself with porridge !!). Lauren was on a 7.30 am start and myself not until 11am. We arrived at SCP early along with our ever so reliable bag man (big Nige) who was on double bag man duties !! I left Lauren in transition and we headed over to spectate and were soon joined by Mike and Hannah Park who had very kindly made the journey to support us and Nigel. Massive thanks !!
7.30 am and Lauren is off and as usual the swim is brutal in these events !! Out safely from the swim (well just about) its onto the bike course with numb feet. The bike course I have to say was the hardest sprint course we've ever done with 3 laps and 18 climbs in total with technical turns and descents and areas where you were not allowed on tri bars because the fast turns etc. Lauren managed to lose a bike shoe on the dismount. Onto the run and another very hilly 5k course which had a bit of everything in terms of the surface one minute tarmac, then gravel and a bit of cross country. Over the finish line and a proud parent and coach moment.
11.00 am and I'm now lining up on the pontoon with no space whatsoever and off I go - another battle in the water but made it safely round. On exiting the water I discover there is no ramp and a bit of a collision with other swimmers not realising either !! Onto the bike course and the crowds were amazing as ever and give you the push you really need for the climbs ahead. Third lap and I'm thinking thank goodness for that but pleased I managed to get round such a technical course. Onto the run and I'm feeling quite good and managed a wave for the camera. I managed to pick off a few people on the run course then onto the last hill and ouch that was tough but could then see over the lake to the finish and managed a sprint finish.
I actually enjoyed the race (possibly a bit too much as I had a bit left in the tank). This course was definitely a bit of a beast and myself and Lauren have learnt many things from this. Racing at European level is another level and hats off to the other competitors who were awesome.We'll be back though !!
Big thanks as ever to Rossall Tri club for the support and to Dom for those Friday night beast of swim sessions !!