Keswick's Killer Algae
by Mick Edge
Having arrived to register for the triathlon we were informed that the swim was cancelled due to blue algae. So triathlon was now a run 5k bike round Derwent water and another 5k run.
Up at 5am always 3 hrs before a race, I arrived at the lake at 6.45 and the area was buzzing.
The lake was as flat as a sheet of glass as I made my way to transition to rack my bike. Shame the swim wasn't going ahead.
As the first wave set off, i felt my nerves begin to grow. I'm in the third wave so had a bit of waiting around yet but it soon came time to start my 5k trail run .
The first kilometre had a lot of climbing and managed to get stuck behind some runners. thinking back, this was probably a blessing in disguise as I went of far to fast at the start.
The trail then lead through the woods along the lake for the next two and a half kilometres and then back on the bank of the lake. The path was very twisty and wound through more wooded sections as we worked back up to crow park and transition, ready for bike ride.
Through T1 and finally onto bike, I headed out of Keswick toward catbells.
The route was very hilly in parts but absolutely loved it. The climbing took a lot of effort but once you rounded to top, the descents were unreal - so fast!
I felt very strong on the bike section, and only got overtaken by one athlete. overtook plenty myself, albeit one of those missed a sharp S bend and went flying into a ditch. the crash looked bad but I heard he was okay after the race.
By this point all my nerves had gone, due to the fantastic support and encouragement from the other athletes and supporters on the course.
In to T2 near the Keswick rugby ground with a 200m dash to my racking position. With a quick change of shoes I was back onto the run again and legs felt okay (ish).
Another 5k trail run on the same course, and I was starting to feel the toll of the first two thirds of the race. Digging deep I kept the other athletes at bay - they weren't getting past me (I'm too stubborn)! Nearing the finish I begin to close down a runner. I gave it everything I had and just managed to pip him to the line.
all of that effort immediately caught up to me, and found myself thanking God that I'd finished.
Absolutely loved my 1st Biathlon.