Grand Prix Round 4 – The Southend Triathlon
Round 4 of the ELT Grand Prix saw 27 ELT’ers take on the Southend Sprint Triathlon and it was a bit of a gloomy day, with a light drizzle in the morning and the winds picking up in strength during the day. Upon arriving at registration there was a good atmosphere with lots of excited first time athletes and music playing in the background. The crowds were starting to come together on the beach front to watch the swimmers go off and battle the sea.
Unusually for a triathlon the first wave of athletes started at 2pm, a stark difference to the usual 7am starts. This meant having to re-think pre race nutrition but it did result in a cheeky lay in!
The swim course was a 750m out and back sea swim and with the winds picking up, it would have been a great day for surfing. We set off in waves of approximately 50 competitors and each wave had a wide range of experienced athletes which meant very quickly the competitors were well spread out. The high waves meant sighting was tricky and if you mis-timed it you got a face full of water and were pushed off course regularly.
The bike course was 6 laps of a straight out and back closed road. It was pretty much flat, but going away from transition there was a nasty and consistent headwind. At points it felt as though you were cycling through treacle. A slight crosswind kept you on your toes as it blew you and everyone else from one side of the road to another. However, on the way back to transition it proved to be a nice tail wind and helped bump the average speed up!
The run course was 3 laps around a fairly flat and unexciting local park and once again there was a headwind on the back straight. Coming back into the final stretch all athletes were welcomed by a well supported finish line which was a great way to end the race.
ELT dominated this race with 5 athletes in the top 20. A number of ELT’ers came 1st in their age group showing the strength and depth of triathlon talent in our club. We also had several people complete their first ever triathlon, which is made even more impressive with the tough conditions. Furthermore thanks to those who came and supported the event from the sidelines, this was a huge motivator!
The full results can be found here: https://www.southendtriathlon.com/results/
The next ELT Grandprix is at the Maldon Triathlon (The Olympic Distance) on the 22nd July, sign up here: http://www.dengieevents.co.uk/the-maldon-triathlon/4543261096