Ive competed on numerous occasions at Rutland Water, but never have I seen it as beautiful as it was last Saturday. This was the stage for the Dambuster and from an ELT perspective the club champs at Olympic Distance. A good turnout to with some of the club setting up camp the night before while others chose the graveyard Uber shift opting to take advantage of the M11 and A14 at 4am.
There was a relaxed feel on arrival with some 500 competitors registered. Split down into three waves, each set off, one every ten minutes, rudely awaking the calm, sparkling waters, towards the distant orange buoy signalling the first of three turns. It seemed like an eternity to get there, but once reached we knew we were only one more turn from home, but once around that my focus was grabbed by the newly instated water park. It was only due to the early hour and therefore closure that I didn’t veer off for the to enjoy the slides and floating icebergs.
It got hotter during the bike although I find you never really feel it given the self-generating wind machine a triathlete tends to become when on two wheels. Thus by the time you get to the run you’ve half forgotten how hot it is and then boom you get a wake up call a couple of km in. Thankfully the marshalls were out in force armed with water, high 5 (other energy drinks are available) and a variety of gels, bars, bananas to push you over the line. Note to self, make sure you listen to what the marshalls are giving out as pouring high5 over your head doesn’t cool you down or improve aerobic efficiency.
Crossing the line, breath back and heart rate returning to normal, the free beer was a welcome sight as was the cooling waters to sooth the aching limbs and provide the perfect setting to gas with clubmates about the race, tactics, final positions and how glad we were to have finished before the mercury rose further.
By the time the awards ceremony had begun the temperature was up to 29 degrees and there were still some poor souls out there. Meanwhile as a club we were justly feeling pretty pleased with ourselves, enjoying the moment with possibly our biggest medal haul of recent memory, with an Age group 1st (Sarah Burns) two 2nds (Lawrence Shafier and Simon Laver) and a third (James Swift). It was great to hear the club being called out so many times and hearing the cheers from all those that stayed. As well as the medallists, there were great performances all around from ELT including an Olympic debut from Alistair X, and as for the club champs, Sarah Burns and Simon Laver took home the honours.
Great to see a good turnout and positive competition, but as ever, there is always room for more, especially you ELT ladies, so roll up and get involved in the next Olympic grand prix race on 6th August and then 20th August for HIM distance.