Newmarket Sprint Triathlon 2016 - Race Report
by leighschvartzMay 15th 2016
Back to where it started! With a couple of cancellations on duathlon races I'd signed up for this year I didn't want to go pre-season without some race experience so have thrown in a couple of sprint triathlons to keep me going. Newmarket was first on the list!
Even being a first timer at Newmarket, but having done other Cambridgeshire based triathlons before, I was unsurprised to arrive to a very well set-up and organised event - it even had a warm-up pool! Very nice! Racked up the bike and did a brief warm-up before tuning into the race briefing. Newmarket is a pool swim (300m) but has a very technical bike course (22km) with two foot-down stops required, so advice for any other newbies out there reading this in future years - pay close attention to the race briefing! The run though (4km) is a straightforward two lap course although does have some grassy sections.
With a couple of lengths of training pool done in the warm-up I took place at the start line, I was aiming for about 6minutes in the swim which wasn't going to set the world alight, but as I've mentioned in a few previous blogs swimming is a pretty weak area for me and not one I've trained (given the focus on Duathlon over the last years). Up and down the pool 12 times later... and I jumped out of the pool at 6:06. Good start.
Again, being my first triathlon in over a year, T1 caught me off guard a little. It's a lot more difficult to get shoes on/off with wet feet :-). Still, overall not as bad as previous sprint triathlon's I blogged back in 2013 (as slow at 1 minute 30!!) Grabbed the bike and out of T1 in 47 seconds.
Slow start out on the bike having to navigate the busy roads of Newmarket town centre, then hit the first foot down stop (left turn onto a busy road) and then it was plain sailing from there as the course headed out of town onto the lovely Cambridgeshire B roads. It was a two lap course before heading back into Newmarket, fairly flat but some undulating drags. I felt pretty strong on the bike bar some calf cramps on the return back into Newmarket which were sorted with a quick stretch. Finished the bike leg in 33:59 which put me in good stead in the overall rankings.
Feet had totally gone to sleep on the bike which made getting running shoes on a strain which really damaged my T2, was hoping to get out in about 30 seconds but spent 5-10 seconds struggling with shoes which cost me a little here. Ran out of T2 in 44 seconds.
Despite the minor cramps on the bike leg, I felt seriously amazing on the run. Normally it's here I see some of the folks I overtook on the bike getting their own back on me, but today not one person came past me and the two laps seemed to fly by. Finished the 4km run in 15:42 which was actually would have put me on course for a 5K personal best - very pleased.
The trouble with a triathlon over a duathlon is that it's more of a time trial rather than a "race" (duathlons have bunched starts) so when I first checked my time slip I was in at 2nd pos overall. The way the swim was done put all the fastest swimmers at the end though so I expected to drop a couple of places before the end of the race. 4-5 time slip print outs later and I had my final results which were 6th overall and 1st place in my age group which netted me a cool Â£20 prize money.
Overall a great race and some good learnings to take into some mid season sprint triathlons which I will no doubt get in. Season aim though remains as the Team GB World Sprint Duathlon Qualifier @ Bedford in October!
Overall: 57:17 / 6th out of 144 finishers
Age Category Position 1st
Swim Time: 6:06 / 65th
T1: 47 secs / 32nd
Bike: 33:59 / 3rd
T2: 44 sec / 70th
Run: 15:42 / 7th