As defending champions from 2018 and also as a start to our preparations for Ironman Estonia, Duncan Shea-Simmonds and I were keen to do the Paratri national champs on 27th May at Eton Dorney as part of the Arctic One festival.
Unfortunately my ankle was still not great having injured myself and not run since mid-April.
After discussing it with Dunc, and British Tri in relation to future World Cup participation, we decided to focus on the swim and bike sections and just try to get around the 5km run.
I had done a massive 2km practise run two days beforehand to see if it felt OK after 6 or 7 weeks of not running (except at the Aquathlon World Champs but don't tell my sports therapist!). To be honest it didn't feel great, but also it didn't make it any worse afterwards.
Duncan and I had a solid swim and fast bike split (no hitting our pedals on the deck whilst cornering this year though!). Our bike legs helped move us up into 2nd spot entering T2, but we were well down on full-time Pro athletes Dave Ellis guided by the legend that is Tim Don (an ex-ITU racer and one of the fastest Ironman triathletes in the World).
There wasn't much point pushing the run as Dave is speedy on two feet and, well, i'm not...even when fit!
We just had a nice jog around the two lap flat run and it was just about tolerable comfort-wise. It was actually quite strange to be running at chatting pace rather than breathing through my ears like normal! However as Dunc later remarked, we still running faster than we would need for the Ironman run - ever the optimist but he left out the bit about a marathon being 8.5 times longer!
Anyway it was good to get back to racing, kind of racing anyway. We ended up with silver, and to be honest that's probably what we would have got if i'd been fully fit against Dave and Tim, although it might have been a little closer!
I'm now trying to build up my running sufficentiy to allow me to get round 26.2 miles after 2.4 miles of swimming and 112 miles of cycling, but there are several smaller steps on the way to negotiate first!
Thanks to Dunc for racing and being so positive and his wife Claire (who also raced and won!) and Jill for their support once again.
Here's a few snaps from the event: -