Race Report – World Aquathlon Champs

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I had originally though about doing the duathlon, aquathlon and long distance tri at the Multisport World Champs in Pontevedra, Spain. However I scaled this back to just defending the Aquathlon title won last year in Denmark, in part due to cost and in part due to availability of Guides.

Matt Floyd, a student at the University of East Anglia and also a member of the Beacon Tri team travelled out with me to make his Guiding debut.

It was strange being back in Pontevedra where I had competed in the Euro tri champs with Matt Ellis during 2014. On that occasion I had a suspected stress fracture in my foot and could only manage a bizarre run-hop technique. In the end it was academic as we had a mechanical issue on the bike when leading by about 4 minutes and never made it to the run.

Pontevedra perhaps isn't a place where I'm destined to win anything. Two weeks before the Aquathlon I badly sprained my ankle whilst out running. It was my own fault as I probably shouldn't have been running where I was and subsequently I totally missed a tree root...

The damage was done and to be honest I was lucky not to have fractured the ankle given the force with which I went over on it. Cue my own personal ice-bucket challenge twice a day in attempt to make the race and speed up recovery ahead of my other season goals...namely the small matter of Ironman Estonia in August.

I suceeded in that first challenge, although the ankle was still pretty bad. I decided not to run on it beforehand as I might only be able to run once before needing more recovery time, but I was pretty sure I wasn't going to make it any worse!

We decided to try and push the 1km river swim and see if we could get a lead over the only other VI men's team entered before the 'run'. The Irish guys put in a good swim and actually came out 40 seconds ahead of us (damn it!). We had a faster transition clawing back some time (although it was funny to see both of the Guides faffing a bit in transition as the VI athletes waited patiently!). Out on the run and my ankle really wasn't happy, probably not helped by the decidedly chilly water temperature (13 degrees). I would say it only improved with about a quarter of the run left to go and by that point it was too late as Team Ireland had been running well and increased their lead.

 

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It was disappointing to lose, but quite frankly It was an achievement to just get round. Whilst I know I can go a lot quicker you can't take anything away from the winners - just look at the effort in the video below!!

https://www.facebook.com/dave.tilly.7/videos/2712447865437055/

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Massive thanks to Matt for coming our to race in Spain and for putting up with me winging about my sore ankle!

Iain

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