The North Norfolk Triathlon took place on Sunday 2nd September at Wells Next the Sea. This Olympic distance event would see the 230-odd competitors tackle a 1500m swim in Wells Harbour, a 40km technical bike course on rural lanes and a tough 10km run with about a third along the beach.
Carl Shaw was on guiding duties for our first race together at this distance following our recent outing at the Maldon Sprint triathlon.
We started the swim in the second wave and soon started to catch those ahead of us. This proved tricky as we couldn’t always take the shortest route. I also got boxed in several times by swimmers either side and sometimes people would try to jump onto Carl’s feet as he swam past, not realising that I was following closely behind with a tether between us. Still, we had a decent swim and came out the water in the first few places.
After a brief delay due to an unshipped chain, we were soon out on the bike leg, quickly catching those who had managed to gain a few seconds head-start on us out of transition. We had a solid bike with Carl working hard whilst I was trying not to go too deep into my reserves to save my legs for the run. We stormed round in 57mins…not bad given we lost time at the start and at a few unexpectedly tight junctions.
We also had two minor incidents which livened things up. One involved wet leaves on a right hand turn causing some rear wheel skidding before Carl ably regained control of the tandem showing some excellent bike handling skills. The second involved a hen of all things, who seemed determined to get shredded in our front wheel. Fortunately neither came to much and no animals were harmed in the process!
Out on to the run course and we were in first place, but Carl was looking slightly worried as I had started fast – probably not far off my normal 5km pace! I had pushed hard on the bike where needed (out of corners, uphill etc.) but my legs felt great for once having held back a bit. I guess I also wanted to show I could run reasonably well occasionally having cramped up and losing a massive lead at the Maldon event.
With a bit of encouragement from Carl I managed to sustain the pace quite well, but the beach section was really tough!! We were eventually caught and passed by two other competitors to take a pleasing third place over-all. It was also a new PB of 2:05hrs with a decent run split – a 3 minute improvement in a Tri event despite the course. Full results here.
A great result! I still think there is room for improvement though and I am sure I will get under 2 hours at some point with either Carl or Luke and maybe we can post some fast sprint distance times too…