Sunday, 6 July 2014

Aberfeldy Sprint Triathlon 2014

This was my first triathlon set in the beatify location of Aberfeldy. 

Sprint Triathlon

  • Swim 750 metres (30 lengths of 25m pool)
  • Cycle 20K (12 miles or so)
  • Run 5K


I got there fairly early as I don't like being late and wanted a nice and relaxed start to the day. Registration was well organised and very friendly. They did forget to issue me a goody bag, which I picked up later; but this was not an issue. The weather was dry to start but was rather cool  and rain was forecast later. What to ware was my primary issue post cycle, do I go for second top or do just use my £15 tri suit from Aldi (no club kit at this point). Would my £15Aldi suit standup to the rigours of this and not let me down in a most embarrassing way. I opted for a second cycling top again Aldi costing the grand some of £7. I've always found Aldi running and cycling gear to be fantastic value for money but fairly low on street cred. I brought way too much kit to transition to cover my options and most of was left in the bag.


  • Bike:  Boardman Team Carbon 
  • Bike Shoes: DHB road (£35)
  • Tri Suit : Aldi  £15
  • Cycle Top: Aldi £7
  • Running Shoes:  Ascis GT2000
  • Race Belt
  • Saddlebag: tool, tubes x2
  • Gels, jelly babies (easy to eat) 

The Swim

750M in the pool and I was on wave 3, which was slightly late starting and took two gels before the swim. I had a swim planned time of 16mins and my plan was to draft with a steady pace and keep up with the swimmer in front. My swimming is not fast to this looked like a good plan. Luckily I was not first off (2nd) and my plan looked good.  First few lengths went and I was sticking to my drafting steady plan. Then the swimmer in front folded and I was in front (crap!!!), so I stuck to my steady pace which I knew was about 16mins.

Then the swimmer behind me started to nip my heals (signal they wanted past and could swim fast). Fine by me as I could draft and let them take care of the pacing. Except they slowed down; I guess that leading was a bit slower than drafting and the swimmer behind me was nipping my heals. So I stopped and let them by at the turn.  The third swimmer was now nipping my heals and wanted past, which was fruitless as I was right behind all the front swimmers all the way.

About halfway through the pace dropped a bit, I nipped the swimmer in front to let me by, nothing they ignored me.  Tried again and they ignored me again, but the pace This was getting annoying now as the swimmer behind me was nipping my heals to get  past. So I let them past only for them to start the breast stroke and really drop the pace. This was infuriating so I constantly nipped their heals all down the pool and they developed a odd way of not letting me past.

So I'm behind this swimmer and wanted past and they drop the pace so they'd sprint the last quarter of the length get knackered and  slow down until they got to the last quarter of the length and sprint like mad again. On the turn I'd kick and glide and be right behind them (thanks JD for all that glide training)  nipping their heals all the way. I did not copy the swimmer in front and kept my pace steady throughout the whole swim.

Then it was over and I out the pool. Running in the cold toward my bike. 


I quickly towelled myself and tried to put socks on, this is really difficult with wet feet. I put a cycling top on prefilled with gels and grabbed my helmet fixing it securing before touching my bike. I tool two gels at T1 before running with my bike shoes on, which is just as scary as it sounds.

The Run

Past the mount point and on the bike missing some  idiot who decided the best place to mount the bike was just in front of me moving off.  No matter I was off and eh.. pedalling.  Exit Aberfeldy toward the first bridge where I was to stay left of a line of cones which was less than two feet wide. A girl got it all wrong on the bridge staying right of the cones with two marshalling shouting at her and me trying to workout if they were shouting at me or her and watching her drift towards me and the cones. There was too much happening for me to concentrate on my cycling and I drifted a foot to the left where my front wheel caught a line on the curb. At this point I knew I was going down as the front wheel was tracking the cut between the road and the curb. I was flung out the bike and to the left. I saw the river Tay coming towards me and thought I was going for a second swim.

I hit the wall hard was still attached to the bike, I thought I was out of it but it came with me, I grabbed onto the wall. My shoulder hurt and I was a bit winded and a small cut to my left elbow. I picked myself up and reassured a marshal I was fine and got back on my bike.

My injuries were a tad worse than I thought, which only later I would discover. The cut to my elbow took weeks to heal properly as I tended to catch it and open the wound up again. My shoulder hurt for a couple of week as I've broken this before but seemed sprained rather than any real damage.

I was a tad jittery for a few miles after my off and this cost me quite a few minutes. I concentrated on playing catch with riders in front and put the pace on.  The rain started and it was cold and bit wet (OK really wet).  My tactic was catch up to the rider in front, pass and concentrate on the next rider in front of them. I took 6-7 riders before Kenmore and was getting cocky. I played tag with an older gentlemen swapping places a few times before Kenmore. He was in front before we hit the town.

On the way dropping down into Kenmore I spotted a rider in front and started to catch up, he rounded a bend a bit two wide hitting his wheels against the curb or he high-sided I couldn't tell which.  The result was he flying out his bike doing a perfect upside down starfish impression. Luckily he landed on cut grass but this was on a bike with a big drop. He fell about 12-15 feet and I slowed to get off ad help but spotted a marshal running up the hill to assist him. He was moving and clutching his shoulder and I got a dull ache from left shoulder.  I didn't stop as I figured the marshal would sort him out and he was moving.

I caught up with the older gentlemen and another rider who stopped at traffic before the coned section at the bridge into Kenmore, they were just sitting there waiting for cars to clear the bridge. I filter through heavy city traffic to work so just did the same here and passed the cars and them.

No the climb out of Kenmore back towards Aberfeldy is a steep one and I passed a half dozen riders on the climb up. Nearing the top one guy started to go faster when he spotted me and moved to the middle of the road just as I was about to pass. I shouted "passing" to him and he smartly moved over to the left and I soon lost him on the decent.

I was really trying to put the pace on the decent back to Aberfeldy rather coast down the hills. I caught another few riders in Aberfeldy and sprinted into the dismount point.

On the bike I ate my jelly babies and a couple of gels. Trying to keep my fluids up (in the lashing rain at times)  and keep my energy levels up.


Getting off the bikes and running was a shock, my legs were like jelly and ached as blood rushed into all the cold spots. Rack bike, helmet off and take off my well wet shoes, take two gels and on with running shoes of off for the last leg.

The Run

The run can be best described as cruel with a 300ft climb up behind the village on a mix of road and old gravel track. Exit the sports complex and up the hill with a very steep section, I had to stop and walk this section. I picked my pace up and my running got stronger the more I got into it. By the time I reached the top I felt stronger and was upping the pace again. On the way back on the turn I pushed the pace up and started catching people on the decent.  The very steep section gave another issue on the way back, I had trouble stopping and had to take the return left rather wide. Just another few hundred yards to go and I was finished, I sprinted in to cheers which was rather nice.


  • Overall Place:  76 of 148
  • Time                01:28:47
  • Swim :            16:49
  • T1:                  00:01:55
  • Bike:               00:44:20
  • T2:                  00:01:22
  • Run::               00:24:24

Not too bad considering it was my first tri and my bike crash cost me a few minutes, but the bike was strong the result fairly decent for my first season road biking. The swim although a bit frustrating is on par after speaking with more experienced athletes for the in pool antics, you just have to live with this I suppose. The run was a good effort after the run and the swim and the big hill it was on.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are welcome, but are moderated and may take a wee while before shown.