#51fiver race report: Trevor Batey

51fiver

The #51fiver was my third race of the season and a step up in intensity following the Inter Services Duathlon and Cotswold Sprint Tri, a week before.  My plan with coach Lawrence was to use this as another training race to get me ready for one of my main events – the Cotswold 113 Middle Distance on 10 June.

As with the Sprint Tri, the weather was once again kind with little cloud and wind, although the temperatures were cooler, which generated some windchill on the bike and so resulted in a loss of feeling in fingers and toes that played havoc in T2. 

Swim: With 13 general waves, I was not racing in an AG specific start and the waves themselves were closer to 150 in size.  Such a size made for a much more challenging start.  I went out hard and in this instance, probably too hard and close to Sprint speed, which was a mistake.  It was probably the most violent swim start I have been in and I ended up taking a foot and elbow to the face, which combined with the hard start caused my HR to spike way above what it should have so soon into the race – only 400m in.  The result was that I came very close to being overwhelmed and struggled to hold a swim stroke; I was forced to slow completely and reset.  However, such an action was right and I was able to relax, regain control and re-establish a good cruise speed.  After this I felt confident again and swam well to catch the back of the front pack coming into T1.

Bike: The bike was very aggressive and I rode off feel rather than power over this distance.  There was an established group of 4 of us riding that could not be split and we were all making constant surges to try and establish a lead but no breaks would hold.  There were times we were riding close to the drafting limits and we ended up under the constant watch of the BTF moto referee for the majority of the cycle.  However, no one committed an infringement – just!  Eventually we broke to just 3 riders for the rest of the bike but were overtaken by another very strong rider towards the end.  Coming into T2, there was a struggle with the effects of the windchill, which meant I had no dexterity in my fingers and was almost unable to undo my helmet chinstrap.  But with disaster averted, I got out of T2 and onto the run.

Run: I was feeling strong on the run despite the surges on the bike and pushed to make up as much ground as possible on the two riders who I knew were close having finished ahead of me on the bike.  A solid pace of 6’25” / mi allowed me to chase down, catching them on the final lap, having had them in sight the whole way and slowly reeled them back before I ran out of road.

Overall: For the second race in a row I won the AG 40-44.  However, this time it was against a significantly larger field and I also took 4th overall – my best ever result and the closest yet to a podium finish.  The result built on the success of the Sprint Tri from a week earlier and has consolidate current early season form that I am hoping I can maintain through the rest of the season.  Again, racing without expectation and just going out to push myself as hard as physically possible has given me the most satisfaction.