Only 2 weeks after Staffordshire, Tripurbeck and Goalspecific athletes made their way down to devon, for the 10th 70.3 at Exmoor. This was the 4th time I had completed it, and I was hoping that it would be warm and sunny, (like last year, when I didnt go!), as this would be a new experience for me in this race! Simon, Liz, Gary, Mandy, Jonathon and Ian were racing, both me and Liz having raced in Staffordshire 2 weeks before, so we were not feeling quite as enthusiastic about the whole idea as we could have been! However, we were all camping together, along with our support crew (Ade Sharon Derek Cheryl and Mark) and for once the Saturday was chilled out, sunny and very sociable. It makes a difference not having split transitions, and knowing the course! Without internet or mobile phone signal, we were guessing the weather forecast, and planned for all eventualities in our kit bags…..thankfully! As, once again, we woke up to rain in the night, and a brisk breeze picking up. By 6:30, the rain started, and it just got heavier and heavier, and the wind got stronger, right up until about 12:30. This made for tricky cycling conditions, on a very tough course and there were a lot of crashes and punctures out on the course. Fortunately, we were all ok and we all made it back to transition to face the hilly muddy run course! I was first back off the bike, and first female back in my wave, and went on to maintain my lead coming in first 40-44 by 15mins, and 6th overall in 5:38. Gary was second off the bike, (all that mountain climbing clearly helped!) and despite the weather conditions came in under his predicted 6:30 time by 3 minutes, finishing 27th in his age group. Simon posted a pb in his swim and a great bike, however, due to injuring his back in the loft earlier this week, he was unable to run. This did not deter him from finishing, which showed great determination. The same can be said for Mandy, who was in terrible pain with hips and back on the course, but she beat the cut offs and completed the tough course which was a great illustration of guts! Jonathan despite being ill in the lead up to the race was flying on the bike, and looked like a potential podium finish in his age group, however, somehow he injured his foot, and was unable to run, which is arguably his strongest discipline! However, he walked his way around to finish as well. There is a lot more to come there I feel!. Liz also put in a solid performance, despite carrying some fatigue from Staffordshire, and feeling rather sick for the whole race.( A bit of R and R is needed now!) Finally, Ian, racing in his first 70.3, after a few weeks of travelling and long hours with work, put in a great performance, and finished in 6:28 with a solid, swim bike and run.
Two age group wins in two weeks, has also now placed me first in the world age group rankings for 70.3 which is cool! I have two more 70.3 races, the European and World Championships, so between now and August, I need to get working on making some improvements in my running and swimming! Next up from goalspecific is Ashley this weekend racing 70.3 Haugesund, Chris is going shorter in a local Olympic distance, and juniors Serena and Lily are racing at Dorney Lake. Then its Brendan at Roth, Alison and Isobel in Weymouth, Derek in Geneva and Colin racing off road ETU.