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Race Report: Roadford 70.3 triathlon

So my 70.3 has come and gone - A very hot day, but with a solid block of training for the full distance behind me, I knew I could finish. Then comes the dreaded weeks of man flu, tooth infection and thoughts suddenly turned to withdrawing! My expectations going into this race was wishful thinking of going under 7 hours but I was pleased to finish in 7.30.

Race Report:  Roadford 70.3 triathlon

Gareth Perry

21 May 2023

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The day started with a 4am alarm and then at the waters edge at 07.30. There were lots of nervous faces, mine included, the water was cold, murky and full of duck poo! 1.2 miles later, I managed to catch my breath from the freezing water and drag myself up the steep grass bank (this hill was a sign of things to come!) and then straight into transition to put on the bike shoes, sun cream and take on some nutrition. After 6 minutes of faffing and I was finally out on the bike course, this was 2 loops of roughly 29 miles each, the first loop passed relatively easy with lots of climbs and a final killer 3.8km towards Okehampton. The second loop however, was not fun or easy. Those climbs from the 1st loop felt bigger and longer, and I left some of my sense of humour on that section! Thoughts of not completing came and went frequently at this point and I was glad to get to the end and enter transition for the run leg. The heat at this point was at its hottest for the day so I knew hydration was the key to finishing, foolishly I left my water in the transition area and headed out with only 2 gels, they were consumed rather quickly and I had another 4 miles before the next water station! Lesson learned for the next one. The run course was tough with some steep hills, and with it being a 3 loop run, the mental challenge was more than I had prepared for but I knew I had a half marathon in me and could complete it if I just kept moving. Finally the 3rd was in sight and a quick check of the watch meant I could finish under my 2.5hrs target for the half. I crossed the line in 2.23 totally knackered and struggling to stand. Thank goodness that was over was my first thought, followed by crisps! I need crisps NOW!
The good thing about Roadford is the hours drive which provides time for reflection and thinking what I could have done better! The 10 mins faffing about in both transitions didn’t help. I’ve trained hard for this event, putting in some solid hours in the water, bike and the runs, however, eating like a couch potato…. Well the two don’t balance each other at all! It seems like I have a lot to sort before the big event in July. Aside from the diet there’s lots to take away from this race and some good positives. I completed it and in my mind that’s all that matters! There were a few DNFs on the day who were quicker in the swim and on the bike but couldn’t complete the run, maybe all those hilly runs with the club are finally paying off! For anyone thinking about having a bash at their first triathlon, all I can say is do it! The day is full of lows but also lots of highs! My only piece of advice - get used to the cold cold COLD water and keep mentally strong, the club runs certainly helped me on the day!

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