Another great Aquacycle result for Angela Osman!
After winning my first Aquacycle at Ellerton Park, North Yorks, back in May I decided to give the Gr8events August short course a bash too. I knew it wouldn’t be my ideal distance; the long course had been my customary 1.5k swim but this was just 750m – I don’t really do faster so wouldn’t be able to eke out any advantage there and, with only 42k on the bike, I’m by no means a time trialist.
With the Aquacycle and Sprint Triathlon starting together it was busier than I’m accustomed to – on the feet of those who’d managed to nip in front, with those behind clawing right up my back. When the melee subsided I‘d already lost touch with a tiny lead group, though I had a similarly orange-capped Aquacyclist matching my every stroke. Rounding the penultimate buoy, finding the final one had vanished – obliterated by the early morning sun, we headed vaguely towards the shore together. Exiting the water moments before my shadow, I grabbed at my wetsuit strap – I don’t know if I didn’t give it a forceful enough pull or if it was the angle but, for the first time ever, it didn’t breakaway! I was left standing in transition in front of my bike fumbling to prise open the velcro and undo the zipper top; aware of everybody else scooting off as I still struggled with my suit and then footwear. At least I was faster in T1 than in May, when I stopped to put practically my whole wardrobe on!
With a fly in my ear from Dave about keeping my cadence up and not pushing big gears, I span off. A few minutes in a woman overtook me; I was fairly sure she was doing the Tri but not wanting to risk it (plus hating being passed) I flew back past her, trying to remain unphased by her GBR emblazoned rear. I had no idea where I was standings wise, though spent the first lap yo-yoing positions with a guy definitely in my event. I didn’t see another woman.
On the 2nd lap I didn’t feel comfortable; my stomach churning, I forced myself to have a gel but threw most of it down my face and arm. The loop was a lonely affair, gradually dropped by my lap 1 cohort and feeling the breeze pick up slightly at the back end of the course. I managed to keep my average speed a touch over 20mph, having hoped for faster. I had no one to chase down and certainly not the incentive of being overhauled and having to give everything to pull it back from the brink, like in the last 6 miles of the long course event!
I finished in a somewhat lacklustre way in a total time of 1:30:46 to find I’d come in 4th overall and 3rd female; women had taken the top 2 spots – my swim shadow the winner. Mere seconds had separated the 3 of us on exiting the water (me in 2nd); my awful transition saw them already gaining significant time on me however, to be fair, they were both faster riders anyway. Maybe it would have made a difference if I’d still been able to see them, who knows.
I can’t see me investing in an aero bike or even tri bars but maybe next time I’ll forego the funky socks!