What does the Eastern Region Triathlon Relays consist of? Well it consists of teams of three each completing a broken sprint triathlon, with the first team member doing a 750m swim, then the second and then the third before they each take it in turn to cycle 20k and then each run 5k. A total distance of 2250m swim, 60k bike and 15k run.
With over 380 members in Tri-Anglia a small group of us decided that we ought to be represented at the event at Gosfield Lake on Sunday 11th July. Mark Nowell organised a Tri-Anglia Veterans team consisting of himself, Baard Grindberg and myself, Rob Lines. He entered us with a rather unimaginative name of “Tri-Anglia Vets”. Whilst we were the only Tri-Anglia team on the entry list there were other club members in attendance. Liam Gentry was in a senior male team entitled “Rock Estate” with the Drake brothers, plus Matt Ellis and Oli Milk were representing the Human Performance Unit's A team.
Following a week of high 20 degree temperatures the water had reached 22C resulting in wetsuits being banded from the swim. It was great not swimming in a wetsuit as the 130 teams lining up at the start were soon spread out as the wetsuits provide more of an advantage to the weaker swimmers than the stronger ones. The first team out of the water at the end of all three legs was a junior ladies team. They were to end up third ladies team. The HPU A team were 4th to complete the swim, but thanks to Matt Ellis were way ahead at the end of the first leg of the bike, which is where they were to stay until the final kilometer of the last leg of the run.
Our Vets team where well positioned after the swim and soon ahead of the Elite junior swimming ladies before the end of the first bike leg. The bike course involved a single 20k lap of rural roads. It was a nice course. A little undulating, but generally quiet with good road surfaces. There were temporary road works with traffic lights on one junction. To make conditions identical for all competitors we had to dismount and run round the road works. Throughout the bike our Vet's team had a healthy lead on Liam's “Rock Estate” team. Once we got onto the 5k off road run that margin rapidly deminished and come the finish line that gap was just 30 seconds.
The course took us around three and a half hours to complete, which was about fifteen minutes slower than the winning team. We finished 16th over all and 3rd in Category. That meant waiting 2 hours for the last team to finish (and all the other teams to depart) but as we'd won a price and because we felt it a bad reflection on the club to not be present we waited. Fortunately it was a nice day and the event is a good fun social one the wait wasn't too painful.
If the event was to use an Olympic medal scoring system to work out who the best club in the region is the overall winners would be “Born to Tri” who won both Male and Veteran Male categories. Cambridge would have been joint second having won the Ladies category with the teams that won Mixed and Veteran Ladies. Despite having 5 members step up to podium, Tri-Anglia would have been lower on the medal table with just our bronze, but at least we were on the medal table. Next year hopefully we'll get a bigger contingent of members representing Tri-Anglia.
Baard Grindberg, Rob Lines and Mark Nowell