The bucolic delights of a visit to the Cotswolds are well known; a place to relax and unwind in beautiful surroundings. Not quite so, if you’re a triathlete on tour!
This weekend, many of Torbay Tri club’s members saw their winter and spring endurance training come to fruition in the Cotswold 113 middle distance triathlon.
Middle distance is a longer course triathlon, consisting of a 1.9 km swim, 90km cycle and a half marathon to boot.
Twenty-five club members lined up in the rain on the banks of Lake 32 at the Cotswold water park amongst over a thousand-plus participants, for the 6am swim start – the consensus by the time the race got going was that it was warmer to be in the lake than out!
The bike route was a cold and somewhat wet affair, taking a cross country two-lap route through pretty stone and rose-clad villages. Due to the flat terrain, a constant full-on push through the pedals was required; tough going in the conditions.
The run was three-laps, round lake paths and local roads, finishing to huge support. The event organisation is known for its friendly and brilliant coordination and that was evident in the smiles and cheers all around from local residents, marshals and travelling supporters.
Finishing in an impressive sub five-hour time, Julian Smith led the club over the line, with Mark Colombini just over a minute and a half over 6 hours, closely followed by Laura Wakeham and Jon Parkinson.
The club fosters inclusivity, so had a range of finishers from seasoned racers to those taking part in their first triathlon. Camaraderie saw speedier club members remain on the course to cheer their fellow clubmates down the red carpet finish chute, with a special shout out to Michelle Bailey, celebrating life and a well-earned finish time of 8:33:26. All received possibly the biggest bit of bling ever given out at an event!
For those that didn’t have to rush back to Devon, a full pub debriefing beckoned, with talk of making the trip again next year…training starts again soon, after a little lie down!
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