Sunday, 21 January 2018

Haywards Heath Sprint – 30th April 2017

Due to a 150th birthday party (that’s another story) I missed the usual seasonal debut of the Winter GP Tri.  Fancying a change from Steyning, I thought I’d give one of Hedgehog Tri events a go at Haywards Heath.

Winter training had been mixed.  Since January I barely missed a session – which was fantastic.  Before Christmas, it was appalling.  The back problem I’ve had for a number of years seems to get worse each season and this time culminated in an MRI scan.  Armed with the knowledge there is “no cure, just management” but nothing properly serious, I have vowed not to take as much off-season next year as frankly that’s when the problems arise.

The night before the race wasn’t ideal preparation.  We had very good friends staying and two of us felt Joshua-Klitschko would make suitable family entertainment.  Some hours later after finally cracking how to set up pay-per-view and a broken foot (mate fell off the stairs – sober at the time!) we were treated to a contest extradordinaire.  Not ideal for calming down / getting an early night, although I did stay off the pop (mostly).

On the Sunday, I arrived in good time for what is probably the third closest race to home.  The weather was on the better side of forecast, so after some consideration I decided neoprene toe caps was the only adaptation necessary.

The swim was a snake arrangement, which I like as it removes any question of length counting.  The sprint race was slightly delayed as the standard had to snake twice.  Still, this gave plenty of time to chat to fellow triers, including Gary from EGTri.  Oddly, given the extended wait, it still never occurred to me to collect my chip at poolside.  This was somewhat confounding as during Lent I’d passed over chocolate, cake and biscuits, but chips were still on menu.  I only realised my error when approaching T1 and hearing the beep of the mats and realising no beep from me.

ap hhtri clownRapidly approaching the next B race glitch.  Bearing in mind I’ve done over 60 triathlons, one at a very high level, I know that transitions is the only aspect of a Tri where I am truly competitive.  Hat off, googles off, in hand, follow rehearsed route to bike, googles/hat down, step through number belt, glasses on, helmet on, take bike, rehearsed route to mount line, feet into shoe (feels odd), foot into other sh…no wait, bo%%$x – I’d only attached the wrong shoes to the pedals, unnoticed due to the neoprene covers.

For a brief moment I actually felt like a clown, as well as normally looking like one.  That behind me, I was soon onto the bike.  My next race is draft-legal, so I’d reinstalled my clip on bars to my road bike just for this event.  I was soon into aero mode and feeling good.  The race was two laps, each formed of up-down-up, more or less.  Aboslutely flying on the first down, I hit a small bump and heard a crack.  Not our mate’s foot this time, but my clip on pad finding its new resting place firmly on the bars at an angle which meant staying aero was really going to test core strength.  Still, only a B Race.

Lap 2 was rudely interrupted by traffic. You know the scenario, cars overtake you, only to form a long line behind a slower cyclist and because of their queue you’ve no chance of moving through. At times I was almost at a complete standstill. I tried to take something positive by thinking the stop start nature would be good training for my next race around Dorney, but I must have lost significant time (along with sorting out my clown feet).

Soon enough, I was shooting into T2 which was not nearly as eventful. I don’t normally wear my training watch in a race and being distracted is one reason why. I pressed lap as I started the run only for the Garmin to play its celebratory tune denoting I’d completed a multisport event. Oh Fu, I must have pressed something at sometime and wasn’t going to get an accurate time. Still, there was the chip timing to do that wasn’t there…another B race minor calamity.

Nevermind, the run wasn’t going to phase me. My son had been playing sport in the area and I looked at the course a few weeks ago. I knew it was pretty testy, three laps with proper hills. The only bizarre thing was the actual race was in the opposite direction to that indicated on the organisers website – this time not my fault. Baby steps going up the hills chuffing away like a tank engine, and overtaking loads on the downhills. The way my legs felt on the last lap, I knew I’d got the pacing spot on for this.

Pleased with the performance generally, happy with the overall result and slightly disappointed with the age group position – and the people in my 2018 age group don’t seem to be slowing down either. If you fancy a change from Steyning, Haywards Heath offers a slightly more interesting bike route, closer to home. Not good for PBs, but ideal for a B race. I just hope I’ve got it all out my system.


384m/25k/5.2k  Time Age Grouping  Overall
Andy Peel 1:22:56 8/27 15/71
Dave’s mate Tim 5:20:17 64/122 369/774
Gary Sims 1:28:12 16/27 26/71
Gary Vickers 2:18:02 16/22 27/41

Upcoming Events

Wed Jan 24th 2018 - 7:15pm-8:30pm
Pump House, Kings Centre
Sat Jan 27th 2018 - 6:30am-7:30am
Swim (All In) Session 1
King's Centre
Sat Jan 27th 2018 - 7:30am-8:30am
Swim (All In) Session 2
King's Centre
Sat Jan 27th 2018 - 7:45am-8:15am
Core Session
Sat Jan 27th 2018 - 9:00am-10:00am
Saturday Run
Kings Centre
Sun Jan 28th 2018 - 10:00am-12:00am
The Vale Gallop 10k
Walton on the Hill KT20 5BN