I’ve done the Dambuster a few times as It’s a great event; cleanish water, smooth and wide roads (so don’t get held up), and a run by the reservoir. It’s also well run and attracts a decent number of good triathletes, so good competition.
I came in this year feeling confident for the cycle leg, with my new bike and some good power stats over the past weeks. So hoping for a PB.
The swim was a little rough. About 200 people setting off from a beach start with an aussie out then in half way round… first time I’ve done that which is fun. There was a lot of argy bargy, kicking etc, and I seemed to struggle more than normal with going in a straight line. So I was braced for a slow time, a little surprised to come out in just over 27 mins.
The rough swim left me more disoriented than normal in T1 so I took it a little slower, and mounted pretty badly onto the bike.
The bike felt weird. I was planning to hit 300W, but my legs didn’t feel like my own, with my quads struggling and the power down. I had to accept I had the legs I had on the day, and once I was over the “Rutland ripple” (not great for a big rider) I got into a rhythm on the long down hill and started picking off a few competitors. Came in at around 22mph overall, which is ok given there is a fair amount of climbing.
T2 was uneventful, in and out fairly quickly, and onto the run to see how the moaning quads would cope. Thankfully I managed to run it off in the first 1/2 mile and got into a rhythm at 7min/mile pace, which I was relieved I was able to hold for most of the race. Near the end, just when I was thinking about stepping up the effort I got a stitch (I never get a stitch!) which probably cost me close to a minute and a handful of places. Came in in ~43:30.
Overall was 5th in age group (out of 55) and surprisingly, apart from transitions, the swim turned out to be my best vs. my age group. Got a 4 min PB and a 3 min bike PB on the course.
Lesson learnt: do some work on my glutes as I think they switched off for the bike and left me over-using the quads, which is not great and led to a slight quad strain yesterday.
If you got this far, I hope it wasn’t too dull