8th May 2016 Max Curle

Stratford Upon Avon Sprint Triathlon

This is the 5th year in a row that my long term client and friend Lee Goldsmith have took part in this race, a great race in a great town. Its early in the season so good motivation to keep working hard over the winter months, and its a pool swim so no worries with cold water temperatures. 

Preparation
Last year the race took place in alternate location as the Stratford-upon- Avon pool was being refurbished and both Lee and I weren’t particularly focused on the event being so early in the season and with us both having other priorities at the time. However we both made it a focus this year and Lee focused on the event from the turn of the year, specifically working on his swim and bike, Lee set himself the target of a PB, whilst I built in some specific run speed sessions in the weeks before the event. Having finished 8th the 2 previous years I was really looking for a top 5 and a sub 20 minute run. We had both travelled up the night before and enjoyed a good Itaiian meal and walk by the river with our wives and my very energetic son. We were then joined in the morning by my Mum, sister and nephew!

Swim
Registration and bike racking is as easy as it gets, and the staggered swim start couldn’t of been easier. With the racers being seeded on predicted swim times, then being let go every 15 seconds this should, should, lead to a calm swim surrounded by swimmers of similar ability, Lee’s hard work over the winter had paid off as he swam 36 seconds quicker than time, whilst I managed to drag myself out 2 seconds quicker than previous.

Bike
The organisers had changed the bike route slightly, taking us on a shorter route, but with slightly more hills. The roads were small but quiet early in the morning and thankfully there had not been any rain this year. The only small amount of traffic encountered was on the way back into town. Cycle training had been my main focus over the winter so I was keen just to put my foot to the floor and see how fast I could finish the 18km course, the answer was 27.45, a very decent 39.2kmh. Lee hit a PB and encouragingly said afterwards ‘I felt strong on the bike’.

Run
The run course was 2 laps of 2.5km out and back, which included grass paths, river towpath and pavements. My sole goal was to run as fast as i could hoping I could hold on to <4.00/km pace, which I did, 19.51. Lee look the calm on the run and even managed a smile at the finish line, more than I did. 28.41, significantly quicker than last year. Overall
Great race, once to have family there for this one. The weather was even on our side. The staggered starts makes it very hard to gauge where you are in the race, (which doesn’t normally matter) but as I had a place I wanted to achieve it was hard to judge effort and timings, hence the full out effort on the bike and run. It seemed to work I finished 2nd and won my AG whilst Lee had his highest place finish and that PB for this course.

LEE
Year Total Swim Bike Run Placement
2012 1.42.06 9.59 1.00.47 31.20 352/358
2013 1.33.08 7.51 55.13 30.04 402/536
2014 1.33.50 7.15 54.55 27.54 265/397
2015** 1.29.22 8.01 46.48 30.06 248/323
2016* 1.20.53 7.25 41.28 28.41 225/302

** change of venue / *new bike route

MAX
Year Total Swim Bike Run Placement
2012 1.15.30 7.44 45.43 22.03 50/358
2013 1.11.20 7.09 42.42 21.29 36/536
2014 1.10.33 6.56 40.33 20.28 8/397
2015** 1.03.51 6.52 33.21 20.40 8/323
2016* 55.52 6.50 27.45 19.51 2/302

** change of venue / *new bike route

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