South Manchester Sprint 22 September 2013

Didn’t have the best preparation for this. Was out on the Friday night at the Arena watching Paramore and then Saturday night out at a charity do for Genesis Breast Cancer. Both quite late nights, particularly the Genesis do but water at both so didn’t feel too bad.

My swim wasn’t due til 10.55 so didn’t need to get up too early. Did this one in May, so knew the course, and also knew that the car park filled up quite quickly, so got down quite early and managed one of the last few spaces in the car park by the leisure centre. Got myself checked in and went off to rack the bike in transition. Once I was happy and checked everything about 4 times, went off to get changed.

The swim starts with a 10 minute briefing by the pool about the whole course. All pretty much common sense but a nice reminder of what to look for. The swim is done in the leisure centre pool. Five lanes with five swimmers in each, going off at ten second intervals, and if you need to overtake, just tap the swimmer in front on the foot and they let you through at the next turn. I’m not the quickest swimmer, more endurance but managed to get past all the ones in front of me and got out about 40 seconds quicker than last time so pretty happy with that.

Round to transition, just a small jog across the path and grass and onto the cricket pitch where transition was. Still not got this nailed. Wanted to put my cycling top on over the tri suit as it had my spare inner tube and CO2 canister in its pocket. Didnt dry myself properly on my arms so struggled to get it on and got in a flap faffing about. Forgot to put my Garmin off my wrist and onto the bike and didn’t remember until I was on the bike. Still, guess its one of those things you only do once.

The bike is my weakest part, need a lot more practice on it. Set off and felt really comfortable. There was about four riders in front of me and soon got past them which gave me more confidence. Was pleasantly surprised how comfy and more importantly how quick I was so just cracked on. Got to the top of the hill just before the airport tunnel and charged down it, which showed how confident I felt. Halfway down, it all went pear shaped. Didnt see a big pot hole, and went straight into it. Was a right bang but kept upright. Then a couple of seconds later, had that sinking feeling as everything went wobbly and had abit of a battle to stay on. Fortunately, managed to pull into a bus stop and stay on.

Checked the front, and was completely flat. There was a rider on the other side of the road who had seen what happened so he came over to check I was ok. This was to be my first ever change, but luckily my help was a bit more experienced, so soon back on the way. Big big thanks for the help!!

The roundabout was about 50 yards up, but as soon as I got to it, it didn’t feel right. Pulled up again and the back was flat!!! Had used my one spare so that was me done. Gutted.

Started the long walk back up the hill. Warned a few about the pot hole as they flew past but everyone seemed to miss it ok. After about 20 mins, a guy stopped and offered me a lift. Turns out he was an ex triathlete so knew what I was up to and took pity on me, so big thanks for that.

Got back to the start and had the walk of shame to the timing desk to tell them I was a DNF. Really gutted about it, but nothing I could do. Guess I need two spares next time!!

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