Last weekend I was very lucky to take part in the first ever Peak District triathlon. With the race based around the Chatsworth estate, a stunning day of competition was guaranteed for those involved.
I always love coming back to the Peak District, be it to compete or simply to train. This is the area I learnt to ride in and got my climbing legs for running from. I swear my quads would be about half the size (i.e. normal) if I hadn’t spent so many hours smashing them to pieces on the endless beautiful climbs that the area has to offer. Although I’ve been lucky to compete in some wonderful places, there are few things better than climbing up Froggatt edge or Grindleford on a sunny evening.
The course set by the organisers for the inaugural event started with a 1km swim in the Derwent River. To say it was a bit nippy wouldn’t be doing it justice. Flippin’ freezing! I’ve recently been doing some swimming in the Irish Sea, not known for its balmy temperatures. The Derwent was a good few degrees cooler that’s for sure. Thankfully my wave of starters got off quickly and we were soon on our way.
I must admit that over the last few years I have mainly been focusing on running and Duathlon so my swimming is nowhere near where it should be. My dip in the Derwent wasn’t a massive success. However, I knew that my bike and run were going to be strong. Having sped round the bike leg, it was on to the run. The run leg was very much designed as homage to the Chatsworth 10k – viciously steep in places, and then some!! Two laps up to the watchtower and back was enough to make the quads really burn.
Regrettably, my efforts on the bike and run weren’t quite enough to get the win. Still, I’m happy enough with 4th. As a nice consolation, I did get the King of the Mountain prize for the fastest ascent on the run course.
Having been selected last month to compete for GB at the World Powerman Championships in Switzerland in September, the Peak District Triathlon was always going to be a Cat B race for me. The format for the World Championships is 10k Run, 150k Bike, 30k run. It’s a race with a well-earned reputation for being one of the toughest multi-discipline events in the world. My mind is very much focused on that right now. However, with the promise from the organisers to make the Peak District Triathlon bigger and better next year, I look forward to improving my swim and having a proper crack at winning it next year.
More updates on World Championship prep to come…