Sunday 16th September 2012 saw James Bray (@jameswbray) compete in the Rother Valley Sprint distance Triathlon. This was the qualifying race for the European Sprint Distance Championships in Alanya, Turkey. This event consisted of a 750 meter swim in the main lake of Rother Valley Country Park, a 3km long climb out of the valley followed by 2 laps of the 9km bike route racing around the Harthill area then it’s all downhill back to the Country Park before the 5km run looping the lake.
“The conditions were good for racing and after riding the bike course the week before it gave me added confidence to race as hard as possible to give me the best chance of qualifying for one of the GB age-group spots up for grabs. In addition to the route rekey, I was coming off the back of a solid 6 week block of training with some impressive performances at the local club run duathlons. Therefore I was ready to push myself and see how I faired against similar athletes who were also aiming for a GB age-group spot.”
The swim was as good as I expected I knew I would be a little of the pace being a non-swimmer but nether less came out to the back end of the main group which I was happy with. This contributed of a swim time of 14 minutes and 58 seconds.
Once through transition I was onto the bike course. After the course rekey the week before I knew I has to get into a good climbing rhythm quickly. After climbing out of the valley the rest of the course was fairly undulating but that’s the sort of course I like, so was able to get the power down as start clawing back all the places I lost in the water. I pushed as hard as I could and made full advantage of the team’s rear disc especially on the final 3km back to the park which was all downhill! I ended up with a bike split of 43 minutes and 21 seconds, which I was really happy with.
After a good T2 I was quickly into the run. The run was flat and fast and I pushed as hard as I could for the first 1km then settled in before really kicking hard for home with about a mile to go. My run time was 18 minutes and 37 seconds.
I finished with an overall time of 1 hour 19 minutes and 22 seconds. This was 8th in my age group, 71st overall. I missed out on automatic qualification spot but my time was good enough to still qualify for one of the roll down places so I’m now just waiting to see if I have qualified. I’m really happy with my overall performance and don’t think I could have gone much faster. I know I have still got a lot of hard work to put in to my swimming to improve my swim times but other than that I am happy and am now looking forward to a bit of time off before starting my winter training.