The two-day triathlon festival sees the addition of the Mixed Team Relay, the new triathlon race format that has recently been added to the program of events for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The Mixed Team Relay comprises of 2 women and 2 men individually completing an ultra-short triathlon of 250m swim, 5k bike and 1.5k run before handing over to the next team member to do the same. I’m told the course here today for the bike section was slightly longer at 6k.
Jemma, Steve, me then Harry was the order we planned to race in. I met these guys at University, part of the Leeds Triathlon Developmental Squad. I’m in the BUCS squad but we do get to train alongside each other sometimes. I was really excited when they asked me if I wanted to take part today.
The weather forecast for the morning wasn’t good, the heavens opened on our drive up so started to think about the wet conditions on the hills but it started to dry up and by the afternoon the sun was out.
The relays didn’t start until the mid-afternoon so had plenty of time. Met up with everyone about 12:00pm sat in front of the live band for a while before registration opened. But before we could register we had to choose a team name and decide what order we were to go in. So funny, laughing at the crazy names we came up with. In case you haven’t heard the team was called “Whitney Warriors” I said no choose something else but was out voted.
So we registered then got ourselves set up in transition. After a race briefing which served to remind us of the rules Jemma headed off to the lake ready to start. The first team member would start in the water at the Great Lake in front of the boathouse. It was a deep-water start for all the first athletes. The rest of us had to wait back at transition. We would have to wait to be tagged before we could start our run down to the lake, wade in and swim along the front of the boat house then go between the start buoys to do our loop, we would then exit again were we got in, the muddy water and weeds added to the fun.
We all decided to race without wetsuits today to save time in transition, it was optional but the water was warm also after we were tagged we didn’t want to have to run to the lake in our suits. It was a short swim so more reason to go harder, basically it was a straight up sprint with our heads down. Everyone had a tough end to the swim section anyway with the long up hill 400m run back to transition.
Jemma was first back out the water having a cracking swim, back from the bike leg she had opened the gap up even more, by the end of her run I think she had gained the team about a 5 minutes lead.
It was really exciting to watch, stood in transition waiting for the next racer ready for the hand over, I had a long nervous wait. We all kept cheered each other on each time we came into transition.
It would take to long to do a running commentary individually but basically Jemma, Stephen and Harry were amazing, I felt like a newbie amongst these guys.
Simple Race Report
T1 this was quick and easy with no wetsuit and only the helmets to put on, it was out of transition and onto the bike course. Let’s just say it was not a flat course but pretty straight forward, an out and back.
T2 again everything went as planned, bikes racked on with trainers. It was an undulating hilly cross-country run leg round the spectacular estate grounds.
Coming in over the finish line to a swirl of noise and lifting the banner over our heads. The announcer once again shouting out our team name, echoing those words “Whitney Warriors” it was so funny.
It was such a great event in fact the whole day was just fantastic fun loads of team spirit around. Thanks to the organizers, marshals and volunteers they did an amazing job cheering us all on.
A big thank you to these guys Jemma, Stephen & Harry for doing an incredible job, they are so talented.
We took our spot on the podium