Reading Triathlon 2012 – Hetty Bostock

In preparation for the Auckland World Championships, I figured I should probably compete in another Olympic distance triathlon, considering the qualifying race in Shropshire was the first one I had ever done! With the triathlon season well under way and the majority of popular races full up, I was lucky to get a slot in the Reading Triathlon. With less than 6 weeks to go until the championships, and roughly 6 weeks into my new training schedule, it would be a good test of my progress.

I set off at 5am and arrived early, having slept, eaten and rested well. I still get ridiculously nervous and feel well out of my depth as all the competitors rack up their bikes and lay out their kit. Once everything is racked and ready and numerous trips to the porterloos made, we wait at the edge of the lake. The swim, undoubtedly my worst sphere sets off, two 750m laps of the lake. I start near the front and for the first 500m feel strong, but as the faster girls pull away I start to panic. Even putting in more effort I can’t keep up.  I finish the second loop knowing my time is poor.  As I run into T1 I know I have a lot of work to do. I struggle to pull the wetsuit off with swimmers shaky arms and legs aware the clock is ticking.

Once out of T1 and leaning forwards over my tri-bars I begin to relax, and for the first time in the race, enjoy myself. The legs didn’t feel great and I know I can go much faster but as I started overtaking people I began to gain confidence. Maybe despite a poor swim, I can gain back some ground. The bike leg was long, the route had been changed due to road works last minute and diverted by an extra 6km. Despite the loss of time in the swim, I was sure I’d overtaken most of the girls, so after a quick T2 I set out on the run.

14km of rutted grass, the main point of today is preparation, so I hold back slightly to prevent injury. I’ve done a lot of work on my speed over the last 6 weeks and it’s paid off. I feel strong and start overtaking most of the field. As I cross the line I check the score boards. 4th female. Not bad, a confident bike and run but I know I can perform a lot better.

I enjoyed the Reading triathlon and will definitely go back again. The set up and organisation is brilliant, helped by the great September sunshine. Six weeks till Auckland, the running and cycling are feeling strong I just need to improve my swim…

Posted on