One good thing about the current lock down is that I can catch up on writing a few of the blogs that I should have written ages ago. The Kendal Castle Triathlon was quite a big event for me, as it was on my 50th birthday.
The Kendal triathlon is run twice a year, April and September, and I’ve done it a couple of times, as has my lovely wife, and on one occasion one of her sons. It’s a small local race, always well supported and well organised. 2019 saw a change of route for both the bike and run legs, with an out and back for the bike and the run which went around Kendal Castle.
The morning of the race we set off early, probably too early, but that’s what I’m like. The weather was proper grim, so my old war horse, my Principia, was left at home and instead I opted for my well used Scott. I try not to use my Principia when it’s wet, as it is almost 20 years old and still has the original 9 speed Dura-ace group set, which would be very difficult to replace if I was to come off.
One feature that we both like about the Kendal Tri is that all of the women go off first and then the men, with the slower men following on directly after the quicker women. The swim was 16 lengths of the 25m pool. Most of the people in my lane went off too quick and were slowing down near the end, while I kept my pace nice and steady. I always try to make sure that I don’t get out of breath during the swim.
Due to a set of traffic lights near to the pool, there was a neutral zone. Transition was timed as normal, but at the road the timer was stopped, and it wasn’t started until you were through the traffic lights and onto the out and back section. This worked well, especially as I just grabbed my bike (after pulling on my helmet) and ran through transition, and then once in the neutral zone I took it a bit easier. You can see in the photo below how grim the weather was.
Once past the traffic lights it was all go, go, go! Or it was for a few hundred metres until the first climb. The out section had far more up hills and it was into the wind. I can tell you I was pleased to see that turn around point. The out section took 24 mins and the back section took 15 mins, downhill and with a tail wind all the way back to transition. Once again there was a neutral zone which started just before the traffic lights and ended at transition. This was funny to see as triathletes walked towards transition and then ran once the timer started again.
I racked my bike, changed shoes and started running, still with my helmet on. Almost 30 years I’ve been doing triathlons and I can still make very stupid mistakes. I hadn’t gone far so it only cost me about 15 seconds. The run was along the old canal before turning off for a lap of the castle. I was wearing my racing flats, which was good on the paved sections, not so good on the grass around the castle.
I finished in a time of 1 hour 11 minutes and 54 seconds. 19th overall and 4th in my age group. Not too bad. Slower than the last time I had raced at Kendal, although this was a much tougher route, and the weather was atrocious. Very nice finishers medal too.
It also stopped raining almost as I crossed the finish line. A big thank you to all of the marshalls how had stood out in the rain for hours. Triathlons couldn’t take place without you. Feeling a bit tired, my wife plied me with coffee and cake and we headed on home.
The April 2020 edition of this race should be taking place in a few days time, but has had to be postponed. T2 Events, the organiser, has set up a virtual triathlon group on Strava. Complete three different disciplines, upload to Strava, post photos and then Natasha will send you a medal. You should sign up. The link is below.
Both me and my lovely wife, along with nearly the whole country, are really looking forward to when we can get back to normality. Stay safe, keep your distance and wash your hands.