It was a weekend of firsts for the club (and a few thirds but more on that later). It was the club's first organised trip away to race. Fourteen club members made the trip North to Wells-Next-the-Sea. Many of the triathletes that came away were competing in either their first triathlon ever or their first Olympic distance triathlon. It was the first year of the inter-club challenge between North Norfolk Triathlon Club and London Fields Triathlon Club. However the trip was not without incident!
Everyone arrived safely in Wells and once checked into the luxurious beige accommodation i.e. caravan park, we headed off for a lap of the bike course. The bike course really is quite spectacular. The highlight being the section that takes you into the beautiful Holkham Estate passing the impressive obelisk and then turning in front of the very grand looking Holkham Hall to then leave the estate via a short climb and continue the bike course.
We opted to eat out Saturday evening. I set a fine example of what to eat and drink the night before a race opting for the haddock gouchons with chips i.e. gourmet fish and chips, with a glass of red wine and them promptly finished off Russell's dinner with Herfried's help. It was then back to the beige caravan for some preparation of race kit for the morning's big race.
The race started at 9.45am. The idea being that on the swim by the time we turned the far turning buoy the tide would be slack. North Norfolk has some of the biggest tides in the UK. The outward swim leg was soooo fast with the tide assisting us towards the turning buoy. I saw one competitor get a little carried away, forgetting to sight and swimming straight into a moored boat! After turning the far turning buoy the tide was anything but slack. It was more like swimming in an endless pool that someone had cranked up to full throttle for a laugh! I am pleased to say none of our triathletes panicked and everyone made it back to transition safely. Lindsey had one of the fastest swim times of any female in the field.
I emerged from the water with bloodied hands. I'm still not sure exactly how that happened. I think almost all of us, due to the fact we were running at such great speed I'm sure, slipped on the timing mat. Herfried Waha hit the the deck with a thud that made the crown gasp in horror. Thankfully, he got straight up unfazed by the mishap and carried on.
I am quite sure everyone loved the bike course. It is hard not to in such an amazing setting. Guy, Club Captain, smoked it and had the fastest time of the day from the club. Jeremy I am sure had the fastest time of anyone in the field on a hybrid. Rob Boulding was also flying but he took a tumble at the turn around point in front of Holkham Hall cutting up his hands and grazing his right shoulder and arm. He soldiered on. Krystal was charging on her mountain bike too.
The run is an out and back course on the North Norfolk Coastal Path. It is fast and flat with the majority of it being off-road. Amanda, who was the runner in the team made up of Seb (swim) and Sarah (bike), was flying. She posted a 40min 40s 10km split and apologised as she passed the lead female explaining that she was in a relay team and not taking over the lead. Everyone did a great job on the run and after crossing the line stayed around the finishing area to clap and cheer as the rest of our club members finished.
So congratulations to everyone that took part especially those completing their first triathlon or first Olympic distance triathlon. You will certainly find easier races so you can be very proud of your achievements. London Fields Triathlon Club won the inter-club challenge. We now have a very impressive looking shield at least until next year. Guy Holbrow was third in the veteran men's category. I was third in the senior men's category.
The day concluded with a much deserved feed of fish and chips on the quay overlooking the historic Wells Harbour. A great weekend. Thank you to all those who took part and helped with transport and buying food etc. Hopefully many more of you will come along next year to defend the shield!
Tim (LFTC Coach)