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The Belvoir Mid Distance Triathlon, May 2010

"Doing the Beaver" by Carolyn

2 weeks ago I was supposed to be doing the 'Beaver Middle Distance' tri, followed 2 days later by the "Anfield 100." Little did I realise how brutal the Beaver was going to be. And yes, I have had endless ribbing about "doing the beaver," and the beaver being tough! its actually spelt Belvoir, but pronounced beaver, that'll be the Nottingham locals for you!

The race was due to start at mid-day, nice we thought, no rushing round like a loony at daft o'clock in the morning. Until it started raining, and the temperature dropped, and the wind got up. The swim was ok, doesn't really matter if its raining when your wet anyway, except for the fact that I've never swam 1.9Km in black water, I swear I got dizzy every time I turned my head to breath!

Getting out of the water then involved running 500m in the rain, whilst taking wetsuit off, only to find that the rest of my kit was a tad on the damp side. Don't think I've ever put some much clothing on for a race - see attached picture - on top of my skin suit I put a long sleeve jersey and a waterproof, the weather really was appalling.
On to the bike section - should of been 56miles, turned out to be only 49, a blessing really as it was so awful. Throwing it down, blowing a gale, which is ok if the wind is behind you, and for the first 4 miles it was - ish. The we turned a 90 degree corner slap bang into a head wind, really was like riding into a brick wall. Drop a cog or 2 then we start the climb, those who have ridden with me will know this is not my strong suit! On the other other hand, I'm great at coming down hill! Love it, on the bars all the way, arse in the air! Then you realise - oh crap, I've got to do that 3 more times yet! The hill was not my best friend on the last lap, but to keep me going, I did pass a couple of people who had got off to walk - made feel tonnes better! No punctures thankfully, but I did lose a bottle cage, which my brother-in-law rescued for me - bless!

Then it was on to the run, again, should of been 13.1miles but was actually 14.4! Still, my nutrition plan was going ok, I felt strong and ready for it. Then I got to the bridge they had constructed over the bike route, 60 degree up hill over the top and 60 degree down hill, on wood that was very slippy with the rain -a good time to walk and take on a gel I thought. And that was my routine over the 3 laps, which was in a kind of bowl shape with the bridge lump in the middle. Lovely mixed route over grass, tarmac and woodland, but with big hills at either end. The rain had stopped by the time I started my run so I could ditch the waterproof, but was still cold enough to warrant a long sleeve top.

Great race, really enjoyed it despite the weather, but put so much into it that by the time Monday came round, I'd set my alarm clock for 4am, which was when I needed to be up for the Anfield 100, and my body really was not up for it, sore throat, snotty nose, very achey glutes, so sadly, I text the organiser and went back to bed. More training required me thinks....So, tomorrow I am doing Bala, another middle distance tri, this time in Mid Wales. Did this one last year, so am very much hoping to get a PB, watch this space...

Report by Carolyn Hume