The first time I raced at Blenheim, I'd only done a few sprints before (at Thames Turbo) and this was my first big, commercial race. And it was amazing! Even though I DNFed due to an ongoing knee injury I really really enjoyed it. The grounds are beautiful, the lake is clear and still, the course is gently undulating on the bike and run and the support is warm.
"For me, the swim was glorious. An utter breeze. It felt easy, smooth and I went a little off course a couple of times but was way ahead of the majority of our wave by the turn buoy. I wasn't entirely sure where the end of them swim was, but carried on feeling fantastic and quick until I finally worked out where the finish was.
Again, still well at the front of the wave, I was helped out onto the pontoon with little trouble and squeaked in surprise as one of the support volunteers unzipped my wetsuit for me when I really wasn't expecting that. Very helpful! Thanking them both and tearing off the arms and top part, I ran up the hideous slope towards transition - really steep! Glancing down at my watch, my heart rate was 184! I rounded the corner at the top of one of the slopes into transition, pulling off my swimming caps (mine plus the race one on top) and goggles, and a huge grin spread across my face as the crowd were clapping and cheering for everyone and as I was still near the front of the wave and the competitors were relatively spread out, it meant that they were cheering for me! Yes, me!"
|Looong slope up to transition|
The next time, I raced under odd conditions due to work troubles, but I loved it again.
"I got overtaken by a little blonde girl about 750m from the end, which made me kick up two gears and then curse the fact that I'd had those two gears and not used them - and there was plenty left to hold that pace -and- put in a sprint finish. I got overtaken again by two more girls, who I hung on to, hoping they were only on their first lap of the run. When they peeled off left to do their second lap when I was finishing my second, I laughed out loud because I hadn't been racing them, had a huge grin and sprinted to the finish."
|I did grin, honest! It was just a bit after this was taken.|
I missed it last year due to the bridge problem they had (what a stroppy I was about it too!), but I'm back again for a 3rd time at Blenheim on Sunday this coming weekend and I know it'll be an awfully slow swim compared with the last two, the bike could be excitingly quick and I'll take whatever comes on the run. I'm extremely rusty on racing sprints, so I'm sure I'll be hilariously slow in the transitions, but it's going to be lovely!