Richard H in his third Triathlon, 10th June 2012

After a week's holiday in the Isle of Man watching the TT races I returned back home on the Friday rested but a bit heavier (!), and looking forward to Sunday's Spalding sprint triathlon.

On arriving with my son Ben, we went through the usual process of registration and setting the bike up in transistion. This event was a pool based swim where we had to do 400 mtrs (16 lengths) before running out to the bike. Whilst waiting for my slot I had the opportunity to watch the other swimmers going off and was struck by how many went off way too hard only to suffer badly within 3 to 4 lengths, so I made a mental note to go out steady and build speed to the finish.

Soon it was my turn and after the dreaded countdown we were off. The swim went well and the lengths quickly passed and soon I was hauling myself out of the pool and running for the bike (always my favourite bit). Into transistion, and helmet on and away we go in 47 seconds. The bike course was 18.76 km and went well - I kept it pinned as hard as I dared with the run still to come; a fairly bumpy course but the Abbotsley TT is great training for that so I felt at home! I completed the bike section in 28.22 which turned out to be the fastest bike time of the day by over a minute and a half, so I was pleased with that.

Into the second transistion and after not being able to find my rack number (harder than you think!) I ran out with a transistion time of 1.08, and not happy at all with that! 30 free seconds given to the leaders. Onto the run and seething! - ha ha I ran hard on the 2 lap 4.6km course and picked up some good places and crossed the line with a run time of 17.17 which I was very pleased with.

My overall posistion was 3rd place in 56.30 and the two men in front were both current GBR age group athletes (40-45). I was happy with that as its only my thrd triathlon and there's still a lot more to come, especially in the swim and run. Second place finished in 54.35 and the winner in 53.26 but both have been competing at European level for the last 3 years plus. So after a bit of a sit down with the support crew (the Mrs!) I have decided to try and qualify as a GBR age grouper. I've entered the last qualifying event in Rother valley on September 16th and registered  with the BTF. If succesful I would be able to contest the European sprint championships in Turkey next year so success or failure, watch this space!

Richard Hancock