A TRIO Stratford Triathlon Cub members travelled to Cambridgeshire for the Grafman British Middle Distance Triathlon Championships which were held around Grafham Water, reports Dave Clarkson.
The event included a new rolling start system, which meant that instead of everyone going off together, competitors were held in pens based on estimated finish times with the fastest going off first.
Stratford’s Richard Shephard was in the first wave and was right up with the leaders before exiting the water after just over 29 minutes.
Tim Tandy and Dave Clarkson were in the second wave and battled amongst hundreds of other similar based opponents with Tandy finishing the swimming stage inm 33.14, while Clarkson recorded a time of 39.35.
The bike leg was made up of several out and back legs which took the riders out to St Neots, Kimbolton and Bedford before returning to Grafham.
With the course being flat to rolling, it was going to be fast all day and not to Shephard’s liking as he did not have the legs on the bike to make up ground on the leaders, but he still managed to cover the 56 miles in under two-and-half hours after completing the ride in 2:23.46.
Tandy (2:46.38) and Clarkson (2:55.23) meanwhile were making the most of the bike course and mashing the gears to take full advantage against the clock with both going under three hours.
Being a middle distance race it was now only a matter of completing the half marathon run to finish, which was easier said than done as the temperatures rose on the hottest day of the year.
Taking in the two lap course around the reservoir, Shephard was quickly onto his run and was soon making up time on the leaders, moving from eighth to sixth but was unable to get to the front runners and he was made to settle for that final position.
Tandy and Clarkson were both onto the run but unlike Shephard the legs were suffering from the fast bike course, battling cramps they managed to tough it out to finish 229th and 434th.