Club Championship 2018: Middle Distance

Sundowner Triathlon 2018

The last of the season Club Championship races was Sundowner Triathlon on Sunday 01 September 2018. Congratulations to our new Club Champions Liam Walker and Hannah K Peel.

Congratulations also to Hannah K Peel who was second female overall, and to Sallyann Smith who won her Age Group.


Race Report

Please help us out by submitting your race reports to throughout the season, we’d love to share them on the website – otherwise you will have to read my reports all the time and no one wants that.

The morning of Sundowner Middle Distance kicks off with a sprint race so it’s a good excuse to get to the venue early, set up a few camping chairs and cheer on the morning STC contingent of racers. Congratulations to the following members racing, who had all finished with some great results:

  • Thomas Shaw 01:16:23
  • Jagoda Malendowicz 01:18:21
  • Dan Janes 01:21:51
  • Hannah F Peel 01:25:42

After a morning Coffee and Flapjack plus an impromptu lunch sat in the car park, at 13:20 it was my time to race.

Now, I made a couple of key mistakes going into Sundowner. The first one being a general lack of training (during August I had been on my bike for less than 3 hours total) and the second one being a complete disregard of the fact that the first one was a mistake, hence putting a ridiculously optimistic estimated finishing time when signing up, assigning me to almost the last wave start.

After getting over mild disappointment that the inflatable obstacle course in the middle of the lake wasn’t actually part of the swim route, my attention switched to trying to navigate the first swim buoy without getting smacked in the face. I decided taking a wide line was the best approach, and after half a lap of carnage things had thinned out a little. After each lap of three I shuffled across the grassy bank to delicately lose all of the places I’d gained in the preceding 5 minutes of swimming, but still.

Out onto the bike course it was a complete novelty for it to be dry and sunny at Sundowner. Unfortunately it was pretty windy though, so with that and a knowledge of a general lack of bike fitness I settled in for a long ride. The first 45km lap wasn’t too bad – I drank a bottle of energy drink and had a cereal bar, just cruising along not trying to push things too hard. I clocked sub 1hr30 at around 31km/hr so I was more than happy with that. I should’ve probably stopped there.

Onto the second lap my lack of bike fitness showed, as I shipped average speed into a headwind – dropping a further 20 minutes on lap 2. My stomach had also decided not to tolerate any more sugary food and had closed for business for the day.

As I rolled my bike into transition to the run, this is where I started to regret my finish time optimism and late start time. I knew the cut off for the third lap of the run was 7pm, after which you needed to have lights to continue (which I didn’t have). Each lap was 7km, so I needed to run 14km in 1hr45 not to be cut off. Normally I wouldn’t have considered this a problem, but I had zero running legs and felt sickly ill on sugar.

And so I shuffled on. Round the lake and onto the road, waving an attempted cheery greeting to any STC member I could see out on the course and trying to hide feeling pretty terrible. The worst thing about this was even in the Event Photos I managed to look reasonably cheery. I thought I’d at least have some stellar material for the ongoing ‘Best Photo’ competition.

I managed the first 7km loop in 47 minutes, and the next loop was worse. I was an odd mixture of ravenously hungry without any desire to actually stomach anything to eat. At the mid-way aid station I walked 1km and nibbled a half banana. That half banana saved my race. A few hundred metres later I broke into a shuffle, then a jog, then a run. For 4-5 glorious km I could run again. I ran through the finish line to start the last lap with such conviction that I was told afterwards that most people thought I was finishing.

Unfortunately all good things come to an end, and the bananary goodness ran out with 6km still to run. But still, I had made the last lap cut-off with 10 minutes to spare. I jogged the rest of the loop, on the fuel of a second banana half (with not nearly the same energy boost) and crossed the line in 6hr24. About 1hr15 slower than my estimated time when I’d entered.

Post race it was great to see Hannah and Sally pick up prizes, and have a post race chat with other STC members. Or at the very least listen to a post race chat whilst I stared longingly at a pork sandwich my stomach and I disagreed over whether I should eat it.

Photo Gallery

Credit to Hannah F Peel and Jagoda Malendowicz for the photos:

Coming Up Next…

To be confirmed. If you have any suggestions about what races you’d like to see in next years Club Championship schedule please let us know.


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