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Upton Sprint triathlon, Sat 11th July 2009 Print

Barry O'Neill writes:

My first triathlon of the year promised to be an exciting one with my first open water race to boot.

The Swim was a 750m one down the River Severn which promised to be quite quick being down stream. Unfortunately the current was not that strong and I had to still work hard given my very limited talent.

The bike section proved eventful. Having exited the water towards the back of the field (but not last I was pleased to see), I was keen to make progress on the bike and reclaim some pride. After managing to take a couple of riders in the first 3 kilometres, I formed a small group of with two other riders. About the 5k mark I thought I saw a left turn marker but  was not sure. There was no marshall and I had been assured there would be one on every turn. I was preparing to overtake one of my group so was unsure what I had seen so when the others went past the turn I followed. Five miles later, I hit a junction and concluded we were way off course. Given that we had now covered more than half the course distance we headed back to race HQ as best we could - the marshal now being present as we retraced our steps past the fateful junction. I had done an extra 2 miles by the time I entered T2.

I was determined to finish the event anyway so set off on my run. It never surprises me how exhausted you can feel doing the run leg. However, I was making good progress through the field. Because of the staggered start times you are never sure if the people in front actually started before or after you, are doing the relay or even if they are doing the olympic distance rather than the sprint. In the end you chase down everyone you can regardless.

By the end I was happy just to finish. I was 79th overall (of 116)  which I was happy with given my extended bike race. Whilst I was not impressed with my run time I was very happy to still finish 9th on the run which I think says a lot about the effect of the bike on peoples running times.  Maybe next year I should work on my swimming and cycling - especially my navigation.


 Swim  750m  


  Bike 21.5K 


 Run 5K

 Barry O'Neill 
    15:10(90) 2:43   55:26(98) 1:12 

116 triathletes completed the race.

Full results can be found here .

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