WRC in Triathlon action in Hanningfield and the Cold Waters of Wales
21 May 2018 - By James Montgomery
On Saturday, Rachel and Mat Pearsons took part in the Hanningfield Standard distance Triathlon, held at Hanningfield Reservoir.
This was a well organised event raising money for the charity Water Aid with a relatively small field of friendly competitors but was well supported by locals and visitors to the reservoir.
With pretty much perfect conditions for triathlon racing and the reservoir sitting at a pleasant 15 degrees where the bottom was visible through the clear water, the swim was 2 laps making up the standard distance of 1500 meters. On exit, a run up the jetty to T1 where Mat, was seemingly having a cup of tea before the 3 laps of the 36 kms bike leg. The course was around the reservoir on familiar roads and not too challenging other than some gravel spots!!
Back into T2 where Mat was onto his “second cup of tea” before setting off into the woods for the 10k run. This was 2 laps all off road and more like a trail run. On the run-in to the finish with several kissing gates, tree roots and fields to negotiate as well as dodging visitors to the site, Rach and Mat were presented with some challenges, but Rachel was well pleased with finshing in a PB for a Standard distance event, with Mat just missing out on posting sub-3 hour time.
All in all a great event and local!
A little further afield, on Sunday Tony Wallen found himself by the side of a very picturesque lake, Llyn Padarn, set in a deep Welsh valley surrounded by mountains; returning to Wales to compete in the Slateman Triathlon.
Picturesque as it may be, the lake for the triathlon start is 2 miles long and 97 feet deep and takes a while to warm up and being at the beginning of the season the advertised 14 degrees on the morning definitely felt a little on the optimistic side! Tony was in the 5th wave and the 1000 meters swim went much to plan, albeit little bit slower than he would have liked, though this also included a substantial run from the swim exit to transition.
On to the 51 kms challenging bike course and although feeling more at home there wasn’t much of a warm-up before the 5 mile climb up to Penn-y-Pass which wasn’t made easier by traffic congestion as the road was still open and the cars were having difficulty overtaking the cyclists. The remainder of the route consisted of more climbs, some fast descents and flat sections where some serious speed could be held. Then back towards Llanberis and getting stuck behind a bus!
From T2 and on to the 11kms run, it started ok with a couple of kms on the road before heading for the climb up the slate quarry (hence the name “Slateman”). There were a few stretches that were runnable but in between could only be described as steep with power walking the only option. Once out of the quarry a section through the woods and a downhill run with rocks and roots, and a few more climbs thrown in for good measure to finsh in an overall time of 3hrs 27 mins 40secs.
Good training for the even tougher challenge later in the year – The Helvellyn Triathlon!