12 August 2019 - By James Montgomery
Saturday 10th August
The Midnight Man Triathlon, Dartford, Kent
Following the weather chaos at The Outlaw Triathlon two weeks ago and in need of using all the training he had done over the last 6 months, Lee Blake had entered The Midnight Man triathlon. Offering various distances, naturally Lee opted for the full “iron” distance of 3.8 kms swim, 180 kms bike and 42 kms run. The major difference with this event was that it started at 6pm on Saturday evening. That meant a majority of the event would take place in the dark.
With the worst of luck, the weather again played it’s hand with the strong winds that blew all day on Saturday. Lee, with Carina in support, arrived at the venue in the shadow of the QE2 Bridge feeling a little apprehensive. With the wind slightly abating the event thankfully started on time at 6pm; it was still blowing strong and the swim was more like a sea swim with spray and chop making for difficult sighting of the course marker buoys.
However, Lee finished the swim still feeling fresh and after a quick transition started the 26-lap bike course, that would take him through to the early hours of Sunday morning. The course was tough in that there were many turns on each lap with u-turns, 90-degree turns and turns around cones that marked the course, all being done in the dark and still with the fierce wind blowing.
Lee dismounted from his bike at around 1:30am to start the 8-lap, 42 kms run; this being Lee’s first run of this distance. Undeterred, off he went into the first light of Sunday morning. On lap 7, Lee was greeted by the sunrise and getting closer, he pushed on and to the finish line to join the small band of WRC members that have completed an Ironman distance triathlon, with extra kudos for doing it in the dark!
Sunday 11th August
Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk
At a more social time, but still quite early on Sunday morning Andy Notley headed in the opposite direction to Suffolk for the third running of the Bury St Edmunds Sprint+ Triathlon, offering a 600m pool swim, a 45k bike & a 10k run.
The required swim distance meant 4 laps in each lane before crossing into the next, but having lost count half way Andy suspects he may have mistakenly done an additional 2 lengths.
The 2 lap bike course was an out & back route directly into a headwind which made the hills a real struggle, but a tail wind after the turn meant a very fast return!
The 4 lap run course started well although Andy tired for the final couple of laps, finishing 4th overall & 2nd in his age group. He would have been 1 place better had he simply remembered to keep count during the swim…lessons learnt!