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The Day in the Lakes Triathlon

26/06/2012

On Sunday, Norman Neilson continued his foray into the world of multi discipline events when he took part in his first Half Ironman, the 'Day in the Lakes Middle Distance Triathlon'...

The race consisted of a 1.2 mile swim in Ullswater Lake, a 56 miles bike ride, which included Kirkstone Pass and Shap Fell, then finally a 12.5 miles run on a mixed course of track, fell and road.

The swim in Ullswater Lake was very cold and Norman found it difficult as not only was it the furthest he had swum in open water, but he had to avoid the other competitors as the race started in 2 heats with over 150 swimmers in each.

The 56 mile cycle route included a total climb of 3873 ft. and a descent of 3842 ft. The top of the steep climb over Kirkstone pass was covered in low cloud and with the poor visibility it was easy to understand the organisers insistence on a rule that rear cycle lights had to be on.

In the conditions, the descent of Kirkstone Pass produced some scary moments as the road is very narrow with lots of bends. There then came another steep climb up Shap fell before the return to transition. Norman's view of the bike stage was that it was the hardest cycle he had ever done.

The run included 2 steep climbs on a very wet and soggy course, the first came at around 3 miles and reached a height of 1088 ft. which Norman took in his stride. The second climb of 1425 ft. was at around 7 miles and was very steep with even worse underfoot conditions. Norman reported that it was like running up a stream! The final 3 miles of the run was on road, which came as a relief not only as the going was easier but also as he knew he was near the finish. Norman managed to stay strong on the run in and crossed the finish line in 6hrs 45mins & 53 seconds and 13th in his category.

Norman concluded that it had been a great day, though he surmised that the race should have been called a Lake in the Day given the quantity of rain showers and the perception that there was more water on the run than there was on the swim.

 

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