Ride bikes. Have fun. Feel good.

21st East Grinstead Triathlon

Rob Dickson writes…

The 21st East Grinstead Triathlon was held at the King’s Centre on 14 May 2006.

A total of 330 ‘athletes’ took part in the main ‘sprint’ event, which comprised a 500m swim, 27km bike ride, and 5km run. In addition to the main event, the women’s ‘Try a Tri’ (with reduced distances) attracted 68 entries.

Competitors from EGCC in the sprint event comprised Mark Bashford (also a member of EG Tri club) and me.

Believing I was slightly fitter than last year, a better rider (thanks largely to Paul Winkley’s recent 2 up tuition), and much more confident of finding my bike quickly at the first transition, I was hopeful of beating last year’s time of 1hr 34min, which had put me in 193 place.

Anyway, after a very slow 20 lengths of the King Georges Pool I was quickly starting out on the bike loop which took the riders through Forest Row and Hartfield, before returning to East Grinstead via the Coldstock cross roads and the A264. Sure enough, an official time of 53min 51 secs for the bike (including both transitions) was approximately 5 mins quicker than last year, although at least half of this time was due to an increased ability to find my kit. After an approximately 23 min run I was home in just under 1hr 29mins for 144th place.

Apart from the obvious fitness aspect, other room for considerable future improvement would come from a better swimming technique, and I still spent 5 minutes at the changeovers, which can’t be good!

In a totally different class was Mark Bashford. Finishing 7th overall (1hr 11min 44sec), and 4th on the bike leg in under 44 mins. This would be impressive enough were it not for a crash in Hartfield caused deliberately by a projectile thrown from a passing car. Under these circumstances it would have to go down as a great performance in anyone’s book, and it is extremely fortunate that the incident didn’t result in any serious injury, except to Mark’s bike.

Overall, just to take part in the event, which was won by Sam Gardner of ‘Cannondale Fatface’ was good experience, helped in no small measure by the slick organisation by EG Tri club and an army of volunteers.