Pwllheli Triathlon - Owain Llŷr James
Luckily, I'd remembered to turn the clocks forward the night before for a 6.30 start. The 40 minutes that it took to Pwllheli was a nice change to the hours of driving that I do usually, and I arrived in plenty of time to register, sort out my transition and get warmed up for the event.
As I had the fastest swim time of the day, I wore the coveted No 1, and was first to go in the pool. There are some different rules in this triathlon, where no one is allowed to do tumble turns, and after 4 lengths everyone has to move to the next lane by going under the lane ropes! One of the other problems I saw was the 20 seconds intervals between swimmers. This I felt would allow too many swimmers into the lanes at any one time, bu I was fortunate as I was the first to go, and had more or less clear lanes all the way.
I was wearing my new Wales tri suit, made by Speedo, which has a water repellent material, which allows the suit to quickly dry once out of the pool. This certainly was the case, as when I started the bike leg, the suit was dry.
Another different rule in this triathlon, was no running in transition, and as I had a long way to go to my bike, I was forced to power walk all the way, which I'm sure looked hilarious to the onlookers!
No drafting in this race, so it was a 20k time trial from the leisure centre at Pwllheli, to Y Ffor, Chwilog and back to the leisure centre. I was using my new Kuota K Factor triathlon bike supplied by Evolution Bikes, it was only my second outing on it, the first being only last week. A flat start to the bike leg, before a 31/4 km, 80m climb to Bryn y Neuadd Hospital. It was then through the first village of Y Ffor, with a sharp right hand turn along another 1.5km climb to Chwilog.
After 16km, I was caught up by two others, but got stuck in, and didn't let them have too much of a lead. By the time I reached transition, I was only a few seconds behind the first two riders. Bike racked, helmet off and shoes on. They say that transition is the fourth discipline, and although I was in after the first two, I was out before them, and by the first corner on the run route I has a lead of about 20 seconds.
A 5k technical run followed, as I had to follow the pavements along the sea front, which snaked it's way around parked cars and through sand that had been deposited by the strong winds that come off Cardigan Bay. From here, and into Pwllheli and around the marina before turning back to the finish. Not only did I get he fastest 5k run time of the day of 20:33, but also got the fastest swim time of the day, 4:48. Together with my bike time of 37:54, gave me a total time of 1:03:15. This gave me 1st junior and 3rd overall in the race.
A great triathlon, great racing, really friendly atmosphere, good company and food at the Pwllheli Rugby Club made the trip to Pwllheli worthwhile.