Synopsis / Overview
The following day our mixed team (BARMEN & TRINI GUYL) also powered onto the podium in 3rd at the RWTC Ultimate Tag Team Triathlon.
In every situation be thankful and optimistic.
Pre Race – Weeks / Days
Twelve (12) days before race day, I was taken over by a terrible flu. I experienced symptoms of cold, headache and pains about the body. Apparently it was a popular infection at that time. Remedial steps caused me to use tonics and additional vitamins to promote a speedy recovery. Within four (4) days the pains were gone but the cold still lingered. I continued to use other supplements which rebuilt my immune system and after some six (6) days, I was then able to complete a proper training session.
The contents of my mental-menu catalog was the main component of my nutrition/diet. Rice, beans, vegetables, fruits, organic tea and loads of water – average 2 litres per day. I must admit that over the race week, I indulged in a lot of sweet tarts, cereals and in a smaller quantity -chocolate which were sent by my mom and older sister.
The weather condition was lovely; 27.2 degrees with a 14 kph ESE wind. I rode to the start line with one of my tag team members, Adam Cripwell, who is also the Barbados National Triathlon Champion for 2015. That was followed by a few mins of jogging and some dynamic drills & stretches to get the body totally warmed. I was confident of a podium finish, although I was uncertain of the running ability of all my competitors. As such, my plan was to mingle with the front pack for the first 2km and then move away if I could. However, the race played out quite differently.
At the start [some 5 minutes after the 10 km start], I quickly separated myself from the crowded race pack to avoid any physical contact with my competitors. Within the first 0.7 km I was running quite relaxed and observant within the top 10 runners. Over the next few hundred meters I moved into 3rd position, as I perceived that the leader was getting farther away.
As we came over the first incline, I tried to catch up with the 2nd place runner but I did not get as close as I wanted. In that same time span, the leader managed to increase his lead, by upping the tempo to pass a few 10 km runners who merged into the shared race route around the historical Queen’s Park Savannah.
As we continued along the race route, the top 3 runner positions were stagnant, with me in 3rd, but the gap from the rest of the field was increasing. Realizing this, I aimed to get to the finish line as fast as I could without using too much energy (high level of efficiency). This was done and I finished strong and relaxed in the same spot / 3rd position.After the race I had a massage and some nutrients to complement my readiness for the triathlon race scheduled to start in 14 hrs time.
On the morning of the triathlon race, we packed our stuff and headed on a 36 km ascent drive to the race venue. When we got there, Adam and I quickly set up our bikes and went to get familiar with the race course. The environment was picturesque and full of nature; with a host of biting sand-flies.
My first impression when I saw the cycle course was “boi u gat to be kiddin me”. The first incline was long and steep, but the course got better until the final incline which was not that bad on its own, but when combined with the rest of the course it was truly a “leg-eater”; worst than the sand-flies. (laughing)
The run course was great for a beach run and the swim course was filled with approximately 3ft waves at the entry and exit points.
Our team had a race briefing and we were off to the start area in our respective spot / leg. From right to left – 1st to 4th legs [Jennice, Adam, Debra and Me].
1st Leg – Jennice had a rough start as everyone was rushing to the first buoy [turn] on the swim course. She was snuffed out the pack, but as she got on the cycle course it appeared as though her confidence was boosted as we were also cheering her on. Her run leg was good and she tagged Adam some 4+ mins behind the leading teams.
2nd Leg – Adam was hungry for speed, he went as hard as he could to get that “fast-pace”. From the swim leg, he began to overtake and improve the team’s position. With his strong cycling background he continued the “overtaking spree”. Finally, he glided across the beach shores to finish the run before tagging Debra in either 5th or 6th position.
3rd Leg – Debra performed well when compared to her expressed expectations.
Debra maintained a competitive pace during the wave-infested swim, hilly bike and sandy run courses. With determination and endurance, she tagged me in 4th place with a look of fatigue and relief on her face. “Thanks for the tag, Debz”
During my wait to be tagged, I recall seeing another team getting tagged and I was wishing that was me and we can say the same for the guy next to me, Marc, based on his facial expression.
4th Leg – I completed a relatively comfortable swim with at-the-moment 3rd place in sight and 5th place hot on my heals. I managed to reduce the gap and began the bike leg less than 5 seconds behind. Unfortunately, he [Ian] slipped off his wheels on approaching the first turn, so I uttered a word of encouragement to him, then made the turn to attack the long hill. He was back up and rolling with a few scratches but now in 4th spot. On the last hill of the bike course I slipped into 4th spot by the legs of a local famous cyclist, Marc Ogiste. Despite my efforts I did not out-sprint him. Knowing that the last podium spot was at stake, I planned for my next attack, which occurred at the dismount line for transition 2 [T2]. Exhibiting my triathlete attribute, I swiftly got out the cycling shoes and passed him [in transition]. I, then headed down the incline to the beach shore for the final stage,”the run”. It took me a few hundred meters to get my legs flowing comfortably, but after that point it was straight to the finish chute as my team members were waiting to secure our 3rd spot.
I was very happy that our substitute team made the podium. Our original team was slashed by 5o% some fourteen (14) days before race day due to unforeseen circumstances. Hence the late addition and minimal preparation of the additional members. I actually met my tag-partner, Debra, for the first time on the morning of the race. Even though some of the original team members could not have made it, their support were with us all the way.
After my team finished, I had some electrolytes and fruits as we looked and cheered on the other finishing teams. From the beach resort we disassembled and packed our cycles in preparation for the departure flight some 4 hours away. On the way to the airport we stopped at Maracas Bay where we enjoyed the local delicacy of “bake & shark “.
Contrary to my race roster, this race will be my last one for the year as I need to rest a bit, then get prepared for the new season and the final 2 trips of my tour. i.e. Grenada in April of 2016 and Tobago in June of 2016.
Photo Gallery – Enjoy the new feature “slideshow”
Thanks to my Sponsors for making this trip possible