The Grantham Sprint Tri is a great way to start the triathlon season, and this year was no exception. From the warm welcome at registration to the celebration of the last finisher, this is a friendly and inclusive event… and this year the race was even blessed with fine weather to sweeten the deal!
The day started early, with competitors chatting in the light of the rising sun as we racked up, imparted advice and shared our past race experiences. The nerves were kicking as I got closer to my start time, but the general atmosphere was relaxed and friendly which calmed me down somewhat!
I head to the poolside, and almost manage to miss my wave as I don’t hear my number being called due to my swim cap making everything sound muffled! I realise just in time, and set off for 16 lengths of the pool. It’s quite a long walk round the pool (as I do a couple of little hops to suppress my urge to run) and then when I get out into the sun I bolt it through the transition area. I take my time mounting my bike and I’m away for a ride around the countryside…
The Grantham course keeps you on your toes with plenty of sharp bends, roundabouts and some hills thrown in, but there’s also some stretches where you can rack up some speed. As it’s a two lap course I get the chance to ‘enjoy’ sweating up the hill at the end of The Drift twice, such fun! Despite some bumps on the route I really enjoy the ride, and swoop into T2 ready to start running.
My second transition might have been quite respectable if I hadn’t decided that I needed a drink! However, the seconds lost doing this are worth it as the temperature is still climbing. I’m slightly worried about the run, having had some injury issues and done little running in the build-up; but my legs are feeling good, I’m just not sure of my pace or stamina to get me round the 5k. Slowly I make my way round, and despite getting a stitch for the whole second lap I make it to the end… but I’m glad to see that finish line!
There’s plenty of cheering at the end, and fellow finishers to take in the atmosphere with and swap stories. I was pleased with my performance on balance, and I also managed to win my age group which was the icing on the cake!
The Grantham Tri was a great event that was well organised, with fantastic marshals and lots of humour and camaraderie. I look forward to the next event from FastFWD events, the Lincolnshire Edge, in July which will be my first foray into open water this year. I just need to brush up on my transitions to improve for next time, which I keep promising myself I will do one day!