‘I raced at the Chemin des Dames triathlon in Chamouille (approx. 2 hours from Paris) last weekend. This was my first triathlon of the season so I was interested to see how I would measure up to the competition. The triathlon attracts a quality field of triathletes from around the region and seems to get bigger each year with nearly 450 (including me) participating in the Olympic distance race and another 350 doing the sprint.
The swim was a two-lap course in a lake with an Australian exit. Whilst the water was clear and warm-ish, the downside of the recent good weather was that there was a huge amount of plant life to swim through which at times made the going tough. I am not a strong swimmer and did not position myself very well at the start so got dunked several times but I didn’t let that put me off. I was two thirds of the way down the field coming out of the lake so set about playing catch up. The bike course was packed full of hills and at times I wondered if my legs were going to carry me up them but incredibly they did! Fortunately, much of the course was through woodland which helped to protect us from the hot sun. I managed to pass quite a few people on the bike and was 12th fastest in my category. The run is usually my strong point but with a foot injury, it was always going to be a bit of a challenge. I followed Coach’s advice and started out slower than I would normally have done and then accelerated after the first 20 minutes or so. The strategy worked! Not only did I manage to cross the finish but I also made up further places in the process. I finished in a time of 2h53, an improvement of 12 minutes on my previous time and 15th (out of 36) in my category so I was pretty happy. Whilst there were definitely some good points to come out of the race, there were also things that can be improved upon and I will work on those in the coming weeks.’