Two Optima members took part in this set of events last month. Gill Sanders competed in the Elite Women for S.Africa as part of her “Road to Rio” – the elite guys and girls have to score enough points in the preceding two years to qualify for the Olympics – and I did the equivalent age group event.
I’d had a so-so season, missing all the Mob matches due to injury (boo!), and had qualified for both the standard and sprint distances (1.5k\40k\10k and .75k\20k\5k) in case the leg misbehaved, but the two months leading up to Sept had gone OK, so I decide to do both events, as there was a day gap – with the sprint first.
JB did not seem ot think this was a good idea, I’m still chewing over the data to see if I agree with him. Sadly both the bike and run course were different, so it’s hard to compare times. The swim also was a different course for part of the way, and a slight onshore breeze made the standard race feel a bit more of a “lumpy” affair.
However, Chicago had done it’s best both with the event layout and the weather, so we competed in mid 20s temperatures, and low humidity – great racing conditions. Although the age groups go off at 5min intervals, by the time you get to a multi-lap run (either 3 or 4 laps) you have no idea who you are racing, as one MAML looks very like another.
Although away from home the support for “Team GB” was pretty solid, and I was very surprised to find out that I’d made third in the sprint event, and then improved one place on last year to finish 7th in standard. Perhaps the run was not so bad – but it still felt a rather tired carthorse lumber at the time on both events. There are photographs which suggest this might be the truth – perhaps the editor will publish the least lumbering versions!. Results for the record are on the links.
ITU could still learn from the race setup in the UK – the standard keypad and race results printout we see at almost all UK races was quite absent.By the time you’ve recovered, got your gear, got your phone and found you cannot get a link as the local cell is maxed out, it makes getting some idea of your performance a bit frustrating. Subject to penalties and corrections, a good set of displays to show draft results in the recovery zone would go a long way ot improving the racetime experience.
By Chris Owens.