HSBC Olympic Eton Dorney Sunday 18th September 2016

Have you noticed how not all text alerts are equal? Some ping in, in such a way that you know its not good. Malevolent texts. At 7.32 on Sunday, as I checked off the packing and idly considered the merits of a second number two, my phone announced one of those texts you know is not good

…..HSBC…water quality….very sorry….beyond our control….swim cancelled…

Crap. Double crap, they’ve replaced it with a 2.5km run. Going in with a calf injury the physio said would probably not last the 10km run this was not happy news.
Too bad, get on with it.

My group of around 25 age groupers gathered at 11am, as usual only 2 or 3 of us thought it worth the trouble to warm up. Me not least to check out the calf…seemed not too bad, bit sore but at least I could run. I started off slowly and built the pace, starting right at the back and ending up midway coming onto transition.

The bike was 8 laps, just under 43km, flat and lots of traffic, bit of a head wind. Every lap seemed to get faster, and checking later it really was, with lap speeds moving up from 33.5 to 36 by the time I was dismounting into T2. Scored my fastest ever 40km (69 minutes) and was third in my age group, 62nd overall out of 3-400 males. Happy.

Then unhappy…limping out of transition, walking, stopping, running again. Stopping. I decide to DNF for the first time. At the relays 3 weeks ago I carried on – it was only 5 km and the team needed a time. Now, I know I’m not going to last 10km and the only certainty is a longer recovery and pain if I continue.

So with a training camp in Mallorca in mid October to look forward to, I limped out to the end of a season full of joy, improvement, sweat, and learning. Into a bit of a rest and looking forward to a smart pre season, getting the body right, learning technique, preparing for a better next year.

Race Report by Steve McCann