Gullane Beach Triathlon

July 20, 2010

After entering at the last minute, the 15th Honey Stinger Gullane Beach Triathlon came around far too soon. With a fortnight of bad weather, expectations of good weather were not high and the weather was not as good as it could have been, but then it wasn’t absolutely terrible. Despite some rain on the drive the weather held for the swim and the cycle with some heavy showers during the run (by which point I couldn’t of cared less).

The race started early at 9am with a 1500m swim in the sea consisting of 2 laps of a triangular course around buoys with a run on shore in-between to give the spectators something to cheer for. The start was chaotic with over 100 people setting off at the same time making a mad dash into the water. Around the first and second buoy was a combination swimming, being pushed / kicked and swallowing water to muscle your way around and survive the mayhem. After this the field did open up a bit so that you could actually swim properly. The hardest part of the swim I found to be the run on shore inbetween the two laps, after finding your rhytem swimming getting out of the water was really hard to only dive straight back in 100m later.

The middle of the swim, Photo: Jonathan Noblett

After another lap of the swim it was up the beach and into transition wrestling the wetsuit off and hoping on the bike where practice paid off and I came 19th in T1.

The cycle was a 42km route around Gullane which was rather hilly as it headed inland, not helped by the wind. This is where a lot of money can be spent and there were some very expensive looking bikes overtaking me at this point. However I have to admit this is not the main reason for them overtaking me!

Coming back into Gullane on the bike, Photo: Jonathan Noblett

An hour and a half later I came back into Gullane past my army of supporters which found some great spots to shout encouragement at me from along the route and into T2 where I hopped off the bike and started the 10k run. This was even hillier than the cycle and immediately headed up and over a hill before some downhill. Only to lead straight into a killer of a hill by the golf course before heading back down and along the top of the beach. 2 laps of this took its toll and the 2nd lap saw me walk up the big hill and later on. I always knew the run was going to be the hardest for me, having not put in the miles beforehand, but I never planned on it being that steep.

The (hill) start of the run. Photo: Meagan McGinley

I crossed the line 3:07:12 after setting off into the sea a very happy man to be handed water and a beer as I struggled to stand but glad to have made it.

At the finish. Photo: Jonathan Noblett

I throughly enjoyed it and look forward to doing more races in the future, hopefully breaking that 3h barrier. I was very grateful to my supporters who took the time to come and support me along the way and watch my smile slowly deteriorate!

My times were as follows:

Overall: 03:07:12 (141 st)

Swim: 00:31:39 (101 st)
T1: 00:00:50 (19 th)
Cycle: 01:33:37 (142 nd)
T2: 00:00:40 (62 nd)
Run: 01:00:25 (145 th)