Edinburgh University Tranent Sprint Triathlon
Tranent Sprint Triathlon is a popular race which sells out each year with a long waiting list. Finally, this year I got my act together and entered as soon as entry was live. It is a well-established race hosted by Edinburgh University Triathlon.
First race of the season, I was excited and little nervous at breakfast. My wake up wasn’t too early as the race is fairly local. I really didn’t have any expectations, time or goal for the race, which maybe I should have… I kept having random thoughts such as; I’ve been running at zone two pace (running slower for aerobic endurance) and heartrate for most my runs the last three months I wondered if I could run faster? Should I go all out at the swim? Will I be able to sprint the whole race when I’ve been training for endurance? I think it was just race nerves but having some sort of plan may have helped. I decided to see how I felt at the start and have fun.
Being so close to home, lots of the Edinburgh triathlete club members compete. I think we had a head count of about twenty-ish of us, all in purple. Seeing so many other club members always puts me at ease on race day. I can talk over my race day nerves, discuss the course, kit and tactics etc. The support is also great, cheering each other on and celebrating PB’s and podium places.
I arrived at Tranent for 8am to register and set up in transition, briefing was at 8.30am and the race started at 9am. The swim is in a pool, you are placed in heats on your predicted swim time. The longer swim times swim first with the quickest in the last heat. There were eight heats, I was in heat seven which didn’t start till 11.25am so had a long wait. I just relaxed, chatted with other club mates and cheered on others who started before me.
When my heat was called up, I was quite relieved and just wanted to get on with the race. 750metres in a 25metre pool, 30 lengths in total. Each lane had five swimmers, each of us had a coloured cap to wear. The caps represented which order in the lane you started in. I was the fourth swimmer in my lane. From looking at my heat prior to race I noted my whole lane had the same predicted time. I usually put a slower time, so if I wasn’t feeling great on the day I don’t feel overwhelmed by my predicted time. Once we started I felt at ease and within four lengths of the pool I was the first swimmer in the lane. After a few lengths I lost count, I looked down at my watch and realised it was in open swim mode, oops. Luckily there are marshals counting for me but I couldn’t really predict how fast I was swimming so I went at a comfortable pace until I was told it was my last two lengths by the marshal and sprinted the last 50 metres. I jumped out the pool, and cautiously ran downstairs and outside to transition. Swim time; 11mins 41 secs, little disappointed as I know I can swim faster but a solid time.
Transition one was quite quick for me; helmet, shoes, socks and bike on and off I went. Transition one time; 1min 33secs.
The bike course is 12miles, fairly hilly route through Elphinstone, towards Cousland and Ormiston, back to Tranent. I did a recce of the bike course in the run up to the race, unfortunately, it is not a closed road event and there are two sets of traffic lights. This year at the four-way traffic lights (second set of lights) organisers arranged to have the path over the bridge reserved for competitors so you didn’t have to stop at the lights.
Sadly, in addition to the one set of permanent traffic lights, the local council had commenced some roadworks with temporary traffic lights in Ormiston. Marshals were at the roadworks, if you got stopped, they took down your number and deducted the time of your wait at the lights from your total cycle time. I got stopped at the roadworks for about 60-80seconds, at this point I got cold from the wait and it did interrupt momentum somewhat.
When I started on the bike, the heavens decided to open and as I am quite a timid cyclist at the best of times I went as fast as I felt safe. Once I got back to transition my hands and feet were numb. Why did I think competing in just a tri-suit in March was a good idea? I was fairly pleased with my bike ride as I’ve improved so much in the last twelve months however my bike time wasn’t amended! Bike time; 38minutes 16secs.
Transition two was uneventful, T2 time; 1min 5secs.
The five kilometre run route was a double loop of the local housing estate. I was pretty cold after the bike so was looking forward to warming up on the run. I managed to keep a steady pace and my feet warmed up quiet quickly. I was pleasantly surprised I could keep up a faster pace despite my zone two worries. Run time; 22mins 50secs.
The race was a success and it was nice to get back into racing. I was fourth female overall and third in my age group, my total time was1 hour 15mins 28secs. Looking back at my previous results my last sprint triathlon was at Hawick 2015 and my overall time was 1 hour 25mins 15secs so a massive PB, super pleased.
I really enjoyed the race, it was well organised and had a very relaxed atmosphere. All competitors, volunteers and marshals were very friendly and encouraging. Apart from the wait to start the race (unavoidable) and my bike time not being amended, I would highly recommend this race especially for your first ever triathlon. Well done to all the Edinburgh triathletes especially Eilidh Yates for winning overall female and Lynn Hanley for winning female super Veteran.
My next race is East Fife sprint on 9th April. This will be my husband’s first triathlon, so really, I’m supporting him but hopefully I can improve my times.