Race Report: Little Beaver Triathlon 2011 by Sarah Goodwin
On Sunday 29th May, I lined up with about 200 others at the start of the Little Beaver Olympic Triathlon. I had been focusing on this race as my first triathlon of this year, and I was looking forward to getting on with it.
I had been warned that the lake was not exactly the cleanest in the country, and I was hoping that swimming in manky water might encourage me to swim faster and get out of there as quickly as possible. The water actually wasn’t too bad! I don’t know if that’s a reflection of my standards or whether it was just a good day! Anyway, I made it out the water and then had the pleasure of a 500m run uphill to transition. I had been watching the various techniques of athletes in the Speedy Beaver earlier in the morning. Some opted for running most of it with the wetsuit done fully up, some went for completely stripping off and carrying the wetsuit up hill, but most just stripped the wetsuit to the waist and then ran to transition which was what I opted for.
Then I was onto the bike. The surroundings of Belvoir castle are really beautiful and the two-lap bike course took in fairly quiet roads, mostly flat with a few steady uphill sections and only one significant hill. There was a pretty strong head wind down the straight section in the first few miles and it was quite heavy going and I found the hill climb pretty tough (especially the second time around!). You could definitely tell who had been doing some hill training and it was apparent that I hadn’t done enough! I think I just about made up for it on the next section of the course which had some fairly steep descents. Having checked the course out the week before, I knew that I could take the corners flat out and I managed to catch a few others that chickened out a bit!
The bike course was soon over and I slipped on my running shoes ready for the 10k run. The course had been changed last minute. I had been warned about the previous course, which had been three laps of the grounds with a pretty tough climb in the middle. This had been replaced with a two-lap out-and-back course, which was one long steady climb up to the turn around point. I found this pretty gruelling on the legs. However, it seemed that others found it equally tough and I managed to hold off a few girls just behind me. I crossed the line in 2 hours 50 minutes and 28 seconds.
I learned a few things from this race: firstly that I need to do some more hill training on the bike; secondly that I need to do some more brick training so that I get off the bike and feel like I can run, rather than hanging on for 10k! I just need to put this training into practise before the next race….
I would recommend this race to others, although like many races now, it’s not cheap. I would definitely encourage others to check out the bike course beforehand to get an idea of the hills and descents. For those who prefer longer races, the “Beaverfest” weekend includes the Beaver (middle distance) on the Saturday. And for those who like it shorter, the sprint distance (Speedy Beaver) is usually on the same day as the Little Beaver.
The results of those from Derby Tri are as follows:
Beaver Results (Middle Distance)
* Unfortunately broke his chain and pushed his bike back to transition to fix it and finsih the race.
Little Beaver Results (Olympic Distance)
Speedy Beaver Results (Sprint Distance - 2011 British Sprint Championships)
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