Race Report:  ITU World Championships, London England.  By Paul Allingham

Race Report: ITU World Championships, London England. By Paul Allingham

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Well it’s over and it was really fun – although quite wet.  Went over to check-in at 6 while Joanne slept in (what a guy eh JoAnne).  Got back by 7 and read for a bit and then we went for breakfast – it was raining again.  Joanne left her room key on the cafeteria tray with dirty dishes so we had to go back and fortunately someone had found it and fortunately I had built in a half hour contingency to get to the venue with time to spare before my 11:35 start.  The only waves after me were the 70+ men and the 60+ women – my kind of speedsters.

The weather was crummy but nobody seemed to care – about 16C and raining.  Got into the wet suit and into the line with my age groupers – 58 of us.  Down onto the pontoon again and I was first in line which put me at the far end with no one on my left – my plan, same distance less distraction and bumping.  Water was 61.2F and a bit cooler than Wednesday but no big deal.  Good swim in 15:08, right about my pace and near the middle of the pack – some fast guys there.  Run to transition about 500-600m (all the transition runs were long so my T-1 time was double what it was Wed. and over 5 min.


Out onto the bike course and while I finished in 44 min averaging 31K/hr (the course was 22.5K rather than the typical 20) this was disappointing but totally attributable to the weather.  With constant rain the roads were quite wet with puddles, the surface was quire slippery as it was kind of pebbled rather than smooth, and the speed bumps (or humps as they call them here – don’t anyone get excited now) are cobblestone.  So cautious turns were required and each of the 3 loops had 2 180 degree U turns – thus a slow pace).


Nevertheless after and long run in with the bike and a long run out from T-2 transition, plus a giant leap over a huge puddle/pond that had formed at the curb entrance to the run course (like steeplechase) I was away.  I felt slower but actually had a faster run time than Wed by 3 seconds.  Lots of Cdn fans and teammates everywhere, all in red gear – and they were the noisiest by far of all I heard.


Overall I was done in 1:37:56 which was 12 min slower than my qualifying time in Toronto – 7 minutes longer on the bike due to the longer course and weather, and down 5 minutes in transitions attributable to the longer run ins and outs.  I finished 51 out of 58 in my age group but I’m still really happy.  Since I’m in the 70+ age group next year my time would have place me right in the middle of them.  Better things coming, just have to stay alive.


I’m quite tired and hungry at the moment so I’ll sign off and head for a pub somewhere – they are everywhere.  But I will send a separate email with a few photos that Joanne took and also a couple by another athlete’s wife we met who already sent them to us.


Hope I haven’t bored you.  But I’ve enjoyed this so much it is hard to shut up – wait ’till I get home.


Cheers, Paul