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Jenny Latham wins Chester Deva Triathlon on her Exocet2

I raced the Chester Deva Middle Triathlon the weekend before last in far from perfect weather conditions. The day before the race we went and set up at the campsite in some torrential rain and went to register and get everything sorted ready for the early start the following morning. This was the first camping trip with our dog so I was hoping for a good night sleep - the dog slept more than me and was very well behaved (for a spaniel)!

Race morning was still very wet and the marshals were frantically sweeping water off the bike course. Luckily you are given two race numbers as when I went to place my bag in the tent being used for bag drop there was over 20 other HUUB bags identical to mine - so I pinned my spare number to mine as didn't fancy accidentally getting someone else’s bag after the race. 

I pulled on my wetsuit and headed off to the swim start. The swim was easy to navigate - straight down the river and back followed by a run up a steep hill and steps to the transition. After my usual faffing about, putting on a Planet X Team jersey and shoes - with HUUB neoprene toe covers to try and keep warm - I set off on the bike leg.

I actually felt good on the bike

This was the first race where I actually felt good on the bike and I was riding well on the Exocet. I was second female on the road and set off trying to catch the leader. Unfortunately, this didn’t quite happen as she put in faster swim and bike splits than me and rode very well.

The bike leg was two laps, the first longer than the second. Traffic on the first lap was quiet with only the slower athletes from the previous wave on the course in front of us. On the second lap we were joined by the Olympic distance athletes and that made it fun chasing down and overtaking them. This was a positive push and helped me keep my motivation and concentration throughout the race.

Back into T2, with my Planet X Exocet 2 TT bike racked and shoes on, I headed out onto the run. This was a mixture of road and fields which were getting muddier and wetter as the race went on. I ran strong and got into the lead at the turn around on lap two (of three).
I resisted the urge to run faster to increase the distance between me and second place as we still had 10km to run. I was maintaining my pace and hoping for the best. As I turned the corner and onto the bridge over the river for the last time I took a quick glance behind me down the run course and couldn't see the second lady which was a big relief as I didn’t want this to come to a sprint finish. Despite doing track running sessions, I am no sprinter.

I increased my pace through the final section across the river and along the opposite bank below Chester’s old city walls to the finish line. On top of finishing first woman, it was my first race of the season to go to plan and I enjoyed it throughout. 

Bye for now,

Photo by Jason Newsome. @jasonnewsome

21 June 2016

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