9th September Rutland Vitruvian

The Vitruvian is organised by Pacesetter events and promoted as full on tough quad crunching, lung buster of a race consisting of 1900m swim, 85km bike and a 21km run around the picturesque Rutland Water. This Triathlon distance event is also known as Half Ironman 70.3. Rutland Water is Anglian Water’s drinking water reservoir in the county of Rutland, to the east of the county town, Oakham. It was known as Empingham Reservoir during its construction and until its official opening in 1976.

I Had already raced Rutland Water in June competing in the Dambuster Triathlon (1500m swim, 40km bike & 10km run) I knew that I now had to go round the course twice for the Vitruvian going almost double the distance. It was a very early morning start with me setting off on the swim at 7am in the first 200+ wave of Triathletes, with 3 more waves of similar number athletes following on behind. It was a beach start which involved all the swimmers running into the lake, diving into the water and swimming off towards the first marker buoy. The start was quite manic with people swimming over the top of you, bashing you with their arms and legs. The water temperature was a cool 18 degrees so I was glad I had my wetsuit on. After the first lap of 950m I had to exit the water, run along the shoreline for 30 metres in front of highly enthusiastic crowds, diveback in and then swim another lap of the course. I completed the 1900m swim in a time of 36 minutes and 16 seconds, first in my age group and 118th overall.

A 200m run into transition to where I racked my bike followed and then a quick change from my wetsuit to my cycling gear I was off on the bike route. The bike course around the spectacular Rutland scenery is anundulating course starting with a long hill climb out of transition. The course also has of a three tier hill climb known locally as “The Rutland Ripple” which I had to negotiate twice on the double lap bike course. Overall the bike course is a real test of one’s stamina, endurance and mental toughness. I completed the 85km bike course in a time 2 hours 52 minutes.

I still felt fresh after getting off the bike and starting the 13.1 mile run which navigates on the paths around Rutland Water, across the dam wall to the turn round point at Normanton Church. I traced the same route back to start of the run completing 10.5km. It was a double lap run course which meant that I had to do it all again to complete the full 21km. The fact that you can see the competition for much of the run means this is a psychologically challenging course. I knew that I had prepared well for this event though managing to finish the run in a time of 1.55.03.

I completed the whole event in an overall time of 5 hours, 28 minutes and 35 seconds. I was elated to learn that I had also finished in 3rd place in my age group in a British Triathlon Middle Distance National Championship. I was so proud to be presented with my bronze medal and earn a podium finish. Kevin

Author: bassetlaw

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