My fifth and shortest triathlon in 3 seasons, I thought it was about time to give the sprint distance a try - I’m pretty sure I’m more competitive at distance, but sometimes a short race sharpens your fitness.
Blenheim is a spectacular venue, very well organised (both of these things are reflected in the price!). As a first event, I’d think it would be a hard one to start off with - the run from swim exit to T1 is pretty much straight up a steep hill - 20m of ascent in 400m might not sound much but you feel it. Similarly, for a looping bike course, the altitude change can easily cause you to blow up early on. And then the run isn’t much better - two loops of down from the palace to the lake and back up again.
For a first openwater swim of the season I did fine in the lake, I was pushing it quite hard by the end.
I was hoping to have a quicker swim and a quicker bike, and probably a quicker run (although the run course is long and slightly hilly, so that’s the bit I’m happiest with). I would have liked to have been far closer to 1:20 than I was, the wrong side of 1:30 was just annoying, especially since I probably lost at least 15 seconds in T2 when my stomach just locked up and I couldn’t bend down to tie my shoelaces! (oops should have had elastic laces!)