Quiberon Triathlon – 6 September 2015 – Olympic distance
by Paul Guillochon
Quiberon is on the tip of a peninsula in Southern Brittany. The triathlon (sprint/Olympic) is always held during the first weekend of September – which guarantees (up to now) good weather conditions.
Getting to Quiberon for a weekend sandwiched between work obligations is always a bit tricky – and at 510 km away quite tiring for a couple of days away. So finally of all those who had replied yes on Meetup only two made it –Nora and me.
We arrived in Quiberon in the wee hours of Saturday morning – but were up for 9am. We managed to have a proper breakfast sitting in the sun on the terrace. That was followed by a visit to the local open market. Here we filled our baskets with plenty of local produce to nourish our bodies for next day’s event. After our lunch of extra fresh sea food and a much needed siesta (for my part anyway) we checked out the course by car. Later in the afternoon we were able to see how a triathlon is run by the pros – men and women – and yes we did see Gwen Jorgensen. But they were all pretty impressive.
The race for us was on Sunday. Sprint in the morning and the Olympic in the afternoon at 3pm. Thanks to several no shows Nora was able to switch back to the Olympic race and was adopted by the tri team from Vannes who was missing its member.
The gun went off at 3 pm for the women and 5’ later for the men. Conditions were ideal for a sea swim, the sun was out, the sea calm and the wind slight (less than 5kph). It was an Australian exit swim with a run around a land mark on the beach between the double loop of 900m which doesn’t work particularly well for me as it upsets my swimming rhythm. Then it was out of the water and up the steps to the transition area. I was pleased to see that there were still quite a few bikes left. But as I put on my helmet I noticed that my over inflated tire had not resisted more than hour in the sun. So I had to change my inner tube, by the time I was ready I was practically last in transition with no bikes left.
The bike course is a double loop around the peninsula though the local villages, along the beaches and follows the coastal road next to the sea cliffs. I finally finished the second loop arriving along the promenade which is above La Grande Plage. After transition I joined the other competitors doing the double loop run along the coastal pathway to Conguel.
The run course is quite flat apart from a slight rise 500m before the finish/end of loop. Though not easy, I found the run much less demanding than the run at Chantilly HIM the weekend before in a sweltering 30°. I managed my 10 km in less than an hour, which given the conditions, I was pleased with. When I crossed the finish line Nora was waiting for me with a much needed energy drink. It took about 5’ for me to get my wits back.
After that we had to say goodbye to Quiberon which we left behind us with the sun setting in the sea. Our arrival in the very early hours of Monday in Paris was a stark contrast to what we had left just a few hours before.