So the forecasted 30% chance of rain turned out to be slightly inaccurate as we all arrived to a very rainy 6th edition of the Triathlon du Roi in Versailles.
Despite the miserable day, we had a great turn out from the girls; Deidre, Ella, Georgia, Jo, Karen, Kathryn, Laëtitia, Marie, Mary Ann, Nora, Pen, Rajah, Sarah, Wippy and me.
This sprint distance triathlon started off in the murky yet surprisingly warm Piece d’Eau des Suisses for a 750m free-for-all. I didn’t get off to a good start.
Surrounded by arms and legs I wasn’t able to break out of breaststroke for quite a few meters. Georgia was first out of the water and gained a good 2 minute lead on us all. Next were Jo and I, closely followed by Deidre, Kathryn, Nora and Sarah. Marie-Anne, Ella, Laëtitia, Pen, Karen, Marie, Rajah & Wippy weren’t far behind. I think Pen and Karen must have been swimming side by side as they have exactly the same swim times! And Wippy had a great swim given that, as she confessed on the way home, she swam backstroke the entire 750m.
T1 was annoyingly long, muddy and not practical for those like me who haven’t yet mastered the art of jumping onto your bike and putting shoes whilst speeding along at 25km/h. Needless to say, clipping in with mud filled cleats was difficult.
The bike the course consisted of three 6.3km laps along a car free road. The 2 rather sharp turns made this course a bit of a challenge; I even managed to mount the central reservation at one point. Drafting was permitted and Sarah, Deidre and Kathryn took full advantage of this and clocked up some very impressive bike times, with Sarah, Kathryn and several from the EPPG tri club taking it in turns to lead one group. Any advantage I gained on the swim was quickly lost after just 1 lap, when I saw Sarah and Kathryn fly past. Deidre was going so fast I didn’t even see her on the course.
A quick change of shoes and out to the 5km run which was twice round the lake with a slight detour into the forest for the first lap. By this point Deidre had now taken the lead from Georgia, with Kathryn and Sarah not that far behind. I managed to make a bit of the time up I lost on the bike, but not enough to overtake anyone. There were a lot of good run times from the girls and Rajah was the fastest runner of the day, although not enough to threaten Deidre’s impressive lead.
Despite the less than perfect conditions, the day was enjoyed by all. Many thanks to everyone who came out cheer us along and more importantly supply us with Champagne and barbequed delights for afterwards.