Slateman Triathlon, 22nd May 2016
This was my third visit in three years to Llanberis, Snowdonia, to compete in the Iconic Slateman Triathlon, could i make it 3 wins in a row?
The swim takes place in Lake Padarn in Llanberis. I was here a month ago with Raceforce/Always Aim High helping at a pre slateman training weekend. You can read more about this here The water was beyond freezing, it was Arctic. I wasn't massively keen to be jumping back into it this weekend. Wow, what a difference 3 weeks of sunshine can do, not exactly tropical but no ice to crack.
The 1km swim was over before I knew it, I exited the water 5th lady, it was great having a female wave as you knew exactly where you are. I got a fast transition, my numb right hand, that had suffered in the cold water had quickly come back to life and I ran out of transition and jumped on my bike in 2nd place.
My one and only tactic for this race was "smash the bike", unfortunately I had to stop metres into the ride as I quickly realised I had clipped the left cycle shoe onto the right pedal and the right shoe on to the left pedal in transition so when I jumped onto my bike and slide my feet into my shoes, it didn't quite work! I jumped off, pulled my shoes off my pedals, switched them round and jumped back on. What a rookie error!
Anyway, back to "smashing the bike" due to my limited run training, my focus has been on the bike in recent months. It was raining, a lot. So i made one decision. Don't think, just ride.
"I saw you start the descent down Llanberis pass and thought, no way am I doing that" Ruth, who was 2nd told me afterwards. I guess that sums up the way I rode, 110% heart, 0% brain. Thankfully it paid off, i stayed upright, even on some of the slippy downhill bends. I felt good, i kept my cadence at around 90-95 rpm, as for me that means a good power output. I felt comfortable in my new bike position, so head down, legs pumping was the order of the day. I came into transition as 1st female, no idea of the time gap to the 2nd female. I clocked 1.29.02 for the 51km course, over 2minutes quicker than last year, pretty pleased with that.
The rain and cold lake had left me with some very cold feet, so starting the run felt like running on stumps, gradually they thawed out, first the tingling then pin and needles and 15minutes into the run the sun came out. The run course is pretty brutal, there is no other way to describe it. I fully expected to see people over take me due to the limited run training this winter. I was amazed to experience the reverse, i was overtaking the guys in front of me. I felt good, i felt pretty strong, i decided to take it steady early on as I have done no fast running so didn't want to blow up. I hit the quarry man zig zag challenge, a timed section up the quarry paths. I spotted a few men in front and aimed for them. Over the top and through the woods and I would be home I thought, apart from a few short sharp hills/steps that conveniently I always forget about!
I approached the lake, could hear the loud speaker and for the first time thought, wow have i really managed this? It was a nice moment, to slow down and soak in the atmosphere. 3 wins in a row, now I am pretty chuffed with that.
Well done everyone who slayed the slateman, the weather was pretty brutal, so congratulations.
Triatlete & Slateman Winner 2014, 2015, 2016