Chester Triathlon National Championship

Well Sunday was my first triathlon is 2 years without any training. I had decided to renew with the competition in Chester, a City that I really like. Chester Tri, the organiser, has done a fantastic job over the years and it was a fair reward for the national championships to be held there.

I arrived late saturday and I found it hard to sleep the night before as the stress of the competition got to me. It is a sensation I love. You play in your head your race time and time again.

Early wake up, at 5.30am to go and register an hour before the race. The morning of the race you have a great atmosphere, triathletes are a nice breed and all supportive from one another. My aim was simple, finish it. 2 years ago I had completed it in 3h10 but this time with no training I knew it would be hard on my ageing body.

At 7.45am, I jumped in the Deva, bloody hell was it cold (14 degrees), and as the klaxon was released I started getting into my strides. To my surprise I got into my rythm very quickly and posted a personal best on the 1.5km distance at 25min.

Exiting the swim though was a different affair, at that point the GBR female passed me and the Channel 4 commentator made a sexist remark that made my blood boiling. I lost no time on getting on my bike and again posted a personal best of 1h12 for 40km

I finished by the 10km run in 39min, I felt like the flash, and believe me I was not on EPO. I did train in Colombia 3,000m above the sea!

I finished 305th out of 1,000 and 39th of my category out of 285. My body is paying for this effort but I will now go back into training knowing that I can improve.

Benoit Mercier

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