Blenheim Palace is a great setting for a Triathlon and since it is close to very good friends of ours it makes for a fantastic long weekend full of pre-race carbs and post-race alcohol! Last year I experienced my first puncture in a Triathlon on the 2nd lap, but this year was trouble free…. apart from yet MORE rain!
At least this year the weather was consistent at Blenheim, ie it rained throughout, whereas last year it rained during initial setting up of transition and the swim section, brightening up to a scorching day for the bike and run. Not this time, my 2nd Tri this year and 2nd sopping wet experience! At least, unlike Hyde Park, I had plenty of time to prepare, warm up, feast on jelly babies etc… and made for a much more pleasant swim which felt a lot more controlled and my technique although still not fantastic was a league ahead of Hyde Park’s feeble effort! I was even keeping pace with a couple of the guys that were doing it with us.
By the time I hit T1 I realised that yet again I was going to be cycling and running in soaking wet trainers, I vowed that next time I would have my clip shoes and just accept the additional time it takes in transition! Anyway, the bike leg takes you through the beautiful grounds of the palace, and a nice half mile incline which by the 3rd lap had gotten very old! But hey, no punctures!! Result! Once again due the rain a much more measured approach was required, and again I witnessed a couple of bone crunching stacks where riders just weren’t respecting the conditions. I made it safely around the three laps despite a close call with one of previously mentioned riders who thought it wise to breeze past me on a bend, almost totally wiping me out in the process!
A swift T2 and onto the run section which despite being a plodsome affair I at least managed to get around it without stopping, as like the ride there’s a nice incline to navigate with a sergeant major type on the brow barking at you just to really add to the fun! Highlight for me was my daughter Lucy shouting ‘Daddy, why are you going so slow’, although I didn’t hear it at the time being told afterwards near choked me with laughter. At least this time I knew I couldn’t finish any slower than last year as I completed that one in around 02:50 due to the puncture and not being able to inflate the replacement tube (turned out to be the tiniest of kinks!).
Final result Swim 00:20:42 Bike 00:50:46 Run 00:42:59 – Overall 02:03:08…