Last weekend saw Chris Brown finding his feet in the Aqua Bike Event. Here is what Chris had to say.
“The first thing you notice when looking round an Aquabike transition zone before the race isn’t the lack of running shoes in everyone’s set-up. Nor is it the ubiquitous top-end TT bike. More it is the size of the opposition. After years on the BTF’s money-making extravaganza, I’ve become used to racking next to those of a scrawnier nature. Not many of my regular opposition come in over 75kg and my usual next-door neighbour, Mr Blunt, is just 68kg with the accompanying height restrictions that go with the stature of a Mo Farah wannabe.
At this event, it’s very different. All the guys are 6-foot or taller and most appear to be closer to or above my own 82kg. I’ll not be suggesting a top-10 fight-off at this race!
Back to the event. It went pretty much along the lines of any other event we all do and know so well. Three things probably stick out.
First, from the klaxon, two guys swam full speed right across the front of us all, almost at a 45-degree angle, heading straight for the bank. My thought pattern went something like this “What have I missed? Is there strong current over there? No, it’s a lake aresehole. Is there a buoy I didn’t see? No, they’re all eight-foot-high and orange. Must be beginners. But can’t be with them swimming at that speed. Must be Tossers then.”
Second, there’s a foot-down-and-stop point on the course where two roads cross. We are specifically warned about it in the briefing. Someone even asks the question as to if it is a complete stop, which is affirmed. How then, does some daft bugger get DQ’d for not putting his foot down? Maybe the same tosser.
Third one only occurred to me about a week later. I came in sixth overall, just four seconds behind fifth. Looking at the swim and transition, I made up 90 seconds on him in the first five kilometres of the bike. When I passed him, he was behind another athlete but I assumed didn’t have space to overtake with me coming up the outside and the road being a bit ropey. However, over the next 15km with him behind me and increasing effort, I didn’t put a single second into him. Might explain why, when I patted him on the back and said, “Well done, just couldn’t match you in the last 500m”, he didn’t look me in the eye. Hmmmm. Maybe I should take to looking over my shoulder every now and then.
Onwards and upwards.”