Cotswold 113 Middle Distance 2021
Chris toed the start line for the first time since the TOA race in March and was looking to capitalize on his Ironman UK preparation training block he did in Phuket before returning home to the UK.
Since returning home and acclimatizing to the cooler weather and a few extra kilos of padding (I am told his mum is an amazing cook, which more than likely had something to do with it!), he had a few weeks high-intensity race prep sessions and showed some promising training numbers which gave him a boost in confidence to target the overall win at Cotswold.
It started on a cold, wet and miserable morning, but we are told thats pretty normal for the UK, and with us being in Thailand enjoying the complete opposite, thats all we need to say on that.
The gun went off at 6:30am and Chris took a solid position in the pack. The 1.9km swim in Cotswold Water Park had the athletes break into 5 leading groups over the course, each approximately 40 seconds apart. Chris was out of the water in 13th for the overall category, some 4 minutes 15 seconds down on 1st. A sheepish T1 had him slip back down the field, before being able to get into his strongest discipline – the bike.
Out of the water and back onto the wet UK land, Chris dominated the bike course, devouring up other athletes in the wet and cautious conditions. It all came down (literally) at the 25km mark, with Chris taking a spill. Luckily the crash only took time off him as his bike was still ok to ride and Chris had a few wear and tear marks that would be feeling really special over the next days….. In the end he romped back into contention, only losing 4 minutes due to the crash and bounded back up the leader board into 9th position.
Back into T2, and Chris had a quiet cuppa and a biscuit and reflected on things to come and whilst performing some gentle calisthenics putting his shoes on, picking up a position and came out in 8th.
He pounced out onto the run course, a wild and rugged 21km trail track. Feeling slightly sore from the crash he became a “Cheetah” in yellow and black around the run leg, making shame of those he passed as he went on to get across the line with the days fastest run split of 1 hour 17 minutes, and a total time of 4 hours and 9 minutes with 3rd place overall for the race.
That time by itself is no mean feat in the best of conditions, let alone wet, windy, miserable, a crash, busted hip and a trail run!
With another race week this coming weekend, we here at UJAMU are looking forward to seeing him tear up the course and not himself this time!