The Azores triathlon…
I was looking forward to this race. A race with no pressure, just racing for fun, as I’m doing Challenge Lisbon next weekend anyway so why not!
As we got closer I started seeing other big names on the start list and I realised it wasn’t going to be plain sailing. But after a long day of travelling, I’d arrived! And my god it was windy! Another rollercoaster landing, but straight from the airport the transfer was waiting, and off to the hotel for some much needed rest.
Next morning, I started to build the bike and instantly noticed a problem… The top headset bearings had somehow gone MIA during the flight! They were nowhere to be seen. However, after a quick phone call to the organiser, I was collected from the hotel and driven across to the only bike shop on the island, and somehow they had the part I needed! Race saved!
With that little panic over, it was business as usual, and onto the final activation sets, and then feet up and relax.
Race morning, and a relaxed 10am start time meant that I could get out for a leg stretch on the bike in the morning before the race, back to the hotel and then it was go time.
A point to point swim, in the crystal clear water was a lovely start, with a small detour for me as I headed off in completely the wrong direction, and a pleasant relief from the sun. Leading out the water I had about a minute or so over the next swimmers.
Going into the race I had planned to swim and bike hard, with the aim of keeping the run under control, so I set off on the bike, and the first 50k was mainly climbing. I was pushing hard and could see I was putting time into those behind. Turning around and the way back to transition was mainly descending. Great fun, with sweeping turns, great road surfaces and some properly fast straights! ( I think I saw 51 mph at one point on my Garmin!!)
Off the bike , and I knew I had executed my plan, so from there I could enjoy the stunning scenery, knowing that I had it in the bag!
All in all a fantastic race, with spectacular scenery, and the guys organising the race really care about the athletes and will go above and beyond to make your trip special. A race I truly recommend.