Elliott Cole Update: 2010 Nokia Windsor Triathlon

There aren’t many Sunday morning’s where you look forward to the alarm going off at 5am but Sunday 13th June was one of them as this particular Sunday saw the 20th annual running of the Nokia Windsor Triathlon, a race I’d been looking forward to for months.

The Nokia Windsor Triathlon is one of the most successful triathlons on the UK calendar with 2,500 athletes from all over the world taking to the streets of Windsor to compete.

The race is an Olympic distance comprising of a 1500m swim in the River Thames, 42km bike leg taking in the stunning country lanes as you leave Windsor finished off with a 10km run around the streets of Windsor town centre and even up the hill past Windsor Castle.

The week building up the race was hard. I pulled a muscle in my lower back training on Monday after the Blenheim triathlon and had to take a trip to the chiropractor on the Tuesday. After 15 minutes of cracking and pulling I felt better but foolishly went out for a 60km cycle straight away when I probably should have rested up for the day and needless to say my back has been playing up and causing me pain ever since… a couple of Anadin Extra at 5.30am on race day though and I was ready to go.

The gun went off at 7.15am to let the 100 ’27 and under’ age group athletes out onto the 1500m swim course of the Thames.

The swim was one of the most interesting I’ve done since I started in triathlon 11 months ago. It started on the right hand side of the River Thames with an 800m swim against the current to the turnaround buoy. The trick with the Windsor swim is to swim from one side of the river to the other and get as close to the boats on the other side of the river as possible to get out of the current. You then follow the river round to the right and under 2 bridges before reaching the turnaround buoy. Reaching the turnaround buoy the pack was really spread out as people took different routes up river (some in the middle of the river and others close to the bank) and I found myself in the middle of the pack after having to stop and re-attach my timing chip to my ankle (a school boy mistake.)

After the turnaround buoy I sited for the middle of the river to make sure I was in the fastest part of the current possible but not too close to the next wave of swimmers coming up river and got my head down. I then reached the Nokia buoy highlighting the end of the swim and exited the water in 00:28:05.

A 200m run into Transition 1 then followed and with no problems getting my bike I headed out onto the 42km bike course.

The bike route itself is really challenging with numerous climbs and wind to contend with as you head up through the hills leaving Windsor and towards Ascot and then again on the way back into Windsor Town Centre. The bike course is also on open roads but a real tribute to the course officials and the professionalism of the event there were no issues at all on any of the numerous roundabouts or junctions.

The last 4km of the bike more difficult than I’d anticipated and my back was now starting to cause me pain on my right side which moved down my right leg as a result of over compensating in my seating position but I finished the 42km course in 01:08:57.

Jumping off the bike and heading in to T2 the inevitable happened after such a poor seating position on the bike and I got cramp in my right thigh which resulted in a quick 30-45 second stretch before heading into T2 and out onto the 10km run.

Being my first Olympic distance race of the year I was wary of the run from the start, heightened by my back problems I didn’t want to go out to fast and leave nothing in the reserve tank over the last 2-3km.

The run route at Windsor truly is stunning taking in 3 laps of the famous Windsor streets heading up the steep hill along the promenade of shops to Windsor castle before a dead turn takes you back down the hill and away from the Castle where another dead turn brings you back towards the Town Centre and then over the bridge crossing the River Thames.

The first 3.5km lap felt good, I found my stride early and was surprised at my pace. Still a long way from my usual 10km pace of 35 minutes but what I thought was a comfortable and maintainable pace given the issues I was having with my back.

Unfortunately the wheels well and truly fell off at the start of the second lap, heading up the hill towards Windsor Castle for the second time my legs had gone from underneath me and I dropped down to 4 mins 10 sec km pace, a long way off my usual run split.

I dug deep though and picked the pace up slightly with the sole intention of not walking the rest of the run course.

I eventually finished the 10km run in 00:41:47 and a total time of 02:21:29 and 6th in my age group.

Another really promising finish for the first Olympic distance event of the year and my first attempt at the Nokia Windsor Triathlon.

Heading into the next few weeks of training I’ll be focussing on bike to run brick sessions to improve my stamina on the transition from bike to run.

For a full results breakdown visit RaceTimingSystems

About the Author

Hi, I'm Tom Burkinshaw, I co-produce the Maximise Your Potential Podcast and Website and my goal is to help as many people as possible be successful in life, careers and business, by offering free coaching and mentoring through a series of unique interviews from inspiring people who all display exceptional self-belief, mental toughness and desire to achieve. Thank you for taking the time to visit Maximise Your Potential!