Bolton Fun Triathlon is an event so close that I can have a lie in and still ride to the start line, neither thing I can do very often. A Sprint triathlon a week after Deva seemed like a good idea at the time, a nice “kick” back into life and training after a bit of recovery. And being a “fun” triathlon, the route would obviously be a light, accessible, relatively flat affair with no technical terrain.
So I had a look at the map, wasn’t entirely sure what I was looking at, jumped in the car, drove the route, got home, and then decided that this was going to need a road bike, not a TT bike, and my legs were going to burn for 40 minutes.
I didn’t even look at the run route - I probably should have…
The swim was novel. Two to three people per lane, setting off at exactly the same time. Negotiating who goes first, what was on second and I don’t know was on third. Because of a few people dropping out, I almost ended up in my own lane (yipee), with three people in the next lane. After a quick bit of negotiating, we ended up with two and two. We got going, 400m happened, I got out. It’ll do.
Transition was fine, out on to the bike course and it opens on to a steep ascent for the first few minutes. Lovely, lovely leg burner. Followed by a small reprieve, followed by a leg burner, followed by a descent, followed by an ascent, followed by another ascent… Shut up legs. The elevation profile says a lot.. The way back after the turn-around was a technical descent - twisty, parked cars, low-visibility around corners. I was glad I reccy’d the route, and was glad I switched the bike out. I like this kind of route for a ride, I felt sorry for other less experienced riders out there.
Back in to transition, quick change of shoes and out on the run. Following pink arrows around Bromley Cross and into Jumbles was novel, good and a little surreal - they were highly visible and you weren’t getting lost. Marshals were where they needed to be, and then … the 39 steps. A cut through from Jumbles to the Pill Box. Which wouldn’t be too bad, but you then run out of steps and it gets a bit further cross country, and still very much uphill. More leg-burning. This nasty little few hundred metres wasn’t quite expected and definitely added a challenging element to the route. Back on to road, there’s a bit more climb to go before one last fast descent back to finish. At this point, the downhill and predicable tarmac underfoot is a nice way to finish the race and let the legs open up for final kilometre and put a fast finish in.