Monday 6 September 2010




Today was the day of what I classify as my local race; the swim section was held in the swimming pool that I train in everyday of the week. This time however it was a different experience, not a typical training session and very different from any race I have ever taken part in. No tumble turns!!!

I was in lane one in the final wave, I took up the mantle and lead the lane out. I wanted to win this race, and I had to do it the only way I knew how; from the front!

I have always been a swimmer and in order to make the most of this natural advantage I had to go hard right from the start. My swim went to plan, and was out of the water first, it was a long run to the first transition so I pulled my running flats on to get to the bike as fast as possible in hind sight this mite not have been the right thing to do as I didn’t gain as much time in running fast to T1 as I lost by putting the shoes on. T1 went well and I was out of transition before the 2nd athlete made it in, with a 50 second advantage. I knew that Brian Campbell was not going to be far behind me, and this week he knew who I was so he knew what he needed to do, therefore I didn’t have the element of surprise this weekend. I knew I needed to have a fast bike and that I wasn’t going to be able to let him take anytime off me if I was going to stay away from him on the run.

The bike course was 2 laps of the Lisburn 10k run course; (on open roads) there was loads of traffic lights to negotiate and left hand turns which meant that it was hard to establish a strong rhythm. Thankfully I didn’t get stopped at any red lights, but to be fair I don’t think I would have stopped if I had hit any.

Despite all of this I was able to stay out in front of Brian Campbell (former commonwealth triathlete) however he had made slight in-roads into my lead of 5 seconds or so. I knew that Brian was a very strong runner and this was going to be a fight to the finish.

I was right; the run consisted of 5 laps on the grass around the football pitches, it was the hardest run I have had to do so far, I was lucky that it was an open course and was able to see where he was at all times, I didn’t constantly check as I was finding it tough and digging deep but at the top end of each lap the run went around the perimeter of a football pitch so I was able to look across and check what the gap was. I could see that he was closing in with each lap, this was going to come down to a tough finish.

On the last lap very near the end he came up on my shoulder and the only thing I could think of was a saying the Oliver constantly tells me “acceleration kills people!!!” so as soon as I knew he was there I kicked – I had nothing left but I somehow kicked. He managed to respond he was back on my shoulder but I knew he was hurting cause if he was strong enough he would have went past me.

There was a 90* courner just before the finish line and as soon as I hit it I kicked again only this time with everything I had. I had got him he had nothing to respond with. I crossed the line – 1st place by 2secs, the commentator came over and started talking to me he said “…where did that final sprint come from – were you leaving a bit for the finish?” my response was “nope, I don’t know where that came from, I was bust” – and that was the truth. Before the race I told my dad a saying and that’s how I ran the race. “I’m going to hurt --- if anyone wants to beat me they are going to have to hurt more.”

I crossed the line in 58.08, with a 2 second advantage. I won the overall male title as well as being placed top junior.

Three weeks – three races- three first place finishes,

I feel like I’m getting stronger with every race,

Roll on London next week!!!!

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