Tom Chapman had recommended this event as a stepping stone to IMW, with similar climbs on the bike and run. By coincidence it fell on the same date as the book I am reading recommended a middle distance event…
It was a very HOT Saturday morning as my alarm went off at 4am. I had already packed the car the night before so all I had to do was eat, drink and cover myself in factor 50.
Took around 40mins to travel to the event. I met up with Garry, Chris, Rob and Claire. When racking the bikes I was already being bitten by giant nats around the lake.
Kindly the race organisers had put most of the club racked together.
The lake looked stunning in the sunshine apart from the weeds that you could spot just under the surface but on the plus side that meant the lake was clean.
The commentator asked who was doing this as there first triathlon. One person put their hand up, there was comments such as “why would you do that to yourself” also being told keep some in the tank for the run after Iron Mountain as the run has six hills made me start to realise how hard this was going to be. I had a realistic time in my head for my ability and not to kill myself in the heat of 7hrs 30mins. Was ten days rest in between this and my last middle distance event enough to recover fully or was going to mean I was well prepared?
The swim was not for the faint hearted as at one point I was pulling weeds off my face. I have been told a weed mower will be purchased next year. The swim was one of the best laid out I have raced. The big red turn life buoys were easy to sight and the OZ exit was fun, two laps in total. I had a decent swim coming overall 35th.
The bike route took us towards Ebbw Vale, across moorland and down a steep descent of aprox 3.5 miles to Llangyniddr then along country lanes towards Brecon where you could build up some speed. Then to Heol y Senni where an 18% mountain had to be conquered. A fast return to Brecon via Libanus and retrace our route back to Bryn Bach.
Out of the saddle all of the way, the hill was brutal and I wished id spent more time attacking hills in training. I could hear Berty in my head telling me to stay seated. I was as close as I have ever been to pushing!!
I wasn’t the only one to suffer, people’s faces said it all and to my surprise I was only overtaken by a couple on the hills and managed to keep a large group behind I completed my 61 miles and felt I was going to be OK on the run.
The run was three laps of the lake and part of the golf course. It was SO HOT by this time after lap 1 seeing a poor lad collapse and be airlifted to hospital I decided to back off and walk the hills. If anything I over hydrated as I had three toilet stops. I didn’t see this as being defeated but a choice not to end up the same boat or in this case helicopter. Lap3 I did contemplate swimming across the lake it was so hot.
I crossed the line with a semi smile on my face. Slightly annoyed I walked the hills after lap1. Received an email today saying the competitor airlifted to hospital was OK and recovering. TITAN lives up to its name it’s no standard middle distance event I’d say its middle plus. The race marshals and volunteers were great especially the two ladies at the bottom of the main run hill.
Overall I loved TITAN it was one hell of a fitness test. Fluffy (I got under my target time of 7hrs 30, JUST)
By James O’Flaherty
Chris Adams Review: I’m still smiling!
That’s a great race. The swim was horrible, but fittingly so on ‘the titan’.
The bike course really does have everything… loads of climbs, some of them are quite steep.
Fast, dangerous decents, fast lovely tarmac, stunning views of Beacons, AC/DC on route…