The 2011 Durty Triathlon... The hardest race I’ve ever done.
The Dirty Triathlon is round 3 of the Scott Xtri Series and also the Scottish championships. The 1st thing I’ll say about it is... I had a brilliant time however I was disgustingly unprepared for the bike.
For the 1st time ever in Scotland wetsuit optional, a nice idea but only a fool would swim without one given the choice. Fairly Standard 2 lap swim, out of the water 1st thanks to the Blueseventy Helix by around 30 seconds and swimming a little bit extra after trying to go the right way but being redirected by the kayaks...
Now for something a little new, my first mountain bike leg of a triathlon. The 2 lap course was brutal to keep it simple super steep climb where you couldn’t stand up without the back wheel spinning out, super muddy descent on the 2nd time through cause of the sheer volume of people tracking it out with one technical section towards the end of the lap. This was my major downfall, I’m technically competent on a mountain bike and can actually ride most stuff but where the guys got away from me was the steep climb which just required so much raw power which I was lacking from not being able to spin a high cadence. Mountain bike racing is totally different from training cause at the top of the hill you don’t get a rest, much to my disappointment at this realization. I managed to make the first full lap without any crashes, but i was just saving them all for the 2nd lap, when I got tired they just started one after the other. I still didn’t crash on any technical sections just the muddy parts so at least it was a soft landing and trying to overtake the slower riders from the shorter race. Here’s a quick section from the bike, it looks a lot easier than it actually was being tired and slippy hands from the mud.
Durty Tri Last Descent from Rory Downie on Vimeo.
Running of a hard mountain bike was unsurprisingly very hard ha. I was feeling good about my running though after doing considerable re-vamping of my technique etc. and ran strong the whole way which was worth the hurt. The easiest way to describe the feeling of the hill on the run is that feeling of finding a false summit on the bike in the Alps around 5 times. To top off the run once I reached the top of the hill it gets even harder and you run through a bog for around a kilometre sapping all the energy I had left but soon as hitting the trail again form returned and felt fast again till the finish. Easily one of the hardest 10km out there!
The general overall survival of the race was a great feeling at the end but the usual feeling of asking myself why I’m doing this but secretly loving every minute of it, I think all endurance athletes secretly like the hurt and it doesn’t matter where you finish as long as they experience the hurt.
I finished 8th overall and 2nd in the Scottish Championships. Not quite as good as I hoped, but I’m never happy unless I win and when I win I’m still not fully satisfied cause I want to be faster, but not bad for my first go at an off road triathlon. Strongly considering doing the next in the Scott Xtri series.