Having only completed two novice events to date, Martina Moore from Stranraer, a member of the local Galloway Harriers and Newton Stewart Tri Club, set herself the daunting challenge of completing a long distance triathlon.
With a winter of plenty of base cycling and running miles and a lot of pool time to improve her swimming, she started summer with a focused 12 week plan, the culmination of which was the Rubicon Middle Distance Triathlon at Newby Hall in Yorkshire. This endurance event entails a 1.2mile swim, 56mile cycle and 13.1mile half marathon run. Not a feat for the faint hearted.
August 30 saw Moore and 500 others head to Newby Hall for the big race. An early start for breakfast at 4am, followed by bike racking, it was wetsuit on before attending the race briefing at 6.15am. Nerves jangling, she joined fellow competitors in the long walk down to the river to the swim start. First off were the male and female elites and the male age groupers, followed quickly into the water by the female age groupers. With swimming Moore’s weakest discipline, the cold and dark wasn’t doing much to calm her nerves but attempting to keep calm and with words of advice for a slow and controlled start ringing in her ears, the hooter sounded and the race began. The 1900m swim was down river but calm weather and current meant for little assistance. With a buoy at 1500m and another at 1700m, there was a turn and an upstream finish. Little did the athletes know that the course actually marked as over 2200m! Relief to complete the swim non-stop despite the chilly temperatures was great clocking a swim time of 48:11.
A long 300m run up to the transition area helped to warm the athletes a little, where wetsuits were swapped for cycle clothes, two wheeled steeds collected and the next stage of the event commenced, a 53 mile cycle route consisting of two 24mile loops and a 5mile loop. Moore is strong on the bike but again set off very steady through the country lanes, allowing her body to adjust to being on the bike after the swim. Once she hit the main roads, she could put her pedal to the metal and get into a rhythm, enjoying the support from the spectators each time the course passed through the transition area. Disaster struck on the second loop, with Moore’s pedal crank coming off. Not being an expert bike mechanic, all Moore could do was stand at the roadside and watch her competitors go past. Eventually, an elderly gentleman out for a cycle stopped and assisted and Moore was back in the race, determined not to let this spoil the race. With no other complications, Moore finished the cycle section in an excellent time of 3:10.
Entering Transition for the second time to exchange cycle shoes for running ones, it was on to a 4 lap course round the estate to make up the 13.1 run leg.
Needing to let her legs adjust from the circular cycling motion to the up-down of running, Moore started steady to give time to settle into a pace, settling quickly into 9min mile pace for the remainder of the half marathon course. This gave her a fantastic sub two-hour run and excellent overall time of 6:02:04. Moore was 15th in her age group, 41st female and 313th overall.