Graham Plews receiving well earned silver medal at national champs.

The original venue for this years English Olympic Distance Triathlon Championships was to be St Neots in Cambridgeshire, this was changed only a week before to IMG_5378Grafham Water (another nearby ‘Nice Tr’i venue) due rain making the venue unsuitable. The good news is both venues allowed on-site camping which is always good when you have an early start.

Rhonda and I arrived on Saturday afternoon and although we didn’t have any club mates to share the experience with we were pleasantly surprised when some old friends from Tadcaster rolled in in their campervan.

The race was also a World Championship qualification event so attracted a top-notch-field. The numbers competing (able to compete!) in each group reduce as we get older but even in my AG there were 16 of the best English oldies on the start list.

For me it was to be a big test; surgery on my foot, shoulder and a hernia over the last 10 months, and being in the last year of my age-group lowered my expecta13173177_1020469768043205_1003709515311945123_otions but secretly still hoped to qualify for the Worlds just to prove to myself I could! Mission accomplished! After a very cold (13C – warm for Anne et al but not me!) and mediocre swim I had a lot of ground to make up.
The bike mostly rectified this moving me close to the head of affairs. Going onto the run my feet were still numb from the cold water but by this point it was 27C so the feeling soon returned. For me, a 48 min run was very poor but is understandable considering my recent injury issues; the good thing is all but one of the other oldies were even slower and the run moved me up the second step on the podium and a place in the GB team (if I wanted it!).