I really wanted to do a good performance in this race as it was in England and I thought it would get a really good domestic field. I also felt it fitted in quite well with Ironman UK and I felt that a good performance here would be a good confidence booster going into Ironman UK.
Rhys Davey went straight out into the lead in the swim. I managed to stay on his feet for about 400 meters but we kept going through these reeds which would bring you almost to a stop and then obviously with the acceleration back up to speed and him being a better swimmer then me it took quite a lot out of me and eventually he got 1 meter, which soon turned into 5 meters, and before I knew it he was gone. I got caught around half way by a pack and we stayed together until the end of the swim. I think 5 of us got out of the water together with Rhys being up the road.
I wanted to try and race this a bit smarter and not go quite so hard. If anything just to see how I would run as I knew from training that I can run fast off the bike if I’m not on my knees. The Thursday of the training camp showed that where I was running 5 minute 30s off the bike. I also didn’t feel that good on the bike as well, I was caught by Sam Gardner on a technical section just after the climb of Leith Hill the first time. I stayed with him for the rest of the bike and I have to give him credit as he was riding very well. At the end of the bike we were in 2nd and 3rd with Rhys 2 minutes up the road.
I knew I had to run the first lap hard to try and close the gap as much as possible to Rhys. I thought that this would also put more pressure on him and maybe he might blow. Also 2 minutes looks a hell of a long way behind someone as well! I started off and felt pretty good, I managed to average 5m 48 for the first lap which had a big section on thick grass and was actually pretty undulating. This took the gap down to 30 seconds, and I managed to catch him about a mile later. After that I ran it a bit more conservatively s I didn’t want to blow myself and then when I got to the turn around on the second lap I knew I had it. It was great and I was so pleased to finally win a big race!