Race Report: Southam Triathlon 2014

As McCarthy celebrated ‘the race of his life’ and narrowly avoided being last across the line in the BMC 10,000 B Race – Simkiss was busy not preparing for the Southam Triathlon.

Devoted MCKEP fans will remember Simkiss taking part in this event for the first time last year, and perhaps more likely upon reading last years report, notice how far the standard of MCKEP reporting has come in a mere 12 months (not very?).

Simkiss has been somewhat off the radar recently – after a flourishing start to the road season, his form wilted and withered until he crawled his way over the finish line of the East Midlands Grand Prix series with the agility of a common garden slug.

Hiding from pellets and salty deposits, Slugboy Simkiss made a vow to do bugger all but be miserable, sliming his way through garden of mediocrity as the ‘Elite Project edged its way to the compost heap before the athlete finally decided he was going to become a fast runner.

Since then, the former MCKEP number 1 athlete has been on a strict diet of 200m and 400m reps, a weekend long run, and the occasional lactate threshold pace mile. This has resulted in a shift in speed and cadence over 200m & 400m with a pleasant ability to run slowly for long periods again (after a long period without long runs), but a distinct inability to run quickly for a sustained period – an arguably minor point in distance running.

With poor running form, Simkiss furiously clutched at straws and threw his money in the direction of the ‘Southam Lions’ in exchange for entry to their annual swim bike run competition.

I may only be a mediocre runner – but I’m also a mediocre cyclist, and an average swimmer – No other sport rewards mediocrity across three disciplines like Triathlon.

Simkiss had decided to take a “do less, race faster” approach regularly seen on the front of sporting magazines such as the fantastic “Runner’s World”. He claimed “It’s a win-win approach that simply cannot fail”. Combined with a newly purchased stupid shape aero helmet designed to make his head look like a cross between a golf ball and a traffic cone (making sure he looked even more of a tit), a top performance was inevitable.

A Lycra clad Simkiss went poolside, donning his swim cap (aka the McCarthy wig) and goggles, waited for a bit, then plopped into the pool and was away with a 3,2,1,Go.

400m, 6:29 and a few litres of swallowed water later and Simkiss was climbing out of the pool. Tottering out to his bike.

Helmet, Glasses, Number belt, shoes and bike – transition was complete, with the small matter of 20km cycling and a 5km running to go. This was child’s play in fact, when compared with the seemingly monumental task of trying to clip into his pedals which saw near-miss collisions with a marshal and a concrete kerb, before the athlete was finally on his way.

Pedalling away, Simkiss took no prisoners and overtook several people on the bike – catching one guy with one of them swanky carbon disc rear wheels. Carbon disc man caught Simkiss on the big ascent of Snowford Hill, but was unable to make any headway before Simkiss kicked on again near the summit.

The bike leg was completed in a surprise time of 31:39, around 40 seconds up on last year – the golf ball helmet clearly reaping big rewards; more impressively there was no somersaulting crash dismount coming into the second transition – instead it was near cramping calves as Simkiss minced his way back to his bike racking point in his cycle shoes… running straight past it before frantically back tracking.

Onto the run and Simkiss had little choice but to start steady with a right calf threatening to go into full lock down at any moment – soon followed by cramp threats in the left calf too. Thankfully by the end of the first lap (1km), the baby cows had settled and Simkiss could gradually wind up the pace to the finish. Legs feeling strong, but with the lungs bouncing off the rev-limiter.

Job Done. A 21 second improvement on last years time with less training – and in the absence of anyone better, the Winners’ Trophy was on its way to the MCKEP trophy cabinet.

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