Two Guernsey-born triathletes, Alan Rowe and Ian Le Pelley, competed at the recent PruHealth World Triathlon Championships in London’s Hyde Park, seeing mixed results.
Alan Rowe achieved his objective of a top 20 finish in his age group at the event. Competing in the 45-49 age group, he placed 12th from 163 finishers, on the weather-affected, shortened course.
With low early morning air temperatures, the swim in the Serpentine was shortened from the standard 1500 metres to 750 metres. A solid mid-pack swim enabled Rowe to get out onto the 40km bike course well placed to move through the field. The two-lap course took athletes on a circuit of Hyde Park and out into the capital, passing iconic landmarks of Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, Westminster, The Embankment and The Mall.
A freshening wind made the return to transition in the park more challenging and the rain held off during the final discipline: a 10km, three-lap run around the Serpentine. Usually the run is Rowe’s strongest discipline but a calf injury disrupted preparation and made a strong finish uncertain.
‘I had been unsure as to whether I would compete in the event right up to the weekend before. I’d managed a couple of injury-free runs in the lead up to the Guernsey Triathlon Club’s Granite Man sprint event and I came through that race with no reaction from the calf so decided to go for it,’ said Rowe.
‘Heading out onto the run was a step into the unknown, but the occasion and great crowds gave me the buzz I needed and I probably ran at my strongest off the bike of all my races this season. I posted the fifth fastest run for my age group.’
While Rowe was out on the bike course, Dubai-based Guernseyman Ian Le Pelley was not enjoying his final preparations for the start of his race in the 35-39 age group.
Le Pelley had travelled to the event hopeful of finishing the season on a high, after great results at Deva and Dambuster, but illness had left him contemplating whether or not to compete. He took a brave decision to race and completed the swim in second place on his start wave, however feeling nauseous on the run to his bike he wisely decided to pull out of the race in the first transition.
‘After a terrible race in Bermuda due to overheating and cramping, I believed that I had got into great shape to pull off a strong performance in London; I was unlikely to overheat in those conditions!’ said Le Pelley.
‘It was devastating to wake up on race morning with a bloated stomach and then to vomit heavily during my pre-race warm-up. I knew that there was no way I was going to be able to perform if my body was not co-operating. As such, it was bittersweet to see Matt Ellis, who had beaten me by less than a minute in the English National Championships at Dambuster, go on to win the World Title in my age group,’ he said
The weather continued to deteriorate for the televised elite men’s race which ended in difficult, blustery and wet conditions. This did not deter the Brownlee brothers from animating an epic race which went down to a sprint finish with Spain’s Javier Gomez just out-running Johnny Brownlee.