Blenheim Weekend Warriors Race Report

Weekend Warrios in a nutshell: if you’ve told me that one day I would be able to do 9 back to back triathlons, and win in my age catgory, I would probably told you you’re insane.

Race Report

Date: 11th and 12th of September 2021

Event link

Results

My times are available on my results page. And the full weekend warriors result list is available here.

Pre-race

I’m not gonna lie, I did some maths before going to the event. But, with so much unknown, I’ve decided I will take one triathlon after the other, and do my best.

With that in mind, I’ve followed the same routine as I do for a middle distance triathlon. After all, it was going to be like doing two middle distance triathlons, with a night break between the two.

The routine I’ve followed was:

  • go on the bike the day before the weekend making sure everything works fine
  • make sure the bike Di2 is fully charge as well as the bike computer and the watch
  • pack, usually in order the event will develop: swim (what do I need?), cycle (what do I need?), run (what do I need?). And then nutrition (what do I need?)
  • prepare the breakfast, to be taken 3 hours before the start
  • prepare the energy bars, usually a few days before the events
  • go to bed early
  • plan the journey letting plenty of time for tilet breaks and car incident (puncture)

The race – Saturday

 Nutrition strategy

  • One energy ball before each swim
  • Rawvelo electrolytes drink on the bike, a sip every 10 minutes
  • Energy bars on the bike, a bite on each lap

The triathlons as it happened

The weekend warriors start on the second wave, after the VIP wave. A now classic rolling start – thanks to Covid – and we’re one by one entering the water for what will be a long weekend. Swimming isn’t my strength, so I don’t rush to go in the water, and once in I’m taking it easy focusing on my coach feedback from a previous 1:1 session.

The transition is long (400m) and hilly. Despite the fact I will do it a numerous time during the weekend, somehow I run it all. And will the entire weekend.

I usually don’t wear any socks on triathlon races under the Olympic distance. But, for this one, I had the feeling it would be best to get some pairs, it is an endurance event and a few seconds lost won’t make much difference at the end of the weekend.

The bike route is lovely as there isn’t too many people on it yet. It will get crowded as the day goes on, and I will lose track on how many time I shout ‘keep left‘ or ‘on your right‘. I’m not always that aressive on the bike, I like to cheer for people having nice bike, other’s triathlon club, people struggling or people doing it for fun/the first time (usually on a non road bike).

I did go with my trusty Specialized Venge (road bike). I overtake TT bikes on the hills, and they catch me on the flats. I don’t think it would have made much difference being all weekend on my TT. Maybe adding some training for my long coming full IronMan?

Anyway, back to the transition, time to put the trainers On (no pun intended) and complete the 5 and a bit run. With no time, I’m crossing the line. Get my medal. Get my t-shirt. And get some Tenzing, that will get me going all weekend.

I’m walking back to the transition area. Pretty confident I can do another one. I remove my running shoes, and my race belt. Prepare the transition area. And put my wet wetsuit back on. I’m quite lucky, mine feels like a pyjama. I swallow an energy ball, and walk down the swim start. The key here is to go between each waves, so you have a nice and relax swim.

I won’t go into the details of each triathlon. But each time I’ve finished one, I was able to see where I was time wise, and I was able to calculate the number of triathlons I could potentially do on Saturday. Early on I knew I couldn’t do five sprints – and no one did. But four sprints and a super sprints was manageable. And I just did that. 

In T2 I recognized one of my Instagram follower, she was going to the swim start. I later caught her on the run and we had a little chat. That was nice. You need moments like that to keep you going. What kept me going too was the crowd, and the marshalls. What an amazing support we had all weekend. Thank you all.  

The race – Sunday

 Nutrition strategy

  • Alterning one energy ball or one Rawvelo gel before each swim
  • Rawvelo electrolytes drink on the bike, a sip every 10 minutes
  • Energy bars on the bike, a bite on each lap

The triathlons as it happened

The second day was going to be shorter. And based Saturday’s results and the waves timing, I knew I could do 3 sprints. But I wasn’t sure I could add to that a super sprint at the end.

I did the same as Saturday. One triathlon at a time, not pushing too hard, and walking back from the finish line to the transition area. At some point I saw a fellow berkshire tri squad triathlete going to the his wave start. I also bumbed into her partner in the transition area. She had a vegan flapjack for me, to celebrate my birthday (11/09). When you have gesture like that, you know you’re in the best triathlon club. 

I think I was on my third triathlon when I saw my wife and daughter cheering me up. It was good to see them around. 

And at the end of my third triathlon, and eigth overall, there was ten minutes left before the last wave of the weekend. I think I told my wife I’m gonna do another one to which she replied are you kidding?  I wasn’t. I ran to the transition area,remove my shoes and race belt, took my wet suit and ran to the swim start. The organisers kindly gave us an extra five minutes. 

I competed the last super sprint of the week end like if I was doing a lap of honour. Taking extra time in the transition area, chatting to people who had finished for the weekend, forgetting it was still a race. Mistake. I did lost more thime than I should have, and probably lost one or two places overall. Lesson learned.

Summary

At £200 and something, doing nine triathlons made this Blenheim Palace event the cheapest in my career history, saving a whooping £700 (one entry is over £100).

Goals

  1. 7 triathlons – success
  2. enjoy – success
  3. top 10 finish – success

Distance covered

Swim

6k

Bike

170k

Run

43k

Blenheim Weekend Warriors Medals

2021 Blenheim Weekend Warriors race report

Doing triathlons over a weekend is just a matter of swimming, cycling, and running. Then repeat. How hard could it be?

2021 Blenheim Weekend Warriors

The Blenheim Palace Triathlon, widely regarded as UK’s most stunning triathlon, combines a world-class event experience, with beautiful scenery and a family day out. So stunning I’m registered to do as many triathlons as I can in 2 days.

[Postponed] 2021 JurassicMan Extreme Triathlon

On August 15, I will take part in a new challenge. An IronMan distance triathlon from Brutal Events. LOTS of elevation. What could possibly go wrong?

2021 Marlow Classic 70.3 distance

This will be my first attempt at the Marlow Classic Middle distance. And my third one for a middle distance, aka 70.3. Time to beat, 5 hours, 11 minutes, and 53 seconds.

2021 Tough Runner Bucks Duathlon

Tough Runner Bucks Duathlon is a lovely and challenging event set in Wendover Woods. I will be racing it again for the second time hopping for a new PB.

2021 Marlow Classic race report

This was my first attempt at the Marlow Classic Middle distance. And my third one for a middle distance, aka 70.3. Unfortunately, the swim was cancelled but replaced by a run.

2021 The Marshman Half Triathlon

I was meant to race in Windsor on June 13th. Unfortunately, the organisers had to cancel it. I went for a half iron distance instead, The Marshman in Kent.

My bucket list of events

A list of events I’ve completed so far. And some I would like to do in the future.

2021 The Marshman Half race report

After only two half-iron distances so far (Chantilly, Les Sables d’Olonne) and a dream of breaking the 5 hours limit, I drove to Kent to compete in the Marshman half. Here are my race report and results.