Triathlons 2013 – Year in Review

It’s that time of year again, time to look back over the past 12 months and see how we’ve done. Once again, I’ve had a good year as far as Triathlons go. This was my 3rd year back into the sport and my 2nd year training properly. 2012 had been a good year but I really notched it up a gear during 2013, competing in both the European and World Age-Group Championships.

My first race of the season wasn’t a good start though. It was supposed to be Pwllheli in March, but I was feeling a little under the weather that day and didn’t even travel up to do it. My first race of the year was therefore the Cotswolds Triathlon in May.

Cotswold Triathlon.

This turned out to be a good race. A little chilly but in a perfect location and with at least one person in my age-group that I had heard of and knew could beat me.  Having some competition is always a good thing and it was going to be a close run thing between Andrew Shipton and myself. I swam, biked and ran well, whilst Andrew Shipton could probably argue that he was a little under par having recently completed a monster swim event for charity. All the same, I beat him on the day, if only by about 5 seconds and came home to win my age-group in a time of 54:20. It was a short race with only a 4oom swim, hence the quick time.

European Championships, Alanya

And that was it, my next race was the biggest race of the year for me, the European Championships in Alanya, Turkey. It was such a big deal as I was secretly hoping to do quite well in it. I’d told a few people that a podium finish might be on the cards and I was personally hoping for better, so the pressure was on and I was fully psyched up for it.

The trip to Turkey itself was a success and the race even more so. I swam, biked and ran my way around the course in super quick time. I was first out of the water in my Age-Group, extended my lead on the bike and extended it still further on the run to finish in top spot on the podium in a time of 1:00:17 – So close to that magic one hour barrier, but not quite close enough. That didn’t matter though, I was the 2013 European Triathlon Champion and able to bask in the glory.

On the Podium

On the Podium

World Championships, London

The next race was the World Championships in London. Although a much bigger event and a more competitive field, I wasn’t quite so psyched up for this race. Probably because I know I couldn’t win it. Instead I just went out to have some fun. We had a lovely family holiday in the capital city based around the triathlon and I still raced well. I probably could have gone a little harder on the bike but my swim and run was good and I finished in 9th place. That’s 9th in the World mind you so pretty good in it’s own right.

A pretty good year!

And that was it, an incredible amount of training and preparation for just three races, but it was all worth it. I finished last years round-up post by saying:

“I’m fitter and healthier than I was this time last year and I’m already looking forward to next year. I doubt if I can top 2012 but as long as I’m having fun trying to do so then I shall keep on ‘tri-ing’.”

The sentiments are the same this year. I very much doubt that I can beat 2013, but it’s worth a try. I may not end up being European Champion or 9th in the world by the end of 2014 but as long as the journey is fun, I’m enjoying the racing and training and my family can put up with it I shall keep on trying.

I couldn’t do it without the help of Anna and Morgan and the other friends and family that support me. I think most of them are pretty proud of my achievements this year so hopefully I’ll be able to do them proud in 2014 as well. I’ll give it a good shot for them.

 

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Alan Cole

Alan is a Freelance Website Designer, Sports & Exercise Science Lab Technician and full time Dad & husband with far too many hobbies: Triathlete, Swimming, Cycling, Running, MTBing, Surfing, Windsurfing, SUPing, Gardening, Photography.... The list goes on.

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