Quadrathlon Equations – Trophy Series
I’m always doing maths when out swimming, cycling and running. Counting lengths in the pool, calculating distances. working out pace per mile or how long it’ll take to get somewhere. Working out average speeds and distances left on a bike ride.Counting down intervals or working out Heart Rate zones. It takes my mind off the pain and suffering of training as well as serving a useful purpose and providing me with much needed information.
There’s usually more calculations to do when I get home too, checking PB’s, looking at Strava segments and working out training load, stress balance and such like. It’s the same with races, there are competitors to check, splits to analyse and a chance to see where you made or lost time in comparison.
Then there’s the added fun of trophy series races where your best races from a series count towards an overall trophy at the end of the year. Calculations need to be made to see how many points you have, how many your competitors have and how many you need to gain places in the overall standings. It’s all fun at age-group level of course. We’re all amateurs so here’s nothing at stake other than our egos but trying to beat each other and be as best as we can is part of the attraction.
The British Quadrathlon Association Trophy Series
The British Quadrathlon Association (BQA) run just such a trophy series. This year it comprises 5 races and your best 3 results count towards the overall trophy standings.
The races this year are:
- Brigg Bomber
- Dearne Valley Quad
- Box End Quad
- Shrewsbury Quad
- Awesome Foursome
Points are awarded to BQA members based on their position in each race. 1st, 2nd and 3rd place get 120, 110, and 105 points respectively. Points then reduce by one for each place with 4th place getting 100 points, 5th 99 points and so on. In effect coming 1st 2nd or 3rd gains you some bonus points on top of the standard points.
The best laid plans
I had planned to do the first four of these races but was going to miss out the Awesome Foursome.
Brigg Bomber was my first quad and therefore a practise. It was also middle distance and therefore a little too long for my liking but it would get me going.
Dearne Valley and Box End would suit me perfectly. Both were Sprint distance with off-road bike courses so my cyclocross experience might help out.
Shrewsbury would be the final race of the season for me.
I wasn’t going to do the Awesome Foursome because cyclocross season would have started by then, it’s based in Bude which is quite a drive and the distances don’t suit me. It’s a short swim, a very hilly bike, a long kayak and a long run so would play to my weaknesses rather than my strengths.
Things went well with my first race. I finished in 4th place and gained 100 points which was a good start. Unfortunately a bout of pericarditis brought on by a windsurfing crash forced me to miss the next two races. What made this worse was the fact that I may well have fared even better in both of these races. They were won by two different people, but I had beaten both of these people in Brigg so may well have been able to pick up the full 120 points at each of the races which would have put me at the top of the trophy series leader board. Don’t let me take anything away from the winners of these races – as I always say, “you’ve got to be in it to win it” and I wasn’t in it. The people that did win it were healthier and fitter than me on the day and gained the full points. They are now battling it out at the top of the leader board. If I had been ‘in it to win it’ then maybe I could have been up there at the top with them.
Shrewsbury went well too, but with a strong field I placed 4th, gaining another 100 points. With only 2 races under my belt though I don’t have enough races to count towards the trophy and only have 200 points. It was time to do some more maths!
One Final Race
Having looked at the points, there is still a mathematical chance that I could win the series if I decided to race in the Awesome Foursome. It is a very slim chance though. I would have to win the race and gain the full 120 points. I would also have to hope that the guys currently at the top didn’t improve on any of their previous performances. Both of those are very unlikely to happen.
On top of those unlikely scenarios, the course not really suit me. There is also another guy not battling for the trophy (and probably plenty of others) who are likely to deny me the 120 points. If he wins the race (as he usually does), he won’t win the trophy because he will only have done two races but the fact that he’ll get the 120 points will stop me from getting the trophy as well. Those bonus points for a win really make the difference.
However, it’s racing and anything can happen. Coupled with the fact that “you have to be in it to win it” I don’t really have much option do I?
I’m going to have to drive all the way to Cornwall and push myself through a long and arduous one last race. If I don’t go and then look at the results afterwards and decide that maybe I could have won it I’ll kick myself. At least if I go and give it a shot I can say that I’ve tried. I’ve got nothing to lose and although it’s a long shot, everything to gain. What’s more, it’s another race, it’s more experience at Quadrathlons, it’s a good excuse for a trip to Cornwall and it’ll be fun anyway.
That’s it, the maths have been done, the possibility still exists, my mind is made up. I’d better sign up for the Awesome Foursome.
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Thanks need to be made to Ceredigion County Council for supporting my training. - Diolch hefyd i Gyngor Sir Ceredigion.