Overdue Race Report - Portsmouth Tri - Haren Thillainathan

Some members will be aware that our paratri winner from Crystal Palace triathlon, Haren (yes there was only one paratri person blah blah) took on Portsmouth triathlon at the weekend with Guide Will Breese.

Portsmouth tri involves quite a tricky sea swim and this would be one of the first competitive outings for the sleek Dolan race tandem.

So err, Haren, I'd be extremely interested to hear how you both got on- as would quite a few other members, ahem ;-)

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quite right too. come on Haren. tell all!

Thank you Tony if I'd known being a member of Windrush came with reporting obligations I might have thought twice about joining! 

Anyway yes I completed Portsmouth on Sunday.  Since the aforementioned Crystal Palace I realised being a blind triathlete I had to devise a suitable technique for swimming in open water with a guide after several sessions at the Royal Docks over the summer  I felt confident enough  to put my new swimming technique to the test by stepping up from the sprint to finish off the season with three standard triathlons.  Having done the Monster triathlon in Ely last month involving a river swim I thought Portsmouth would be a good progression with the sea swim.  Over the course of the summer I have also managed to recruit around 5-6 triathlon guides Will Breese being one of them and he had agreed to guide me at Portsmouth,I believe he was in Dulwich Paragon for a while so some of you may have come across him.  As with CP I was the only para entry, I know this for sure as the organises accidently sent out everybody's personal details including medical issues, the closes to a another disability were a couple of asthmatics.

The sea on the day proved to be a lot livelier than on our practice swim the week before, it was quite strange  having the sensation of being carried up and down on the swells which added to the general disorientation, this also turned out to be the first course or event that was clockwise I'm used to swimming anti-clockwise with my guide on my left so I'm on the inside.  Will and I decided it was too late to try switching to having him on the right and it turned out ok instead of nudging me round the buoys Will had to indicate when I had to make the turn right.   The standard swim was two loops with a wave  ahead of us and two sprint waves behind us which meant we were always surrounded by other competitors  for the whole swim but it didn't phase me as much as I thought.  We completed the swim in 39 mins which is quite close  to what I manage at the Docks so I was quite pleased with that.

I've not even attempted to focus on transitons so far so T1 was terrible as expected something to work on for next year.  The cycle was fantastic the flat course was perfect for the tandem Will and I were able to really hammer it, despite a significant headwind on the back straight and a couple of tight hairpins and chicanes we finished the 40k in 1hr and 20 mins.  T2 was less terrible including an enforced toilet break I decided doing a "Paula Radcliffe" on the run would probably be against BTF rules and risk disqualification. The run itself was fairly comfortable Will and I were nattering round the whole way which probably means I wasn't pushing it as hard we finished the 10k in 56 mins.  After a sprint finish at the line Will deftly pulled me back via the tether before I ploughed into the Mayor of Portsmouth which was probably quite fortunate.

Overall time was 3 hrs 8 mins about half an hour less than Ely a couple of weeks earlier.  I really enjoyed the event especially the swim and  would recommend it to anyone for next year.  Special thank to Nigel Selley and the Portsmouth Triathletes for accommodating my entry with no fuss at all.   Looking forward to finishing off the trio of standards with many of you at Sussex.

Thanks Haren

No canoeists subject to Yer Actual Appy Ammer treatment this time then?
Joking aside, considering last November that 20m front crawl in the Virgin Active pool was a big ask, finishing Portsmouth tri swim, guided, in that time is a massive tribute to your hard work and determination.

Well done

Awesome Haren, Well Done. Great Acheviment 

Well done Haren !!

Haren great report. I'm up for doing one with you next year!

Congratulations Haren - what a great achievement!

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