Brian Downton -Grafman 2018 report

Grafman my second half distance Triathlon – Brian Downton

May 20th 2018 was the day that 4 brave souls conquered the Grafman Half Iron man distance Triathlon – well 3 of us conquered it

All of us had opted for the camp site with Craig and Dan Dean in Craig’s camper and me on a camp bed outside Dave Ps caravan (maybe)

None of this posh hotels stuff

So 4pm on Saturday 19th and we had all arrived – well nearly – we appeared to be short of a caravan and Dave – where was I going to sleep? With Dan? Or even worse top and tail with a Craig

Eventually he appeared – it was quite handy actually as our neighbours had put up their tent then driven off for food so he parked the caravan where their car had been – not a lot of eye contact when they returned.

There is a great bike shop on the site which was handy as I noticed at 4.55 5 minutes before they closed that I had a huge bald patch on my rear tyre – they changed it for me no issues – great service

Once my accommodation had arrived we started to think about food – takeaway pizza was decided on and ordered and off I went with Craig to collect and bring back to the site – we had to rush otherwise we would be locked out of the site – made it back with seconds to spare

I would definitely recommend staying at the camp site as it’s so convenient, right next to the start and right in the middle of things and no stress in the morning trying to get to the start

Sunday 5:30 and our chef Mr P sorted porridge followed by coffee and eggs on toast – perfect for what was to come

The swim at Grafman is two clockwise laps with an Australian exit halfway – this basically means that after the first lap you have to stand up and run round a buoy before starting the 2nd lap.

Incredibly myself and Craig went into the water more or less together and saw nothing of each other the whole first lap but when I stood up half way to run round the buoy there he was right next to me smiling away

It’s a nice flat swim in a nice lake and enough space that you can keep out of trouble unless you are like a Craig and like a bit of a rumble in the water. Me I prefer to keep to myself and got out of the water in 36 minutes 19 seconds

Out of the swim and onto the bike – this is a great course if you don’t like climbs – there are a few however not many climbs means not many downhills so on this fairly flat course you are working the whole way through but a very enjoyable route through some lovely scenery. My advice is not to hit it too hard at the start and pace yourself as there is not a lot of time to rest – I was aiming for 3 hours and managed 3 hours 2 minutes. It’s also a great course to see other racers as there are 3 out and back legs on the route so great to give your mates encouragement. Dave and Dan were a bit in front with myself and Craig about 10 minutes apart all the way.

Now for the run – not my strongest discipline and this run course is most definitely a tale of two halves. 2 laps out and back both ways from the start/finish. The first part is out past the camp site and along the side of the lake on concrete to a turn around and back – totally flat and lures you in before you hit the out and back the other side which is a bit lumpy and mostly off road with the turnaround down a fair slope and then back up again. Past the finish and then we have it all again before the finish line where Craig got a great video of me before a well-deserved pint of Erdinger from the organisers

2 hour 25 minute run and a total time of 6 hours 15 minutes beating Weymouth by 50 minutes so a great result for me

This is a great event especially for first timers at the distance. A nice lake to swim in, a beautiful bike course (but take care it’s flat but hard) and an undulating run

So for all of you doing it this year train hard and enjoy the day it will be great