Titan Brecon Middle Distance Race Report – Female Winner Petra Vymetelova
Petra Vymetelova the female winner of the 2015 Titan Brecon, gives her views on the day and why the race is so special!
When I first heard about Titan Brecon Middle Distance Triathlon from friends last year I was really excited about the challenge. I do like hills and the bike course sounded like good fun.
Myself and my boyfriend Marc entered the race and then decided to do a recce of the bike loop in May organised by DB Max. They did a great job and it was a shame that the weather wasn’t on our side (freezing cold, raining and misty in most of the places of the ride). Saying that they kept us in high spirits with plenty of stops for cake and sweets and a hot coffee at the end of the ride.
Anyway, race weekend came along and we had booked a few nights at the campsite at Parc Bryn Bach. We arrived early Friday afternoon and what a stunning place to be – the sun was shining and the park looked beautiful.
I had been struggling in the run up to the race with an Achilles injury which came on as a result of having a few months off over the winter. In the previous weeks I had raced the Slateman Triathlon in North Wales overcoming the pain from my achilles injury and coming in in 6th place. I had not been comfortable with my running and so had to miss all my run training ahead of the Titan and hoped I would be fine on race day.
Race day – 20th June 2015
Saturday morning looked promising, it was cloudy but not raining (overcast conditions were much more welcoming than the blue skies and hot sun of the day before. I knew it could be very long warm day especially having to get up ‘that’ mountain). I did not sleep much as I was nervous about my bike, having found the night before that my gear mech hangar was bent and I wouldn’t be able to use all of my gears. Fortunately Nick, the bike mechanic provided by DB Max, was able to sort the problem out so I could start the race.
The race started with two laps in the Parc Bryn Bach lake and it was actually a quite pleasant 1.9km swim (I am not ”swimmer”). The water felt warm and even after being beaten up on the 1st and 2nd buoys by the men, I managed to calm down and get in to a nice rhythm. I eased up after spotting only 2 red swim caps in the water around me knowing that I was placed in the top 3 ladies. At the end of lap one there was a nice Australian exit before the start of the second lap which allowed for a quick check of the goggles before getting going again. I came in to T1 as 3rd lady, giving me confidence for the rest of the race and I had time to put a few layers on (in case the weather changed). I took a deep breath and was set up for the bike. A few roundabouts out of village heading through Beaufort up towards the Brecon Moors and by the 5km mark I had taken the lead. I continued to work hard for the rest of the bike leg. Event though I was nervous about my bike issues, I was determined to put it to the back of my mind whilst I took on the ‘Iron Mountain’ – I really wanted to challenge for the ‘Queen of the Mountain’ Jersey!
I was happy coming back in one piece into T2. Marc’s parents were there to confirm that I was 1st lady and so I set out on the run. The most scary part of the day was worrying that my Achilles wouldn’t hold and that I would have to withdraw from the race. During the first lap I could not settle and was stretching and walking most of the 7km lap. The course was hillier than I expected and my body felt overheated. I hydrated at every water station (the marshals were amazing out there). As the run was a lap of the lake followed by an out and back section around the Parc I could see where the second and third placed ladies were and knowing I had a decent lead, I could ease off and take the run fairly steadily. It was only on the last lap that I managed to run without stopping.
Crossing the line in first place was an amazing feeling and one that I was not expecting. I was very pleased with my performance considering my injury and my bike problems.
I was very lucky to hear that for taking the win I collected a £500 cash prize – a lovely surprise! Added to that I had taken the Polka Dot Jersey as Queen of the Mountain, setting the fastest time up the 3.7 mile climb! What a result! Thanks to DB Max for organising such a special race and to all the marshals all of which were incredible all the way round! Finally a massive well done to all that took on and conquered this truly amazing race!
I am already looking forward to coming back next year fitter and healthier and defending my crown – and of course that all important Polka Dot Jersey!