“On entering the grounds of Blenheim palace I was overwhelmed by the jaw-dropping beauty of the lush green countryside and the regality of the palace. Over 5,900 people filed in to the fields surrounding the competitor village and yet it was the most calm and collected registration I have ever come across! With the family in tow we were all directed in to the transition area, set within the pebbled courtyard in the centre of the palace and suitably carpeted for the event. Pumping music blared from surrounding speakers which filled everyone with excitement. I racked up my bike and soon it was time for us all to gather at the race start where we were greeted by a jovial race organizer who welcomed us to the arena. Jumping in to the cool lake of Blenheim I felt immediately revived from the sweltering heat of the day and my wave of female sprint girls were all busy chatting away which outshone their competitive spirits.
Three.. Two.. One.. Honk! We were off. Soon enough everyone dispersed in to their own race lines and somewhat orderly made their way around the swim course. Rhythm achieved I was racing at full speed down the course with my head bobbing up and down to check my line. The end became clear as I turned at the red beacon and saw the race marshals signaling directions at the bank. If there was one downside to Blenheim Tri it was T1, which had to be done as more of a power run for fear of sliding down the steep banks before the palace. I could hear cheers from within the palace walls and I strided through in to transition tearing off my wetsuit in what felt like a superhero fashion but from official race photos was clearly less of a gallant display.
Quads burning from the first climb of the bike course I was already dreading the next two laps, but spurred on by my cheerleaders and having reached a good momentum around the first lap the undulating course became much easier. On the final lap I found myself being overtaken by one of the girls I spotted from my wave and feeling a competitive streak I miraculously summed up the energy to speed through her, finishing my third lap just ahead. I clambered off the bike and headed in for T2, a quick change of shoes and slug of water and I was back on the road. The run was definitely the hardest part of the course for me, with my legs feeling like jelly for most of the way around! But on gaining a steady pace I made my way along the 5k stretch which encircled a beautifully still lake. I knew my supporters would be there to see me at the end which gave me enough energy for a sprint down to the finish line! I heard my name on the tanoid and finished the race feeling victorious!
I would definitely recommend this tri event at Blenheim Palace. Organised by IMG World, every race detail was well planned and executed for both competitors and spectators. I was elated to gain a new PB for the sprint distance and delighted to be able to share the day with my family and friends in such a stunning setting. A truly memorable day out!”