Matt Bottrill: Heaver Castle 70.3 Race Report

This is a guest blog by coached triathlete Matt Bottrill. An extremely hard day out - the hot sun and a puncture, combined with getting over a tummy bug, meant Matt really got his money's worth out there! Well done for getting yourself across the line, Matt - you'll come back stronger for digging so deep during this one!

Learning curve

This weekend I took part in the Heaver Castle 70.3 triathlon. The race was held in the famous grounds with the challenging rolling roads for the bike and an off road run this really was going to be my hardest challenge yet.

The event started at 8am, with a two lap 1900 meter swim. It went well for me with just over 34 mins, Some 11 mins of the leaders but around mid pack. T1 was a challenge in its self with an up hill run.

I was soon on the bike and crawling my way back through the field, But then at around 7 miles I blew the front tyre out on a sharpe stone. However I was lucky where I Punctured was a small peice of cardboard so I managed to fix the tyre. 4:32 secs later I was back on the bike and trying to pull myself back into contention but the demands of the circuit and the heat I was really blowing by the end but had pulled myself into 5th place, Around 10 mins of the leaders at this point.

But come the run! Nothing could prepare me for this. It was all off road and so hilly I was having to walk at points. After the first run lap I was really wanting to stop but was still in 7th but my pride got the better of me and I just could not quit, so had to revert to walking and jogging. Then every 3km I would stop at the feed and tip ice cold water over me. But then at 5km to go the heat just really got to me plus and its fair to say I was spent. I was now at the point where my stomach was in so much pain i could hardly move, the only thing that was keeping me going was knowing I needed to get to the loo!

Competing at this point was not even an option but what amazed me was all the people that passed me asked if I was ok and most shouted come on Matt keep it going!!

I would finish the race 15th way down on the leaders. It's the most I've ever suffered in one day and I'm not going to lie I do question myself what I'm doing. But I know that over time I'm only going to get stronger. The main thing for doing this is to make me into a better coach. I know what it takes to win in cycling but by doing this I can make our triathletes even stronger. I know this is going to be a big battle but I'm just not a quitter. I have to admit I have nothing but respect for all the people that compete in Tri, it's the hardest thing I've ever had to train for.


Next up is London Olympic plus 1500 swim-50 miles bike and 10km run. So until then I will recover and get back to training