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Triathlon Plus’s publisher, James Hamilton, takes on the Cotswold Super Sprint Triathlon for a second time.

James Hamilton Triathlon Plus

James (left) finished four minutes quicker than he did last year

So, here I am again. A year on from signing up to be part of Team Triathlon Plus, I’m back at the Cotswold Water Park shivering as I prepare to take part in (I still can’t bring myself to write ‘race’!) the Cotswold Super Sprint triathlon for the second time.

The thought of diving in and swimming among a mass of bodies still fills me with dread, but somehow the feeling of familiarity makes it a much less daunting prospect than last time. With the sun shining in the sky – a rarity in the UK – the race gets underway.

As always, I set off too fast on the swim leg and it’s not long before I’m gasping for air. Luckily, I manage to calm myself and get into a rhythm, and I’m feeling in good shape by the time I exit the water.

Transition goes well; a year on, I know what to do and manage to do it pretty quickly. The bike leg – my strongest discipline – is a joy, with great marshaling and traffic-free roads. A quick 34 minutes later and I’m back in transition.

While training for the London Tri last year I did a lot of brick sessions to practise going from bike to run. Foolishly, I neglected this aspect of training this year, so for the first half-mile I had that dreaded jelly-legged feeling. Eventually, I started to regain feeling in my feet and made good progress round the beautiful Cotswold Water Park course. With one lap completed, I upped my pace and finished in much better shape than I did last year, and with a better time to boot!

Although my swim leg was still pretty poor, I was much quicker in transition. This was probably helped by the fact that it was much warmer this year, so fewer clothes were needed! I rode strongly on the bike and my run was on par with last year. Overall, I beat my 2012 time by four minutes to finish in 1hr 3mins. Clearly, practice does make perfect, and while I’m still no threat to the Brownlees, this is only my second year of competing in triathlons and I reckon I’ve plenty more to give.

Thanks to for a fantastic event – great organisation and well-planned early morning sun led to a brilliant day out for all. I even took my wife and two children this time, who are as keen to return next year as I am! is the online home of Triathlon Plus – the best source of triathlon training advice, triathlon gear reviews and triathlon news.

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