The Dambuster is an Olympic (standard) distance triathlon at Rutland Water in Leicestershire. First established in 2002, the Dambuster Triathlon is a well recognised feature of the triathlon calendar in the UK. Sundried ambassador Laura Smith tells us about her experience racing it this year.

A brilliant race, result, and weekend.

The British Championships had come and gone, and so it was time to prepare for Dambuster Triathlon. I think it dawned on me by Thursday that I was racing on the Saturday and it was safe to say I was still paying for the efforts in Leeds. I recovered as much as I could through the week (PANIC FOAM ROLL), whilst keeping training ticking over (easier said than done).

My sister Abi, boyfriend Luke and I planned to go down to Rutland Water the night before and pitch a tent (how hard could it be right?). As it turns out, a spontaneous decision from my younger sister to join us meant that we were in the hands of a camping pro… winner!

We arrived late on Saturday night, popped the tent up (quite literally), and hit the sack. It wasn’t the most amazing sleep with temperatures reaching highs of ridiculous and ducks not abiding by night time etiquette but when is the night before a race ever perfect? I think my sister was in a slight daze when Luke and I were up and ready by 5am (Uni students these days aye…) to begin my pre-race prep.

On your marks, get set, go!

That was it, the race was underway and thanks to the beach start I was leading the swim for a whole 30 seconds (lifetime goal completed, I can retire now). I stayed calm as the lead pack swam past and just hung onto any feet I could find, pushing way beyond my capabilities, but it paid off and I exited the water in 6th. The bike was my idea of ideal…hills, hills, and more hills. A strong bike leg saw me come into T2 in 3rd place, 1 minute behind 2nd, which I knew was a manageable amount of time to run down. About 5km in, I had run into 2nd and was closing the gap on 1st, the closer I got the more determined I was to finish in first. With 3km to go I took the lead and ran across the line as the overall female winner (PODIUM FINISH, YES!). Luke and Abi (younger sister) were there to greet me at the finish and even managed to photo bomb each one of my finishing photos (stealing my limelight…pft).

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