Intrinsic-sponsored Matthew Cox celebrated a cheeky birthday win at West Bay Triathlon 2019 plus a category second at the Pippingford TrailX Triathlon. The consecutive weekend celebrations come as his training builds towards the Ben Nevis Braveheart alongside IFE Director Chris Roberts.
Matt took time out between mouthfuls of birthday cake to bring us up to speed with his late season success.
“Training has been all about building to another Ben Nevis Braveheart and I enjoyed a good block through August. This included some runs in Italy, swimming in Cornwall and cycling on Exmoor. With just one long ride remaining and one hilly run I’m feeling as ready as I’ll ever be!
“I wanted to do some racing as part of the build up to really put some efforts out there and it’s gone pretty well. West Bay was a fun, tough race, but a nice day out too and fairly local to me. With just an hour to travel race morning, it was good to be feeling fairly fresh at the start.
Birthday boy enjoys early lead
“I had an almost gun to tape lead, taking pole after two of the three lead pack athletes took the wrong line and I was first out of the swim. The latter doesn’t happen too often. Someone flew past me in the last three miles of the bike leg so I briefly lost the lead, but re-took it within 200m of the run transition.
“I ran hard not knowing how close anyone was to me as the event included a simultaneous sprint race. After some epic climbing on the Jurassic Coast, I descended back into West Bay, cheered on by friends. My brother Jon, himself competing in the sprint event, looked surprisingly fresh as he kept pace alongside me over the final 200 metres.
“After some initial confusion on the part of race organisers as I crossed the line, they awarded me the win. Turns out Jon had fresh legs because a puncture forced his retirement 3km into the bike leg. All told, a satisfying birthday win for me!
TrailX breaks Matt out of comfort zone
“The next weekend took me to Eastbourne to catch-up with Intrinsic Director Chris Roberts. A quick swim in the dark followed by a well-earned beer and an attempt to get Chris on his MTB the next morning proved ideal prep for the Pippingford Off-Road Triathlon.
“Run by an old college friend of mine and my wife Laura’s, I was really looking forward to this race. I competed for the first time in 2018 and it finds me truly out of my comfort zone. It’s a very laid back atmosphere but the field was pretty strong including ex-pro and multiple World Champion Richard Stannard leading out the swim.
“I held my own on the swim – through three different lakes – and exited the water in the top five, but the 24km MTB leg was something else. I felt like I was going backwards as some seriously impressive riders flew past, leaving me to ride the 2nd lap pretty much on my own and dropping back to around 10th overall. But knowing my strength was yet to come I gritted my teeth and worked hard to reach the run in good shape.
Fair play lands Intrinsic with Pippingford upgrade
“I knew I had to find time so went hard from the start hoping to get back into the top five. The run course was superb, and probably played into my hands; it was technical and hilly but with some confidence in running downhill fast I managed to make up positions. After a hard chase over the last mile, I crossed the line in 01:59:54.94 taking 5th place overall. This is one up on last year’s debut and 2nd senior male behind some seriously quick ‘Veterans’ in the field. No shame there.
“The race director upgraded my position – the athlete ahead of me admitted to a course mistake and graciously accepted a 3 minute penalty. He said he wouldn’t feel right knowing that he’d inadvertently made a mistake which might have gained him time.
“Fair play to him. His demonstration of sportsmanship was indicative of the day – it’s a race against yourself, the course and the elements.”
- Team Intrinsic represents the combined interests of Intrinsic Facilities Engineering and Intrinsic Facilities Management.
- West Bay Triathlon, Bridport, Dorset – Sunday 1st September 2019 (1500m sea swim, 26km bike, 5.5km run)
- Pippingford Park TrailX Off Road Triathlon, East Sussex – 7th September 2019 (Full Fat standard distance: 1000m lake swim, 24km MTB, 8km trail run)
Team Intrinsic Race Stats – Pippingford Park TrailX, 7th September 2019
Matt Cox (Male 30-34) – 1:59:54.94 (O/Pos 4th ; Cat/Pos 2nd)
Swim 13:39.7 ; T1 0:47.8 ; Bike Lap 1 34:22.1; Bike Lap 2 35:55.4 ; T2 0:24.0 ; Run Lap 1 17:09.4 ; Run Lap 2 17:36.2