So I realised I never posted about that triathlon I did 10 months ago (10 MONTHS AGO???).
It was a perfect racing day; sunny but not baking hot. Suzie (the swimmer and a good friend) and I stressed about all the race admin and fretted about the late arrival of our runner, but eventually off she went to the holding pen and I took up a spot by Cecily, pacing about and trying to drink enough (because I’d never tried getting a drink from a bike mounted water bottle while in motion before, and wasn’t sure I’d be able to do it on the course!) and not get too worked up!
Suzie came back eventually, racing through the hall towards the massive S I was standing under (she’s practically blind so I had to wait somewhere that she could find me!), somehow had the energy to get the soaking wet microchip off her ankle and onto mine and off I ran, trying not to trip myself up with Cecily’s pedals as I raced for the bit of the hall where I was finally allowed to get on the bike and start doing my thing!
It started with a long and worryingly steep descent – fortunately I didn’t realise I had to get back up it to get back into transition otherwise I would have panicked for the whole 40km!
The course was a 5km stretch which we did 4 loops of (5km x 2 (there and back) x 4 loops = 40km) – there was a gentle one-way hill at one end and a proper hill at the other end, so looking at my speed v elevation graph once I got home was pretty entertaining! In the end I got back in 1 hour 32 minutes, which is not bad for my first race, and being on a normal hybrid bike rather than a racing bike with special clippy pedals… Suzie and Herman and some of the other competitors I knew were standing at a spot on the course at one point and screamed out support for me – such a great feeling.
I was so glad that Suzie came to meet me at the re-entry to transition because by the time I’d got back up the enormous slope back into the hall and dismounted, my legs weren’t really up to running to our changeover place and she had to yell encouragement at me to get me back to where Herman was waiting impatiently for the chip, and I sat on the floor for 15 minutes and drank about a gallon of water.
My dad had left a message referring to Steve Waugh‘s “never give up” attitude on the sponsorship page, which came to mind several times during the race – as I climbed hills I thought about how Steve scored a century effectively on one leg during the 2001 Ashes; as I zoomed down the other side I chuckled about how everyone else sponsoring my company’s participants in the race must have been confused.
I would post the obligatory photo of me looking hot and sweaty and miserable in the baking sunshine with the backdrop of the Canary Wharf towers, but it’s got a massive copyright watermark across it (as it should) and I’m not sure I want to buy it that much. Suffice to say it’s not the best photo of me.
A great day – and one I hope to repeat!