Race Date: Sunday 10th June 2018
Distances: 2km swim, 48 mile bike ride, and a 12.8 mile run
If you have spoken to me for more than a minute over the past few months, I might have mentioned that I was doing a triathlon that I was quite nervous about. While I have entered lots of races and challenged myself, this one really needed a big investment in terms of time and training – basically 6 months of spinning, swimming at least 3 – 4 times a week, running the usual amount, and once the weather perked up and the training got serious, trips to the open water reservoir and long cycle rides.
Fast forward to race weekend. We stayed on a gorgeous campsite, and the lovely weather and good company in the form of a kind gang who’d come to spectate made for a big reduction in nerves. There’s a lot of faff in triathlon, and as Peggy, Alex and I drove to start the race, there was nervous silence in the van and in the transition area. After a quick briefing that seemed to go on forever, we were off, starting with the swim. Luckily the water was the warmest it has been in years (so warm that wet-suits were optional, but I kept mine on) and the sun was glistening on the lake – so it looked very inviting. As usual for me in triathlons, the adrenaline got to me, and I was unable to swim crawl the whole way as practised. However, I got round in 43 mins or so – which I was very pleased with!
The cycle was a whole different story. As I was lapped by some pro looking cyclists on expensive time trial bikes, I realised how amateur I was, and how high the standards were. Despite this, I passed the 11.30am cut off (which I had been worrying about) with 40 mins to spare and started off on my second loop feeling both euphoric and emotional.
At transition for the second time (some people were finishing the run by this point!!) I was pleased as it was ‘only a half marathon to go’. This seemed doable as I had practised the run the week before….or most of it. Half way down the first hill I fell over whilst admiring the view and had to stop for a few mins. Just cuts and bruises, but it was a real blow. Then the second hill appeared. Rather than it being just similar to the first hill, it was a beast – harder than the hardest of peak district fell races. I think the two kms up took me around 25 mins – there was simply no zing in my step. At the top, it was only the views which kept me from crying as there was still around 8kms to go. However, I knew it was downhill / flat from there, so I kept pushing on in some sort of death shuffle / run telling myself I could get under 7 hours (which I did! Hooorah!).
By the end I was totally done in. It had been a long, lonely 7 hours, especially as support was thin on the ground. As I crossed the finish line, the marshals and St Johns stepped forward looking concerned (not a good sign) but luckily I just feebly handed them my cut hand and asked for some antiseptic.It was absolutely the hardest thing I have ever done, and I was definitely delighted to finish!
The race was won by Stephen Derrett (unattached) in 04.15.09, first lady was Natalie Batey of Tricademy in 04.52.33. There were 199 entrants (and only 23 of these were female!).
Two striders entered the race. Richard Pegg swam, did one bike loop, (28 miles) and the half marathon – rumour has it he stopped en route for a quick game of racketball and Scrabble so ran out of time to do both bike loops. Well done on the effort! More information and results can be found here.
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