It’s overcast but not raining, we must be mad.
This is my second Sprint Distance Tri, for some it will be their first, for others just another to add to the growing list. I have already discovered that even though the build-up for someone like me (an overweight, ex-smoker 273 days at time of writing) fills me with absolute dread, the feeling when you cross the finish line makes it all worthwhile.
I’m still not 100% sure what led us to even consider Triathlon 8 months ago, but the support from the new friends that we have made at ATC makes it that much easier to keep coming back for more.
Back to the race.
Derek and Kayla start at 8.55(nice purple hat Derek), Myself, Jacqui and Neville at 9.15 and Ian at 9.35. The water is surprisingly…. not too cold. In no time at all we’re in and the first whistle goes, then another, then another. Ten seconds later it goes again and I’m off. From the balcony this pool looks deceptively short, but it’s definitely 25m long. 16 lengths, 9 minutes 47 seconds later I’m scrambling back out, Jacqui and Neville long gone. Hat and goggles off out into the … wait, sunlight? That’s a nice surprise. Into transition, hat on, un-rack bike and away. Not so fast, back for the race belt and away. Shouts of encouragement as I go barefoot up onto the grass then the tarmac and over the mount line.
Decision Time. Go Big or Go Home. The flying mount it is. What a revelation, no socks, shoes in pedals. It seemed to work this time anyway.
Feet in and only 11 miles to go. As some of you may have witnessed, at this stage in my Triathlon career, I don’t do hills, not up anyway. Unfortunately, the first half is ups and downs. As I was going up one hill, down came Derek, then a few minutes later there was Kayla. Top of Netheravon Barracks, round the Netheravon loop and back to the barracks, over halfway now. The second half is downs and ups so a little light relief. Round the last corner, feet out and a flying dismount. Friendly faces and shouts of encouragement from the crowd (Thanks).
Transition again. Bike racked, shoes on and I’m running. I’m not a great runner (overweight, ex-smoker, 273 days) but this is ok. Across the field, along the lane cross the bubbling brook and HILL. Advice taken (Jacqui), walk the hill, then run a little, walk a little run a little. On the way up to the turn point Derek, Neville, Jacqui and Kayla all going the other way all going well. The Top, quick Jelly Baby and a glug of water, downhill all the way back, on the way down I see Ian coming up, unfortunately for me not too soon afterwards he passes me on the way back. Before I know it over the babbling brook, up the lane and onto the field of glory, arms in the air and over the finish line.
It wasn’t fast and it wasn’t pretty, but it feels like being on top of the world, another medal and a T-Shirt, everyone likes a little bit of bling.
Congratulations to Jacqui Taylor for 3rd in her category.
Thanks to everyone for their support and we’ll see you again next year.