I honestly can’t remember the point when I decided I wanted to get into triathlon. I always thought they looked difficult but awesome because Nick Diaz (one of my favourite MMA fighters) does them. I ended up reading Accidental Ironman by Martyn Brunt and absolutely loved it but it still escapes as to how this happened.
For the last couple of years I’ve taken part in various obstacle races and not really enjoyed them. My philosophy has since changed dramatically but at the time they were weren’t something I enjoyed. At the end of 2015 I had one of my shittest ideas to date, I decided to run marathons in 2016. I originally picked 4 but dropped this down to 2 as I was injured for one and ditched the other completely as I didn’t want to train for a marathon during the summer months.
Around March I found a suitable triathlon to take part in as it wasn’t that far away, didn’t require open water swimming and was the shortest distance. As sad as it sounds I didn’t sleep at all the night before booking it as I was very excited. After booking it is thought about little else for the next 6 months. I completed both marathons but this was the race I was most excited for.
On The Day.
I got to bed nice and early the night before and was clever enough to sort out all my gear the day before as well (or so I thought) after some cereal and last minute pissing around we were on our way!
Then we nearly didn’t make it!
On the morning of a race I’m generally a nightmare. Full of anxiety and worry about anything and everything. This wasn’t helped at all by large parts of the Stockport motorway being closed due to someone wanting to commit suicide. I don’t know anything else beyond that but I hope whoever it was is okay and getting the help they need.
We arrived late due to no fault of our own which lead to the race organiser taking the piss out of me at the side of the pool (tosser). I then had to wait anxiously for about 5 minutes until they found a gap for me. Then all of a sudden my number was called and off I went.
So, this was it! The 30m pool was split into 4 sections. Meaning you did 4 laps in each section to make 500m. Simple enough. I pushed off and after two or three metres was stuck behind someone doing Breaststroke. That’s right. Breaststroke. I’ve made my opinion on breaststroke very clear in recent rants about public swimming pools. To be doing them in a race like this is just fucking stupid. I ended up smashing past him and anyone else that was silly enough to be doing that. This absolutely enraged me and I ended up swimming harder than I ever have and struggling a bit. Swallowing brine water didn’t help either. This part took around 14 minutes. Bad start, shit mood. On we go!
If there’s any of these three disciplines I could claim to be my strongest area I would have to say it’s cycling. I enjoy it the most and my plan for these races is to simply ride as hard and as fast as I can.
After a soggy trot to T1 I started to get my things together. Socks, shoes, helmet, race belt. Like a true novice I didn’t realise my race belt was missing a clip the day before which meant Tina had to pin my race number to my belt which of course came apart as I put it on and had to be fixed again by Tina. Spent 5 minutes in T1 which is far too long and then off I went.
The course was actually quite lovely. The roads weren’t closed but it was a quiet day and even though I was putting the hammer down I was able to start enjoying myself and living in the moment. I completed the 12 miles in about 45 minutes which I was very pleased with. No punctures either which was a bonus!
After launching my bike into the rack at T2 and running straight out of the there as quickly as possible. I started on the 4 laps 3 mile run course. My legs felt dead at this point. I stupidly cycled 17 miles the day before and I won’t be doing it the day before a race ever again. Thankfully the course was all on grass and the Marshalls were handing out energy drinks at the start of every lap. What helped me out massively was passing Tina at the same point on each lap and double checking which lap I was actually on. I did stop at one point to help a bloke who was struggling (I’m not competitive enough I know) but besides that I generally trotted this at a crap pace. For all the running I’ve done recently this could well be my shittest discipline. Oh well…
My time in the end was 1.31.17. I aimed for 1 hrs 30 as I’d read it was a good time so I was very pleased with myself. Especially knowing I wasted time in certain areas.
The Finish Line
I won’t lie. I was absolutely ecstatic to finish this race. I’d waited six months to get that medal and more importantly, be able to call myself A triathlete. I was also ecstatic my suit actually fit me as it definitely didn’t when it arrived a few months ago! The lady who presented me with my medal couldn’t have been nicer. Asking if it was my first triathlon and giving me a big hug and congratulating me. All the Marshalls at this race were excellent and I made it a point to thank as many as possible at every event I do.
This ended up being a great experience for me. I’m extremely thankful I get to do things like this. I can’t wait to race again and I hope to do many, many more.