WARNING DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME
The below event was completed by a non trained triathlete so you don't have to go through the same pain
First thoughts of the weekend were:-
- When was this a good idea?
The race brief described an 'Event village'. Trade descriptions act was being broken there I think. 2 tents in a field with some racking didn't instil me with confidence.
Quick drive of the bike course made the confidence rise slightly until the last 2k and a big hill appears. What made it worse was the realisation that I had to do it 3 times.
4:40 is an ungodly hour FACT. Breakfast at that time is even harder, what makes it worse is the sight of late night revellers sharing breakfast with you and thinking that used to be me.
What a difference an afternoon made. When arriving at 6 the place was fully set up looking much more pro than the day before. 199 competitors who looked like they knew what they were doing, and me. A quick 'morning' to Phil Graves completed my time bumbling around transition.
I never realised how quick the last hour before start can go. Off to the lake we went. The sun was out the lake looked great, a quick brief and it was no turning back 'get in and warm up'.
Now I've never done mass start races before. Where do you go? Back,side, in the middle. I opted for holding back and went off steady. To my surprise my steady was much faster than most of the people in front of me. Oh well best go over the top then. Everything came together; I could sight and keep pace. The last 200m was into the sun so you couldn't see the last 10ft long 5ft high marker buoy, act like a sheep and follow the others.
I got a great helping hand out of the water in a very respectable time of 20 mins. The first thing I see is Claire beaming at me (damn better run into transition then).
Transition wasn't a great performance, being a bit of a tart it was on with the socks, on with more padded shorts and off.
Now I haven't cycled 60 miles before so I was a bit worried about that. Head down and stare at the computer telling me the average speed. Keep that at over 15mph and I'm doing well. End of the first lap and the hill appeared from round a corner. Just to make it worse the camera man was half way up the hill. I thought it only fitting to call him an evil sod.
I now have respect for the ability to eat whilst cycling. How do you peel a banana at 20 mph? Badly, seemed to be the answer. The only option was smack it on the tri bar and suck the mush out, well it made a difference to gel after gel
The best bit of the cycle is the last 5k back to the start/finish. I had fresh tape on the tri bars and came through the line to Claire's shouts of encouragement at nearly 30mph in the best aero position a 14 stone man can get into.
The 2nd laps aim was to do it in the same time, I was 5 mins slower so not too shabby. The 3rd small loop was spent thinking 'can I run after this, is there anything left?'
Quick bit of Webster's factor 100 and I'm off for an afternoon run in the sun. Well those of you that know me know how much I LOVE running!
It started well for the first 2k, after that my shins hurt like hell and forced the walk of shame. Still my best discipline. Could I do 3 laps of this? Damn right I could, I'd got this far and I wasn't stopping now. 2 laps down and the pain got greater but the speed walk got faster.
Now I had read the race website where it said how to get the best photo, so in the last 100m before you turned into the finishing Shute the glasses came off the hat was adjusted. The marshals said 'You wanna look good for the finish line'. The only thing that came to mind was saying 'Does my bum look big in this?'
Turning the last corner was great, red carpet pom pom girls and people shouting your name. I had done it, the fat bloke from Hassocks who swims, cycles and runs a bit completed the longest race of his life with a genuine smile on his face 5hrs 31mins later. Claire was there patiently waiting to cheer me over the line.
I didn't need to worry about here being lonely for 5hrs. She was talking to all the pros from all over the world. But never fear the fat man in a tri suite will be with you soon.
Being told well done from an Aussie pro that Claire had been talking to was a nice moment for me, these guys are all so down to earth.
I would recommend this race to anyone who doesn't like a long run. It was amazing to do and complete.
I would just say don't try this without any training, I did and it hurts A LOT
- 20mins 50 secs swim
- 3hr 45mins bike
- 1hr 10mins run
Total 5hr 31ins