Thursday, 5 July 2012

My first tri

Crewkerne Super-Sprint Triathlon Race Report

Swim 250m         Bike 10.5k            Run 2.5k 

I completed my first triathlon on Sunday and lived to tell the tale!!  It was one of the most enjoyable races I have ever done and although it was tough in places, I loved every minute of it.  I have even signed up for another sprint distance tri in a couple of weeks.

My day started at 04:50 when I crawled out of bed (having barely slept due to nerves and nightmares about drowning, flat tyres and the cardinal sin of touching your bike before first putting your helmet on)!  I had my usual pre-training brekkie of porridge with honey and seeds, washed down with the obligatory two cups of coffee and a bottle of lucozade.     

I had packed everything I needed to take with me the night before so that I wouldn’t be running round like a headless chicken on the morning and even though the OCD compelled devil on my shoulder wanted to have me un-pack, check and re-pack my stuff at least 27000 times, I actually only did so once. 

We arrived at the race and I headed to registration where I received my race number, timing chip and got marked up.  Luckily, I had remembered this bit in advance and wore some old jogging bottoms.  I had originally started the morning in skinny jeans that are too tight to roll up and would have resulted in a slightly embarrassing strip show on my part in order to be marked up!!

We fetched all my stuff out of the car and headed down to the transition area.  A very kind marshall showed me where to rack my bike and once I had finally figured out how to hang it up I realised I didn’t have a clue what to do next, so I hung around trying to be nonchalant (but failed miserably and ended up looking like a stalker) watching what everyone else was doing from a distance.  Then I copied the ones who looked like they knew what they were doing.  I had brought a bright pink towel to lie on the floor next to my bike in the hope that it would make my bike easier to spot during the transition stage (and it worked)!  I laid out all my stuff on top of my towel in the order I thought I would need it. 

Me trying to workout how to attach my number to my number belt!

Then came the nerve wracking wait to be called through for the swim.  As a weak swimmer I was in the first wave of swimmers, setting off at 7am.  At 6:45 I pulled on my tri suit and made my way to the pool side.  

I have never squeezed myself into an outfit as tight as this before

I was given a bright yellow swim cap and advised I would be in lane 2.  This concerned me slightly as I was hoping to be on the outside where I would have the edge of the pool to grab hold of it need be (but it turns out I was worrying unnecessarily). 

The few minutes before the swim are a blur as I remember staring at the calm water trying to get my nerves under control (and not vomit into the pool and ruin it for everyone)!   
I set off as the third swimmer in my lane and surprised myself by quite quickly catching up with the swimmer in front of me.  I tapped her feet (as instructed) and was able to overtake her at the wall. 

Me in the middle of the pic... my swimming teacher will be proud of those high elbows!

The swim felt surprisingly comfortable and I finished quicker than anticipated.  10 lengths in 5.44mins.  The hardest part was hauling myself out of the deep end – I ended up flopping on to my stomach like a beached whale and flapping about on the floor until I finally hauled my legs out the pool... I never did master the whole ‘graceful’ thing!  

It was swimming cap off and out fire escape and down into transition.  Remarkably, considering I had not practiced my transitions – it went without a hitch and I put everything on in the right order.  I even managed to put my socks on over wet (slightly grassy) feet. 

Me in T1 (white helmet, middle of pic)

Heading out of T1 

I set off on the bike as fast as my little legs would pedal... which turned out not to be fast enough as I was almost immediately over taken by a rather large, older gentleman on a crappy, creaky mountain bike with knobbly tyres.  He was going so fast I couldn’t believe it – he only remained in view for about 10 seconds before disappearing into the beyond.  After than I spent most of the bike leg alone - with no one in front or behind me.  As anticipated, the bike leg was hilly and while I was really pleased to maintain a much faster average on the flat (14.8 mph – yep, that is fast for me), I slowed to a snail’s pace up every incline.  As a result, I had one of the slowest bike times of all the competitors.  There was one final beast of a hill which literally went on forever where I was overtaken for a second time.  I thought my legs were going to fall off (but thankfully they didn’t... or I may have really struggled on the run ha)!  
I finished the bike leg in 31.34 avg 12.8mph.        

Heading back to transition at the end of the bike leg

I came into transition breathing much more heavily than I would have liked and with much heavier legs.  When I got off the bike I nearly fell over and really struggled with the jelly legs as I pushed my bike back over to the rack.  T2 took just 30 seconds which I am quite proud of. 

Then it was out on the run, and I was back in my comfort zone.  I quickly overtook the lady who had passed me on the bike.  I felt like I was running soooo slowly – it seemed that no matter how hard I tried, I could not make my legs turn over any faster so I just did what I could.  It turned out that despite how it felt I was still managing an 8.30mm so not too shabby!  Half the run course was off road which was great but unfortunately I didn’t have much steam left for the grand sprint finish I had hoped for.  
I managed 12.45 for the run.    

Still, I finished in 52.14 and was 54th out of 75 people.  I am chuffed to bits not to come last but more importantly I had an absolutely brilliant time and enjoyed every minute of it!  The atmosphere was very friendly and welcoming and the tri itself was superbly organised and catered well for beginners as well as those there to compete. 

I was so proud of myself that I wore my medal for hours until Arran forced me to take it off before we headed to the pub... I wonder how long is too long to wear your medal before it becomes weird...? ha!

More bike practice before the next one me thinks... must tri harder (awful joke)!! 


  1. FANTASTIC job!!! Finishing your first tri is such a huge hurdle to jump- congratulations! It sounds like you accomplished this goal incredibly well and with a lot of grace (no falling down on the bike!!). Can't wait to see what's next!! =)

    1. Thank you... I am still buzzing from it!!! I really didn't know what to expect but I had a smile on my face the whole way round. I am really looking forward to the next one now - hopefully onwards and upwards :)

  2. You go girl! Such an awesome result!

    I haven't ventured into the tri-world yet, I am such a terrible swimmer!

    Well done, keep going! I'm looking forward to reading more posts!

    1. Thank you :) You definitely should tri it lol!! I learnt to swim specifically so I could do a triathlon (and if I can do it, anyone can). x


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