Part 1 The Swim: 800m in the pool.
I'm fairly new to swimming but am really enjoying it, 25m pool – 32 lengths. Saw a girl in the coolest pirate skull and x bones tri suit – jealous and want one! Swimmer from the previous wave confused things by swimming an extra 2 lenghts so i missed the starter say “go” by a couple of seconds – then i was off.
I got to the end of the first length and caught man in front – who was doing an bizarre stroke of doggy paddle legs with breast stroke arms. So overtook him. Swam on... blahblah... next swimmer was fed in just behind me and was a bit quicker so overtook me. I realised after about 200m i really needed a wee and i remember Slartibartfast saying to get the wee out the way in the swim... i tried but i couldn’t – have you tried swimming and peeing at the same time? (i know thats really gross you’re thinking)
I was gaining on flappy feet again so went to over take again, he booted me in the t1t kindly! Then on the return length we crashed hands mid air.2 lengths to go, tapped on head by lane marshal with aqua zimmer frame.... still needing a pee – tried – but nope. Would have to hold on now for the bike and run - fun. Got to the end of last lap and dragged myself out the pool – the deep end (only 1.6m) but was an effort. Checked watch and ran out the door – 19:27 (very happy with that)
Part 2 The Cycle: 50km on road.
Pretty neat transition, i was lucky in that my rack was right next to the pool exit pretty much, so bunged on vest, etc – ripped number in process but fixed it quick enough (need to get a race belt). Ran with bike out of transition and mounted. Pedalled off into distance. Really good start and perfect riding conditions – very little wind and a reasonably flat course, the up hills were offset with downhills. Couple of traffic lights and road works to negotiate they said they’d deduct time but i’m certain they didn’t cos my time on watch matched my time overall.
Still dying for a wee, so kept an eye out for a suitable place to dive in to a hedge. I spotted a bus shelter and slowed down and dismounted but then saw that there was no where to hide behind it, 2 people overtook, i got back on and carried on, miffed and bursting!! About 11 miles in through one of the villages one of the people who’d overtaken – a young guy prob in the junior section was on the side of the road with marshals running towards him and some others around him. I slowed up, saw he was being tended to and carried on, then saw glass all over floor and a ccar with the back window smashed in – i can only assume the poor kid crashed into the back of him. Nasty stuff.
Pretty sure I saw Anismate fly past on her return trip but wasn’t sure cos she’d had a tri suit on when i saw her before the swim and this person had something over top.I got to the turn around section and headed back the way i came. Still looking for somewhere to pee. About 3 miles from home i found a layby - again dismounted and jumped into the hedge, i don’t know if anyones tried peeing out of a trisuit – but its impossible. I ccouldnt take it down cos i’d be flashing me waps, and i had a vest over the top too so would have taken ages, i tried to pull the leg to the side but that didn’t work, so gave up. Someone flew past asking if i was ok. “yup.just trying not to pee my pants” overtook him, carried on...
the last mile and a half seemed to take forrrrreevvvver! Girl in pirate bones outfit overtook me – nooooooooo! Didn’t want that... Came into transition and she was fannying about but got off on the run before me. I thought 50k was about 30 miles... but having now calculated it it’s 31.25 miles but my computer said nearer to 33.... not sure if its right or not. Total time including transition from swim (and two unsuccessful toilet stops): 1hr55 – really pleased with this as its the furthest i’ve ridden at this effort before and was quicker than last weeks performance
Part 3The Run: 8.5k mostly road
Transition from bike to run was real quick, thanks to lock laces – “Ideal for the physically challenged” so the packet said!! The final leg and my strongest phase and hoped i could make up the time of being a slow swimmer and cyclist a bit. Still soooo desparate for a wee i wasn’t sure how it was gonna go, saw pirate girl, ran past her and ran on... about a km in it was now or never (or just pee myself), so i jumped in hedge and did my best to pull the leg to the side – like ive seen paula do... but in super tight lycra???
After an Austin Powers length pee of at least a minute!! which pretty much all collected in my left trainer, i was relieved and ready to run properly. (yeap, i’m lush ain’t i!) Ran on feeling way better except for “stamp, squelch, stamp, squelch” – nice.
There were no distance markers which always throws me, so i started using people as markers. Everytime i saw a runner, i’d use them to catch them up, overtake and look for my next one. Had overtaken about 8 people now and was really enjoying the run, had a nice stride and was a nice route, a few hills but nothing major... until!
Prob about 6k in, and i looked ahead and all you could see was the road disappear up into the trees... it looked just like “my hill” but shorter. There were 3 markers (runners) half way up it. So i set about catching them. Was gaining on the first 2 who then chickened out and walked, so caught them easier than id planned. Last man was just reaching the brow so didn’t catch him ti the weeeeeeeeeee down hil bit. Got him. Caught a couple more in the final km then “stamp, squelch” though the finish. Time including transition and mammoth wee: 41.37 i think.My trainers are currently in the washing machine!
Part 4 - The Meet
Anismate and I had been in contact prior to the event as I knew she was doing it when i entered and she’s a fellow Wiltshire lady. When i got there i saw a teeny lady walking towards me in the car park and thought “is that her?” and she was thinking the same and it was and i was. Said quick hello, and i went to register. Saw her again at the pre race dewberry wotsitcalled.
After the race Jacqui mentioned the “C” word... two in fact “Cake” and “Camera”I don’t know how she knew i’m quite partial to cake but for some reason she’d brought some! We headed to her car where she brought out 3 types of cake... whats a girl to do??
Such choice... we decided upon ccarrot cake for photo opportunities – because it looked partibulary mucky.... and i have to say.... it was a damn good carrot cake!! After what must have looked like an odd display of cake eating and photograph taking in the car park we chatted for a while. Then went to get our times.
Jacqui very kindly sent me home with a tub of homemade brownies, I’d like to say they made it home before getting sampled but i got as far as mum and dads and cracked them open and bloody hell.... the most amazing, gooey nutty (were the macadamias?) brownies i’ve ever eaten... reluctanty gave one to my dad and sister... saving another for my tea Penny - you have some competition in the cake baking dept!
Was a great race, lovely to meet another member, even lovelier to be fed cake!! I hope you’ll be posting a report too Jacqui... Total time was 2:56 (not including eating of cake) think i was about 5th lady overall - tbc? I think this was my most enjoyable race yet, as much as i love running i think i’ve found a new passion for triathlon, and am dead pleased with my times. xx
edit: news just in... 7th lady - 5th in my category.