It was meant to be a sunny weekend in August, that was the plan when I entered my first sprint triathlon in 16 years.
But early Sunday morning the aftermath of hurricane Bertha was upon us. I was stood in my wetsuit waiting for the pre-race briefing in the pouring rain. Just as we were due to get into the river for our 750 meter swim, the thunder rumbled above us and lightning flashed in the sky.
The event organisers had to cancel the swim, and very quickly decided that we would start the triathlon, minus the swim, with a run to transition. A lot of competitors gave up at this point and decided to go home. I decided that I might as well do the rest of the race. I had psyched myself up for this over the last few weeks, I’d set my alarm for 5.50am and also had a small and dedicated group of supporters who had also got up stupidly early on a Sunday morning.
So along with a whittled down group of other competitors I set off. It started off with a run to transition up a hill nicknamed “the beast”. Then I hopped onto my bike and cycled 14 kilometers in the pouring rain, through puddles which took up the one side of the road. As I headed back into transition I heard my name being cheered and it spurred me on. It also made me feel a little guilty that I had dragged these poor people out of their warm beds into the rain to give me some encouragement. The 5 kilometer run started by heading back to the river and down “the beast”, quite a nice start considering my legs felt they didn’t belong to me. We ran a loop and a half along the towpath before having to head to the finish. But the last blast for home was “the beast”, it almost brought me to tears but with the cheers of my drenched support team I pulled myself over the line, and even with a (sort of) smile on my face.
So although my first triathlon in 16 years didn’t quite go as I had planned I did actually enjoy it. I look forward to the Harrison team triathlon in September where I’m hoping to the weather will be better and I can actually swim rather than just sport the very attractive wetsuit! But I will be entering another triathlon in the not too distance future.