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Lilly proves she can race with the Big Girls!
Lilly describes how she climbed mountains, went through desserts and almost died of dehydration to accomplished a big milestone that can now be checked off her bucket list.
On Sunday 18th June, I raced in the adult’s sprint distance race at Bridge. It was my first ever attempt at this distance and was double the distance as to what I’m used to. My family and I woke up at 5:00 – happy Father’s Day dad! We arrived at Dartford by six so you could say it was an early start. Once registered and racked I warmed up with Austin who was also doing the sprint distance. He was very encouraging and went through every phase of the race with me giving me some top tips which really came in handy. He even checked all my times after the race to make sure the timers got it right!
When it came to the start of the race I was very nervous. The swim went better than I thought and I was one of the first out of the water which is a bit unusual. Many thanks to Liz @skills school who really helped me on Saturday with my open water technique. If anyone has the chance I would defiantly recommend going along. I have been to two now and come away with a lot on both occasions. It did feel very long though- longer than I originally thought. It turned out that instead of a 750m swim it was a 900m swim. Just to make it even longer for me!
On to the bike, 24km, I’ve got this. The bike went well for me and I really loved the distance as it gave me lots of time to get going. I was surprised that I was overtaking adults rather than the other way around! Even though it was a race it was hard for me to tell who was in my race and who was in the standard distance so it really gave me the opportunity to push myself and know my own limits.
After four laps of the bike course I dismounted and rushed into T2, you could say I got in a pickle with this one. Because the racking was right next to the fence I couldn’t get my bike in without turning it around and reversing it in which in doing so I knocked a bike and of they came like dominos one by one- oops. Luckily only two bikes fell of and I quickly put them back up, whipped my trainers on and set of on my 5km run.
I climbed mountains, went through desserts and almost died of dehydration. To say the least there was a small climb in 27 degrees with water stations every half a lap! The run was the hardest bit for me especially the last lap when I saw the youth category who started after me finishing- that could have been me! But no, I decided to do the sprint distance. My legs were beginning to feel it on this last lap and the intensity of the sun made it even more unbearable. I was starting to regret it at this point. But I finished and I felt very accomplished as it was a big milestone checked of on my triathlon journey.
After my race, I went to cheer on the little Medway tri athletes, Lauren, Olivia, Tulsi, Gabriella, Natasha and Lucy. My highlight of the day is when Lucy, Olivia and her sister, Abi came and asked me for advice. I totally admire all of these girls as I know if I was doing triathlon at their age I wouldn’t have been able to do it nearly as good as them so the fact that they look up to me is very nice.
To top my day of I came second in the female category which I was very, very happy about. I was not expecting it at all when I entered this race only two days ago without much specific training in the bag. It was on my bucket list this year to do a sprint distance race in preparation for the elite junior races next year so when the opportunity came up I jumped at the chance.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t stay to watch T2 or T3 but I hope everyone had a good race. Well-done to all of team Medway tri who competed!
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