So a few days into my Les Stables Tri training holiday, southern France, Mike who lives out their said, Jo do you fancy a triathlon next Sunday?... "just a little sprint, beautiful lake will be fun" he said. A bargain of 23euros later I'm entered! I know nothing about the course, distance, laps, undulation.... ekk.
The day before the race and during a 65mile "beasting" of a bike training ride I manage to find out a few more race details. (750m lake swim (1 lap) 25k bike (2 lap) and 6k run. 5.30am pick up.
Race day came... up early as all would expect!
There was a fantastic atmosphere at the race, but it was very strange not understanding a word! (My French is terrible) but I think I must just have a "chat to me" face because ladies and men would be chatting away to me with me nodding along .... without a clue.
Everyone started heading into the lake, was it the start? No a Warm up - (15min ) everyone was in the lake, wow it was so clear and warm! I defiantly didn't need a wet suit but I was in it now! All I new was women start to the left! (Last min tip from Mike)
The French voice over the tannoy became excited and I guessed it was the count down... fingers crossed I didn't get lost because i hadn't understood a word of the breifing I was off... what felt like a few min in I panicked I had gone wrong, there was only 2 people near me (I've never been that far up in a swim, training must be paying off) .... 2nd out the water a record for me... then on to the bike.
Thank goodness for our French friend Stephane spectating as he was able to translate the instructions as I left-transition.... (there was no one in front) and French signs aren't as clear to and English country girl
Doe-se-doe all through the first lap with another lady, making sure no drafting (I have never seen so many officials in my life (the boys even said they had 3 referees in the swim with them). In honesty I didn't have the legs to keep accelerating and easing off as we passed, i had very tired legs from my heavy training over the run up weeks/days.
Off the bike and on the run even getting an ooh-la-la For my dismount (they actually say this in France ????????
So I'll get my excuses in now... I've been carrying an Achilles injury, creaking following any run, Everytime I tried to upy run pace... ankle said No. I was pleased I didn't have to stop and walk due to discomfort so crossing the line was a relief and a wake up call I need to give this time to properly heel. Id lost track with where in the field I was with no idea where my final position would be! - the boys just said oh I don't think there were many girls before you
2 days later in true laid-back French style I was able to see my result on line, 4th lady... I was over the moon.
All in all a slightly novel way to spend a Sunday in the south of France! I'm not sure I learn much French but a cool enamelled tin mug, A sun tan later, a need to rest my Achilles I am a very happy girl