Completing a triathlon had always been the preserve of younger and fitter people, or so I thought. Yet here I was after six months of training at the start line of my first event.
Standing on the edge of the lake at Hever Castle receiving my pre-race briefing was the realisation that it was about to happen. Entering the lake, I had a temporary flashback to my first pool swim, when I was barely able to swim 25 metres. Thankfully, the water was cold enough to focus my concentration back to the task at hand. Swimming is my weakest discipline, but thanks to some excellent coaching all I could hear in my head was Rob’s voice telling me to keep my legs up. Once I had completed the swim, I could see people cheering me on, and even though I was the last one of my wave to finish; I was still proud to have completed 400 metres.
On arrival at the bike stand my transition was 9 minutes, which I thought was fine, but everyone else thought was enough time to make and drink a cup of tea. The bike ride was as promised started with a cheeky hill, which I had prepared for by taking a gel. Typically, this only kicked in after I had completed the hill. Once my legs had warmed up, the ride was pretty fast and I made up some of the time lost during the swim.
On my return to the bike stand I was prepared to do the run mentally, but my legs were protesting, especially when they realised that the cheeky hills weren’t limited to the ride. However my transition on this stage was quicker and I focussed on the end, which was heralded by cheers in the distance. As with the rest of the event every time I approached a finish line members of Medway Tri were there cheering me on.
I could not have completed this event without the support of my family, the patience of the various discipline coach’s, the friendliness of the members and the inspiration of team Phoenix. As my aim this year was to successfully finish the triathlon, I regarded this as mission accomplished and I have signed up for both Leeds Castle and Hever next year.