Wellington Triathlon, Wellington College, Crowthorne, Berkshire
Sunday 16th June 2013
200m swim | 10 mile bike | 5km run
285 competitors | 70 in Male Under 40 category | 41 in Female Under 40 category
Alan and I completed our first outdoor triathlon together, in what I think were pretty respectable times as well. This round goes to Alan, but there will be plenty more opportunities for me to beat him!
The first challenge we had was the weather. Mid way through last week we were able to check the BBC forecast for Triathlon day for the first time, and the news was not good. Heavy showers all day. We groaned, and quickly started praying that the weathermen were wrong! Our sun dances must have had an effect, however, because Sunday morning dawned, cloudy and rather dull, but mercifully dry.
It was an early start. Hauling ourselves out of bed at 5.45am on a Sunday morning, we did ask ourselves, "Why are we doing this again?" But after a plate full of toast with peanut butter and a banana we remembered that it was because we love a good challenge, and we are slightly competitive!
The second hurdle we faced was transporting our bikes to the event. I'm not sure if you have ever had the pleasure of loading two full sized mountain bikes in to the back of a 1-series (we do not have a roof rack...yet), but it is no mean feat! We bought some beautiful £2.70 throws from Primark to line the boot with especially for this task, and after much lowering of back seats, removal of head rests and taking bikes to pieces, we ended up with a car full of bike, and not much room for the two of us!
My start time was scheduled for 9.32am, with Alan setting off shortly behind me at 9.38am, and we arrived at the venue at 8am, to give us time to rebuild our bikes, register for the event, take a few photographs and attend the pre-race briefing. With bikes loaded into the transition area and our kit all laid out ready for the quick change, we headed off to get changed for the first event, the swim.
200m, or 8 lengths of the pool. You queue up in race number order, ready to jump in the pool at your allotted start time. Your race number is determined by your estimated swim time, with the slower swimmers going off first. Alan and I were near the back of the queue, which means that they thought we were fast swimmers, somehow!
Round 1 to Alan!
Transition 1 (T1) Swim to Bike
Clare's moment of glory! The only part where I was quicker than Alan was the transition from swim to bike. But then, we all know how long it takes Alan to get ready! (Alan - I had more to put on!)
The 10 mile course saw us doing 2 laps of a route along the country roads that surrounded the college. If I wasn't racing I might have stopped to admire the views, and the mansions, but I pushed hard. I kept coming up against the girl who was 1 place ahead of me in the queue for the swim. I was faster than her on the hills, but she had more speed on the flat sections, so we kept yoyo-ing, and enjoying a bit of friendly banter along the way. I think my determination not to be outdone by the uphill sections drove me forward, and considering that nearly everyone else was wearing skin tight tri suits and riding speedy road bikes, I think that my and Alan's efforts on our 'fat-tyre' mountain bikes was pretty good!
Both of us under 40 minutes, yeah!
Transition 2 (T2) Bike to Run
Since neither Alan nor I have fancy cycling shoes that have to be swapped for running shoes (we just wore the same trainers throughout) our T2 times were actually a lot quicker than many of the pro athletes. Go us!
The organisers were not kidding when they described the run route as 'cross-country'. We had mud, puddles, log bridges, and steep gravelly paths to contend with! This last part of the race was a killer. Stitches and nausea tried to claim us both but we fought on and made it to the finish line, both in under 30 mins. I crossed the line first, because I had set out first, so I got the chance to cheer wildly when Alan came through shortly behind me! After crossing the line, it was water, stretches, collect medals, get times, in that order!
All done and dusted by 11am. Not a bad morning's work! Thankfully, the rain held off for the whole event. It was even quite warm! Later on, as we sat down to a slightly naughty, but well-deserved, feast at Gourmet Burger Kitchen, we contemplated our morning's work. Now that the muscle pain has subsided a little, we have both agreed we would do it again. Watch this space!