The Big Day

It’s been a while since the triathlon, but I never posted about the day.

The night before I’d packed my bag, imagining myself at each stage of the race and therefore what I’d need. I had two bags, one with all my race gear for transition in it and a second with my swim cap, goggles, and enough room to cram in the clothes that I had on over my swimsuit. My race bag had my bike shoes, runners, socks, a spare water bottle to wash my feet free of sand, a towel and a race belt with my number pinned on. I’d also checked the bike, pumped up the tyres and put the bike security sticker on.

Jeremy and I got up early, I faffed around with nerves while he packed the car. I made myself eat and got changed into my swimsuit and threw some clothes on over the top. We headed to Hillarys Beach with plenty of time to spare.

When we got there we offloaded my gear from the car and Jeremy went to find parking while I set up my transition area. I went via the registration desk to get my race number written on my right arm and left calf.

In transition I carefully stacked everything in the order that I’d need it, so towel went on top of helmet (you get an automatic disqualification if you touch your bike without a helmet on), which went on top of socks, on top of bike shoes etc etc.

I went and had my first nervous wee, then met Jeremy and Mum and we milled around the event area.

Soon it was nearly briefing time, so I got my goggles and swim cap, stripped down to my swimsuit and listened to the race briefing. We still had some time to kill after the briefing so I thought, best to find out what the water temperature was like and was pleased to find it lovely and warm. A few ladies followed me in, and then we were advised that we had a minute to go before the first wave of starters.

I lined up at the back of my wave group (the second wave) and when the horn sounded made my way into the (very calm) water. I’d made the decision to go at the back so I was less likely to be overtaken in the water. I was fine with potentially being last.

Well the swim was easy, and I wasn’t last. I overtook someone from the wave prior who was doing backstroke! I made my way up the beach and heard Mum call out encouragement.

I ran from the beach into transition to my bike and toweled off grabbed my helmet, race belt, put on socks and bike shoes and hurtled off with my bike. I ran through transition to the mounting line and pedalled off.

I overtook so many people on the bike I went from about 8th last to 4th. Probably pedalled too hard, but god it was fun. I came back into transition and Jeremy was there at the barricades cheering me on. I threw the bike on the rack, ripped off my helmet and bike shoes and pulled on my runners. I legged it out of there and was going way too fast.

Once clear of transition there is a 50 to 75 metre stretch of path where people have a clear view of the competitors but then you have relative privacy. Once clear of the people I had to slow to a walk. My heart was pounding and my legs were unused to the feel of running after the bike, particularly at that speed.

I ran walked the run, and lost a lot of position but I didn’t care; I hadn’t drowned in the swim and I wasn’t last!

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