This morning, I competed in the Coventry Sprint Triathlon. As usual, it was a fairly early start, my race was at 8.11am, so I got up at 6.30am to have breakfast and finish getting ready, although I still managed to forget my helmet and we had to turn back for it.
It was a bit of a peculiar race, as instead of a wave of 30 athletes starting at once (5 in each lane, going at 10 second intervals), each competitor had their own wave. This meant I actually got the lane to myself in the swim, which was great as I didn’t need t worry about other people getting in my way, or me in others. It reduced waves in the pool too, so I was quite thankful for this set up.
After a good, hassle free swim, I got my bike and went off on the first short loop of the course. The weather was good, overcast and not a bit of wind. I managed to overtake someone, which is a rarity for me! I also had several people go past me, many already on their second lap. One guy’s trisuit was pretty worn out around the back region, so I’m glad he sped off and I didn’t have to cycle behind his…behind, for a while.
By the time I’d finished my first lap, my family were there in position, cheering me on. It was great to have them there cheering me on and shouting at me. On the second lap, I had a bit of trouble, as I tried to get a drink and fell off my bike, but I wasn’t going too fast, so just got a grazed, bloody knee. The bike was fine, so I carried on, it didn’t hurt. The marshalls on the course were brilliant, shouting encouragement, clapping, letting us know if the road was clear and one told me he liked my hair!
As I came in from the bike, in transition I was really wobbly and couldn’t get my balance. I could see me knocking over everyone’s bikes on the racks, like dominoes but luckily I stayed on my feet and went out for a mediocre run. A lot of the first half was uphill, so tough on my legs. My timing chip started to rub on my ankle and I wasn’t really in a running mood if I’m honest. But I carried on and when I got to the water station, there was a little boy there, with a neck warmer pulled up over his face asking me if I wanted water or an energy drink.
So how did I do in the end? Well, pretty well it turns out. I got 1.24.05, which was kind of what I was aiming for, at the same time getting a [race] PB in my swim with 6.34 for a 400m swim. It was also the fastest female swim of the day, which I’m amazed at. Out of 204 people, I came 102nd and within the 53 females, I came 10th, which again, I was definitely not expecting.
It just shows that with dedicated training, commitment, passion and preparation, you can achieve things you never thought before. I only started triathlon last October (didn’t get a bike until November) and this is my first race season. To place top 10 in my gender and even better in my category is such a positive boost ahead of my Olympic distance triathlon next weekend.
What now? Well I’ve been resting, catching up on Eurovision as I couldn’t watch it last night, and also a bit of Chinese handwriting practice. Then it’s a big dinner and an early night tonight!
I’d like to give a massive shout out to everyone who made today possible, the coaches and members of UoN Triathlon Club for making me fall for this sport (literally and metaphorically), my Mum for all the running around she did, the rest of the family who turned up and Kanika for listening to all my voice notes about the gossip at training. Also, not forgetting the marshalls on the course who were outstanding, the Coventry Triathletes for organising the event and all the sponsors.
To see the results of the event, click here and hopefully some event photos will be available in a few days.