Race Report by Jenna Pogue.
Lots of Massey members already swim and cycle – it’s widely thought that these activities support running very well – so I signed up for Go Tri. Go Tri organise multi-sport events with an emphasis on fun and gaining experience. You can try swimming and running, cycling and running or, like the event I did, all 3 in a row – officially known as a triathlon.
As with running, I was worried about all the usual stuff:
What if I’m last? (even though it doesn’t matter and I’d tell anyone else that)
What if I can’t do it?
Will I get in the way of the ‘pros’?
Upon arrival I racked my bike in the transition area and laid out my kit – towel, cycle shoes, helmet, race bib and trainers. I wore a trisuit which is like a big swimsuit with a padded ‘seat’ that you wear for all 3 legs. Public nudity is strictly forbidden in triathlon (rightly so!) so the trisuit was great – it dried quickly during the cycle and meant no faffing with different clothes in transition.
Swim 250 metres: The swim waves started in 5 minute intervals and I was in wave 3 so at 4:15 I entered the water. I’m a slow swimmer so planned to go steady, focusing on technique but just as with running, once the whistle goes all best laid plans go out the window and I set off pretty fast. It was each athletes responsibility to count their lengths so I concentrated hard and when I got to 10 I exited the water to cheers from a fairly ‘pro’ looking athlete about to get in. From here it was a bare foot jog to transition.
Bike 6.5 miles: My legs felt unsteady after the swim but I’d left my shoes loose and facing the right way so they went on easily and I wheeled my bike to the ‘mount line’ and set off. I’d been told to go steady but with people cheering and athletes in front and behind, I went straight into race mode. It was a hilly route on main roads and while some chose to push their bikes up the worst hills, for me it was my strongest leg. Arriving back, with the marshal shouting ‘you’re nearly a triathlete’ I hung up my bike and put on my trainers.
Run 1 mile: The transition marshal could see my legs were jelly-ish and he shared a top tip about doing ‘high knees’ to shake it off. It worked but I also had wobbly arms which I wasn’t expecting. The run was on grass and I wanted to go off fast like the other legs but by now I was starting to flag. 54 minutes after I entered the water and in sight of the finish line, I heard the compere laughing about how I already had my arms up for a big finish – has he never met a Massey before? There were cameras there!
So I can do it, I wasn’t last and all of the experienced triathletes were supportive and considerate of newbies like me!