Woodhorn Tri – 16th July

“You only do your first sprint triathlon once, so make sure you enjoy it “ :-)

A great piece of advice for me as I was coming out of QE2 lake on the Thursday before the big event.  My previous experience of triathlon had led me to believe they weren’t for me.  However having endured (oops), enjoyed a tri training camp earlier this year and following a fun club track session a couple of weeks ago, I thought it was a case of now or never and asked Sue if I could do the club Go-tri the next Wednesday.

A couple of days later when John said he was heading up to QE2 early to go out on the bike with Pete and then run round the lake, somewhere my mind was already thinking of doing the QE2 tri and John’s plans motivated me to go up and ride the tri bike route and run round the lake a couple of times. As I was sitting by the lake at quarter past 9 on a Sunday morning waiting for the guys (who had, of course, ridden and run further than me) I decided to enter a “real” triathlon, it was the last day for entries to QE2 tri.

Wednesday came and the Go-tri swim had me nervous – I couldn’t understand it as I had swum 80 lengths in the same pool on the Monday night – and there I was with 8 lengths ahead of me , wondering how I was going to duck between lanes!!!  Thanks to Sue’s calming influence, I finished the go-tri feeling happy enough. So I’d had a bit of transition practice and decided it would be best to ride the bike route again before Sunday.

John gave me lots of encouragement that week and everything he said about the friendliness, advice and support from everyone at these tri events was true.

Sunday morning arrived and I was awake early – all my kit and bike were ready and we reached the course in plenty of time.  Oh gosh (or something along those lines) I was in transition, yikes, and racking my bike – the wrong way round, I was very kindly advised.  Then I spotted Don, an experienced triathlete and fellow Monday night swimmer, a few words with Don and I felt quite happy and ready to get my wetsuit on and get going, but there was over an hour until the start.  A bit more chat with Phil, then Barry, John and those around me in transition and the time passed … it was race briefing and time for the standard swimmers to head to the lake.

Emma and I got in the water half an hour later and waited for our start, it was great to have company at this time and eventually we were swimming round the course and I was glad to be moving. Out the lake and the wrestling match with the wetsuit began as I went up towards transition for my bike.  A couple of minutes later and I was still removing my wetsuit – best practice that bit for next time :-)   Running out of transition towards the mount line, I was quite pleased to have put my things on in the right order – lol.

On the bike and off round the now familiar course, the weather was fab, the coast looked lovely , life is sooo good :-) , oops remember its meant to be a “race” = time to concentrate. This was the leg I enjoyed most, especially when I overtook a couple of guys on an incline as we approached Woodhorn village.  All too soon it was time to leave my bike behind,” remember bike then helmet, bike then helmet “, oops where is the entrance to transition, ah yes.

I ran out of transition, thinking its got to be done, one lap at a time, just keep going, I know its only 4 miles but ….  I started to be passed by many….. .it was this stage that I got my most encouragement , firstly from the cheerful marshalls and then some of the “super” athletes from the club, my hubby, Tina and Lyndsey all shouting words of encouragement even though they had already swum and cycled twice as far as me.  Thanks guys that really meant a lot :-) :-)

Everyone was right, it was a fantastic event with so much support and an opportunity to catch up with a couple of people that I hadn’t seen for months while we waited for the prize giving.  Emma and Lyndsey both got podium places and fab trophies to commemorate their success. (edit by Sue – and not forgetting Tony Prince got a 2nd place in men’s vintage category!)

I’d beaten my demons and still can’t believe how much I enjoyed myself, I was especially pleased to have done it all without breaking any of my nails, as its my son’s wedding this Saturday.

Fiona :-)