Haltwhistle Aquathlon Sat 16th April 2016

The weather forecast said sleet at 3am, I scoffed and said that was ridiculous it wasn’t going to sleet, but even if it was true we would be ok as the race started at 8:30am! Cue the sleet at 7:30am as we were driving up to Haltwhistle with the temperature at 6C. I wasn’t sure whether to point it out to the rest of the troops in the car as they were either comatose or quietly sobbing after the traumatically early start! The logistical demands of registering 2 kids and 2 adults for a race at two different registration times and attending race briefings in three different locations was a challenge to say the least! Megan is now old enough to enter the Tristar Start age group (8 years old) and had to complete a 50m swim/500m run, Josh unfortunately is just old enough to be bumped up into the Tristar 2 age group (11-12) 250m swim/2km run where the kids are already quite elite and even scare me, finally the adult race was 400m swim/4.5km run.

Meg had a great swim and was first to finish her two lengths, unfortunately her transition was very slow. She’d been poorly a couple of weeks earlier so we wanted her to dress up warm, considering the temperature, so she finished last on the run, but she did it and was very happy with the medal and goody bag with a chocolate bar. Josh was a tad overwhelmed by the whole experience, he shot off like a bat out of hell on his first length (how many of us have done exactly the same thing?) only breathing twice during the whole length – he looked super strong, then the oxygen debt caught up with him! He didn’t manage to complete the full 10 lengths, but he gave it a good go and then walked/jogged the run section to also claim his finisher’s medal! Josh has Asperger’s so he finds some experiences quite daunting and he was definitely out of his comfort zone during the aquathlon, but he gave it a brilliant go and did his very best so we are very proud of him!

Mark and I toyed with the idea of doing a relay race, me doing the swimming section (I’ve got a torn knee cartilage and can’t run at the moment) and Mark doing the run (he had a chest infection a week earlier and wanted to avoid the cold water) but we finally decided that neither of us wanted to share the medal so we both did the full event, with me walking the run route! The water was apparently 25C, it felt colder when we first got in but that might have been something to do with the pool being outside. Did I mention that the pool at Haltwhistle is one of the few outdoor pools in the region, I wonder why? After the first couple of lengths though it felt fine, all those years training in Ponteland pool obviously set us up well! Transition was a bit haphazard on the poolside (towels and goggles later went missing, don’t take your best things!) and then on to the ‘cross country’ route around the adjacent playing fields. I had been missing the mud of cross country so I was overjoyed to come home with 4 sets of extremely muddy trainers to wash! Everyone loved my woolly club hat, I had so many comments about it as I sauntered round the course – if I was walking then I was dressing warmly!

So overall, it was a great but hectic morning! It’s one of the few events in the region for our budding junior triathletes so it would be great if we can all pass the word around and help support the event. Other juniors that we know who took part were Sam Allison and Jake Stroud in the Tristar Start category, Lauren Stroud in the Tri Star 1 category and Emily Allison in the Tri Star 2 category winning 3rd female place – well done to all our budding athletes!