I am not sure who to blame for the idea but I choose Claire, our esteemed editor for encouraging us to do the Nantwich Triathlon. Claire, Hannah and Sarah all entered first and with a bit of encouragement I followed and after a lot of encouragement (pressure) and perhaps a couple of drinks Den was in as well.
Our training programmes seemed to vary, Claire benefited from some swimming coaching from Han and Sar, although the latter spent most of her time laughing while watching Claire ‘drowning’- that’s an ex county swimmer for you! I also had my own issues with swimming, I consoled myself with the thought that I used to be a good front crawler but realised that was when I was 10 years old and I could only do one length of the Buxton pool. Now, my first few lengths of front crawl were OK, the next couple felt more like water boarding. Den put in a lot of practice – maybe three swims and no more than the required distance, then off for a pizza and a coffee.
Biking also proved challenging, we all ended up borrowing bikes, my bike had spent the last six years in a garage but once I got the bird muck off, it scrubbed up ok, better than its rider anyway. Possibly the worst part of a triathlon is the attire, basically having to wear a trisuit which does not hide a lot. If you have ever watched ‘Meet the parents’; as Ben Stiller psyches himself up to put on a pair of speedos you may get an idea of my mindset as I eyed up my newly purchased trisuit. At least I was out early and no one would see me I hoped. Den was threatening to wear a mankini though.
As the day finally arrived, there was some WhatsApp banter- Claire had been carbing up, her favourite part of the triathlon but I am not sure Holmes or Ratcliffe’s regime included Macdonalds and a magnum of champagne but could be wrong, it resulted in a 7pm nap. I reminded her of the old triathlon saying on heavy carbing: ‘7pm nap means a crap on 2nd lap’, I think it helped her pre-race mindset. I arrived early only to see a semiprofessional triathlete come flying past with his aerodynamic helmet on, now feeling v nervous. Fortunately, another bloke cycled past wearing sandals and his triathlon bag slung over his shoulder which settled my stomach a bit.
As I lined up on the poolside with a sinking feeling, the LLM team supporters arrived – oh great I thought, they are going to see me in my trisuit but at least a few were in their own shrink wrapped versions. Anyway, none of us drowned, we all managed to stay on our bikes and the run almost killed us at the end – especially those running in the heat. But we all finished and
toasted ‘good times’ afterwards over a few well deserved drinksthere will be a few photos on our facebook page if you are feeling brave.
Thank you to all who sponsored us as well- so far £500 has been raised for Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institute (RABI), we have a just giving page if anyone else would like to donate #LLMTriathlonTeam.