My first sprint triathlon

A couple of weeks ago my sister and I both completed our first sprint triathlon. We took part in the Nantwich triathlon which was a 500 meter swim, 12 mile bike ride and three mile run. We got to the venue nice and early and realised first of all that we were at the wrong place for registration so drove to the the second transition stage where we picked up our numbers after asking a woman at the first transition stage where we register. She asked if we wanted to sign up today to do the triathlon, assessing my sister and I as if we were in the completely wrong place in terms of where to register and what felt like questioning our whole presence at a triathlon event which was a bit unnerving.

Once we found where we needed to be, applied various stickers to various body and bike parts we headed back to the first transition close to the swimming pool it was soon time for us to start. We ditch our cycling gear in the transition area and found ourselves waiting in our swimming suits and goggles in front of a swimming pool. When we first arrived there were people already swimming, mainly men and mainly all doing front crawl quite comfortably. By the time it was for my sister and I to start it was mainly women and there were quite a few first timers as we were briefed on the pool side.

Once we were in the pool it was fairly easy to count the 16 lengths we had to do which was one thing I was quite nervous about as I didn’t want to do more or less than I needed to. We had to do four lengths in each lane of the pool and then duck under the rope to the next lane and do two lengths in each lane until it was time to get out and cycle. I did the swim in 12 minutes which I was really pleased with. I would probably say that I did about half front crawl half breast stroke. I think that my technique did slightly go out of the window when it came to the swim as there were a couple of lengths where I swallowed some water from the splashes of the other swimmers, or was behind another swimmer and there were some lengths when I was directly behind my sister which definitely made the swim a lot easier. So I was glad when it was over and keen to get on my bike.

My sister and I came out of the pool at the same time and we dashed to transition 1 and began to put our cycling gear on. Putting lycra on while wet is quite difficult but I got dressed as quick as I could and got on my bike. The cyclists were really spread out and for most of the time I was cycling on my own with more cyclists who weren’t participating in the triathlon passing the other way than seeing any other competitors. The markers were done in km and as I’m fairly used to mile markers while running, the km markers on a bike seemed to pass quite quickly. I felt good on the bike and didn’t notice my wet swimsuit under my clothes or wet hair which I thought might get annoying. I was going at a fair pace and whenever I did catch sight of a bike ahead of me I pushed to pass them. I had planned to keep pushing hard until km 15 as I thought it would be an easy way to make up some time. Once I got to 15km I’d planned to ease off so my legs could recover a bit before the run but once I got there I thought I might as well go hard or go home so carried on pushing.

Soon I came to the second transition area where my parents were waiting for me and waved as I yanked off my cycling shoes and pulling on my running shoes and had a bite of a banana and quite some speed. Then it was time for four laps of the park to finish. The weather had been nice until that point in the day as clouds began to move above us. As I was going around I kept an eye out for my sister and asked my parents if she had come in when I passed them but each lap passed and there was still no sign of her. I was starting to get worried that she’d got a flat tyre or been in an accident. I crossed the finish line attempting to sprint as the rain began to come down, pleased with my effort when I check my garmin which I had turned on once I got out of the pool. The time was 12.30pm and as we started at 11am I knew I’d finished in around 1 hour 30 mins which I was really pleased with.

As my Mum came over to congratulate me she had told my that my sister had just come in and was beginning her run with the rain still pouring down. Mum told me that my sister had taken a wrong turn and accidentally added 10km onto the length of the bike ride. I was glad to see my sister was still going but could imagine her frustration as she was now running in the pouring rain 10km more tired than she should be. I could see she was coming up to finishing her first lap so I decided to run with her. One reason I wanted to was because as she had done a longer bike ride I didn’t want to be out done by my big sister and to see if she was OK and to make sure she would finish, plus it’s a lot easier to run with two people when you’re not just thinking about how tired you are. So I ran two extra laps and left her to finish her final lap by herself. Geo came in at 2 hours 4 minutes which is a great time in itself but the main thing is that we both finished.

It was a really great race and we both really enjoyed it, my sister slightly frustrated that she had turned the wrong way but still please she’d finished it. And much to my delight we’re signing up to do another one in the Autumn to make sure my sister doesn’t get lost this time. Bring on South Manchester sprint tri!

Official times:

Position: 65/206

Category position: 9th

Swim: 00:12:27

T1: 00:04:24

Cycle: 00:46:45

T2: 00:01:06

Run: 00:27:15

Total time: 01:31:57

Thoughts from this week:

  • I really need to get better at changing inner tubes as I think if I had a puncture I wouldn’t really know what to do plus I never carry a puncture repair kit which I should also probably do
  • Think my lack of training has led to a lack of motivation
  • Went to see Coldplay last night who were great
  • I think my sister is hooked on running, hooray
  • Feels like marathon training will be beginning before I know it

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