Kate and I (Katie) have done a couple of sprint triathlons in the past and we had always talked about doing it properly and trying to do an Olympic distance race. After much chat we finally signed up for one at Dorney Lake in July 2014.
Having signed up we the proceed to do very little training other than for the swim section which really is not the most important part of a triathlon. Our cycling training consisted of commuting to work (me) and a couple of trips to Richmond Park. The first time we did one lap and the second time we did two but with a stop for ice cream after the first lap. I had never ridden in clip in shoes before but I decided to buy a pair just the day before the race. The bike shop owner looked at me with trepidation as I told him why I needed the shoes! I practiced on the curb taking them out and putting them in 50 times each side as instructed by Terry and the did a couple of laps round the block. Surely I was set? Kate had never run a 10k before the race so between us I think it is fair to say that we were not very well prepared. The final nail in the coffin of our preparation was that I had just found out the week before that I was pregnant so I was feeling decidedly sick and tired!
On the day of the race my kind mum drove us down to Dorney and amid a mass of nerves we racked our bikes and got ready. I had forgotten to charge my Garmin so had to race without timing which was scary as I tend to be reliant on the ‘stats’. My two goals for the day were to be first out of the swim and to do a total time of under three hours. I think Kate’s were not to die on the run!
Finally we were off! There were a couple of boys in our wave taking part in the team event and one of them sprinted off on the swim. I stuck to my own steady pace and I soon passed him. I eventually made it out I the water from the 1.5k swim in first place nearly 2 mins ahead of the rest of the field. As I exited I commentator said ‘If she can bike and run like she can swim she has this in the bag’. Unfortunately I definitely cannot! I managed to make it 9km on the bike before I was overtaken which I was quite pleased with. I will gloss over the fact that I subsequently was lapped.
The Dorney course is lovely and flat but it is quite windy which makes it a bit of a challenge. Kate caught up and over took me on about the 6th lap (out of 8). As she whizzed past she very cheerfully shouted at me that is much easier if you use you drop handle bars. I’m not sure how she had the energy to speak.
Finally the 40k bike was over. As I came into transition I met Kate who was having a lovely chill out sitting down tying her shoe laces! ‘What are you still doing here?’ I asked. To finish off we just had the 10k run to complete. It was starting to get a bit hotter so not ideal running conditions but we managed to struggle round and finished in times of 2 hours 53 minutes for me and 2 hours 55 for Kate. Both very pleased to be under 3 hours.
We celebrated with an enormous brunch at The Breakfast Club.