Blue Runnings

Race Reviews, GPX files and more from North-East England

GO TRI

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I like to occasionally try new sporting activities, but I also like to try them in ‘taster mode’ so I don’t have to spend a fortune on kit or dedicate three months of my life to a different type of training in order to finish it – this is why I’ve never done more than a 5k mud/obstacle/paint run – 5k is enough for me to experience them without the full on tiring slog or insane amount of ingested paint of the bigger 10k and even 10 mile events, and I can decide what I think of them without risking ending up passing out in a heap too badly by the end of the day. It’s also cheaper doing the smaller ones than forking out for a 50 gazillion obstacle race and finding out by obstacle 10 that it’s not your cup of tea and you’ve got another 3 hours to go but you can’t pull out because you sold three kidneys to get in. And hey, if you do like it, you can escalate from the tiny tapas plate to the full whack next time!

When I saw that one of the local triathlon groups (Castle Tri in Prudhoe) was doing a beginner triathlon at the town where I used to live, I saw an opportunity: I would get to try doing a triathlon without actually doing anything that would result in me drowning in a lake, ending up in a ditch across a mountain side with my wheels in the air, or falling flat on my face in a field with a broken ankle (well, less chance of this than usual!). So, knowing nothing more about triathlons than that swimming, cycling and running were involved, N and I booked onto it, and then promptly forgot about it for the next however many months as something to be thought about once I’d got Kielder out the way.

As the event got closer, I started getting a bit apprehensive; I’d been in a pool once in the last few years, and had been more tired than I’d cared to admit after what I rather wish was a longer number of lengths; I am a haphazard flat-route cyclist at best; and I had no idea how triathlons worked. Do you really go straight from the pool/lake/sea to your bike and just throw your trainers on and go?! (YES) Even if you’re doing like a million mile cycle ride and the wind is blowing a gale?! (YES) Doesn’t everyone get pneumonia and turn into icepeople?! (MAYBE?!) What am I supposed to do about my lady-holsters?! I’m not doing a run with just my swimsuit! Apparently one wears one’s necessities under one’s swimming garb and just has it soggy but hopefully supportive all day!

This was starting to look a bit bigger than a quick dip in the pool, a gentle cycle in the country and a pootle in the park. The mysterious ‘Transition’, the fourth event of the triathlon obviously needed more thinking than I had previously considered! I felt a bit better when the pre-race info came out; some more detail on the routes and a kit list, and some info on transition, backed up and elaborated on nearer the time by some helpful posts on the Running Ninjas facebook page by others who would also be attempting this feat!

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