After many months deliberating I decided to have another but this time determined attempt at this very well attended and organized event.
Training/preparation started back in January when finally started to complete lengths of the pool in a front crawl ish kind of style, I have always been comfortable on the bike, but my god learning to run off the bike has been at worst dreadful and at best just bearable but with determination, advice from those in the know and just the right kind of motivation from my wonderful wife (just get on and bloody do it!!) Things started to come together.
February saw a milestone reached when I managed to swim a mile front crawl without stopping and then finally dropping under 30 minutes at park run boosted my confidence massively, turbo sessions with Nick Rose
hill sessions with Erika Lamb and numerous led runs at club all helped prepare me for what was to come.
Day before race day saw us arriving at the venue with caravan in tow around 11am prior to our daughter Evie’s 2nd duathlon, later that afternoon I witnessed a gritty determined performance from my little girl who knocked more than 2 minutes off her previous best!.Race day! Woken at 5am by somebody pulling a water drum across the field (why???) meant lying awake over thinking everything, out of bed at 7 and kettle on, can’t stomach breakfast at first but Clare makes me some porridge and I manage to get some fuel in, just after breakfast sees the arrival of Scotland’s answer to Mr Motivator Paul Mcwhirter and immediately my nerves start to subside as the crazy man gets into his stride. Time flies when you’re waiting to go to the start so we (Clare Paul and our girls) head down to the pool, I rack my bike in T1and after more advice from the crazy man, my wife and Anna Barker I line up to start. 5 SECONDS……..GO! The swim starts well really well I get into a routine and start passing people! But this was not to last I catch a group of 3 swimming together an started to get blocked in, I “tap” the feet of those ahead but no-one gives way so I decided get to the end of the next length take a deep breath push off the wall and swim under them DISASTER I put out my legs to push off only to find I’m not close enough to the wall and in the deep end! I take on water and start to panic but this time I keep moving albeit slowly and swim the next 2 lengths breast stroke. Composure regained and fear of a right rollicking from the world’s best support crew I get back into rhythm and finish my swim over 2 minutes faster than last year, into T1 all goes well except the socks but I’m out and on the bike! By far my favourite discipline, things don’t get off to a great start when 1k in somebody decides to circumnavigate the roundabout in the outside lane causing me to skid to a halt and lose all momentum!, out the other side and a series of lumps and I start to settle down into a good rhythm and start passing other competitors, remembering to drink before I’m thirsty and eat before I’m hungry things went really well and I surprised myself as much as Clare and Anna at the time I got to T2.
Much better transition to run and actually felt quite good, a big shout of support as I left transition from Clare Firth and I was on my way, 500 meters later and my wonderful wife is running alongside me shouting words of encouragement that push me along, then a further 500 meters in all help breaks loose as I come into view of the noisiest 5 person cheer squad you have ever heard!! “GET UP THIS HILL!” And a whistle blowing as I run past may family and friends to the sound of Queen “don’t stop me now!” Blasting out on Paul’s ghetto blaster! Precisely what was needed and the ground covered by my wife and our girls and the others from the squad was amazing it seemed every corner I turned they were there cheering me on! ,The laps flew by and as I approached the finish all I could hear was my family shouting at the top of their voices! What a feeling! I crossed the line I’d done it! My family and friends were all there waiting for me and I couldn’t have imagined wanting to be anywhere else! The support I received from Paul Mcwhirter, Clare Firth and Anna Barker was immense but the support of my wife and family these past months has been exceptional, always there pushing me when I couldn’t be bothered to go running or swimming, I love you babes and thank you so so much xxx. So the times? Well last year same event same weather 1: 40 this time around 1:29 ! I can honestly say that I loved it!, and if you think you can’t trust me you can!!!