We signed up for the very last triathlon available to us this year to maximise our training time. The drawback was in location. Skipton is a good 3 hour drive from either of our houses, but we decided to sign up regardless.
We didn’t manage as much training as we’d like: 3 swims, 3 runs and our usual tandem rides. We felt pretty good and ready, but with a week to go a spanner hit the works. Two vans out of action!
This is the point at which we sent an email in saying we wouldn’t be there. The response: we’re not going to change things now so there will still be space for you if you can make it. I think that comment stuck with us.
The van was repaired. We could just about do it. It wouldn’t be easy- logistically speaking the bike, the van and the triathlon were all in the wrong places but we decided to go for it.
We dropped the second broken van at the garage, drove from Peterborough to Birmingham, picked up the fixed van and then headed to skipton without a plan. We knew it would be wet and we didn’t want to leave the bike out in the rain. We decided to head to the leisure centre and hope we could park the bike there somewhere and lucky for us there was a porch we were able to lock the bike under.
Sunday: Triathlon Day
We woke up at 5.30am to the sounds of cars joining us in the what was empty car park. We got ready, opened the doors and we’re greeted by a man in the car next door getting ready. In fact, we nearly took his car door off! Oops.
‘Oh John! There’s a huge crowd around our tandem’. ‘It’s been there all night’ said the man. ‘We know, we left it there so we’d have space to sleep in our van’.
Unbeknownst to us, we’d parked our bike in the middle of the registration area. Nobody seemed to mind. We rescued our bike and registered. Registering involves having numbers written on your hand and leg and being issued with a swimming cap. We took our bike and some more helpful people showed us where to park it. Thoughtfully on an end right by the swim entrance.
We left things a bit late after this. We rushed to change, missed most the briefing and had no idea where to leave our shoes. At the last moment we dumped them outside the pool door and jumped in the pool.
John was off like a rocket! We both kept up pace, but on length 5/8 John said he was flagging but didn’t give up.
Transition was interesting. We threw some clothes on over our swimwear and pulled off our swimming caps. We hopped on the bike and went for it. The cycle was tough, there was plenty of downhill but one really long drag uphill too but we did it.
Run! We both got stitches and we’re pretty tired but two laps soon came and went and we crossed the line. Homebakes were waiting. Awesome!
We really enjoyed our first experience of triathlon and we’re so glad we did it. Every sensible part of us said we should have dropped out, but we went for it and had a super time.
We’re very grateful to GoTri skipton for really thinking carefully about the accommodations required for us to complete.