In Which I Get Battered By The Elements
Skipton short course triathlon is held twice a year, once in the spring and once in the late summer. You might remember my first ever (and only) tri was Skipton, last late summer. (Being lazy by not looking up when it was.)
Ironman Tony picked me up at 7:40 and with Sarah waving us off (she was working later) we loaded up my bike then headed to Skipton. I ate a cereal bar on the way.
The car park this time was nearer which was nice on the legs, but the weather was worse. It started raining a bit just as I was racking my bike. Nothing much though, so wasn’t worried. (Idiot.)
The swim is 400m in Craven Pool, 16 lengths. There’s an area outside the pool to put your shoes and towel for after the swim, so I put my shoes and towel in the area outside the pool for after my swim.
There was only one other in my lane, a bloke called Andy, so they told us that instead of swimming up one side and down the other we could just stick to a side each and go up and down til done. Andy told me that the order of triathlons don’t favour him because he prefers swimming, then cycling, and running is his worst discipline. I’m the opposite, swimming is my weakest then cycling but I’m goodish at running.
Whistle whistled, we were off. Not much to tell you about 16 lengths of a swim and I wish I could make it more interesting for you but can’t I’m afraid. While I was swimming Susan (Mother in law, Ironman Tony’s wife) and Ironman Rob (Sarah’s uncle) and Karen (Sarah’s auntie) turned up to support me.
Last time the swim took me 14 minutes, this time was 12 mins 32 seconds. Very pleased. Especially seeing as though this time I wasn’t the last one out the pool!
While I’d been swimming the weather had worsened and it was pouring down. Even though I’d just got out a swimming pool, my towel was wetter than I was. Pulled on my shorts, running shoes and top and set off to transition one, with Rob shouting “Hurry up, getting wet here!”
Jogged up to T1 and unracked my bike before putting on my helmet which is a penalty but no one saw (think Tony might’ve, saw him wince a bit) so I just buggered off. Pouring down.
Walked quickly up the grass verge pushing my bike then got on it when I got to the ‘mount bike here’ sign and started the second part of the triathlon. Overtook a few people then settled into a rhythm. Had my new cycling glasses on but the rain was so bad I had to take them off. Wind, rain, windy rain, rainy wind, proper horrible conditions. Quite a few hills on the route but even going down hill felt like an uphill slog on some parts. I actually pulled to the side of the road on two separate occasions because I honestly thought I must have a puncture, it was that slow going.
Halfway round the wind and rain stopped and just after halfway round the wind and rain started up again so that was nice. Didn’t want to get too dry. The pop up bit on my drinks bottle came off in my mouth so I spat it on the floor instead of being sensible and putting it in my pocket so I could fix it later.
Eventually I saw the signs for Skipton and was heading for T2. The last mile or so was a struggle and knew the run would be similar. Racked my bike then set off running. Bike was just over an hour, almost ten minutes slower than last time.
The run is two laps of the park area and it stopped raining for me to do it. My legs were aching from the bike so it was tough. Got to the water station at the bottom of the hill and walked it whilst I drank, then ran back up the slope. Ran by Tony and Susan each way. Through the little wooded area, collected a band for the end of lap one then did it all again. Before too long I was turning towards the finishes bit and was done.
This picture perfectly sums up my experience. I went to the timing tent, put in my number and got a print out of my times. I then got my bike and the stuff I’d left in transition then asked tony to get me another printout as mine had dissolved due to how wet I was.
Ten minutes slower than last time but I didn’t think that was so bad due to the weather conditions. I’d brought a change of clothes so went to the swimming pool changing area to get changed. No change of socks, no dry towel. Made do without socks and contorted myself under a hand dryer for a while.
Then we went for breakfast. (I had cheeseburger and chips.)
Later on in the day I heard that the weather had gotten so bad that the bike section was cancelled, leaving the competitors that started later on doing an Aquathon (swim then run.) Not sure if I should count myself lucky or unlucky that I did the bike course…
Nigel (Ironman Tony’s brother) rang me later on to see how I’d done, he started about an hour after I finished. Told him my times and how tough I found it, he agreed. (He was one of the last waves to be allowed to do the cycle bit.)
I asked him what his time was and he said “Dunno yet, the timing tent blew away”…!!!
Still doing Ironman UK, still begging for sponsorship! ANY amount is more than welcome! (Only 90 days to go!!!! Argh!!!)
In Other News
We adopted two rabbits and Lily decided she likes sitting in their hay…
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