Let me take you back a week or so to Good Friday. A bit chilly, you may recall. A good day for curling up in front of a log fire and eating lots of Easter eggs. Or in my case, a day for embarking on my first triathlon of the season.
The Good Fri Tri at Radley College in Oxfordshire was the scene of my previous attempt back in 2011 and I’d decided to return to the same race to kick off this season, this time stepping up to the sprint distance.
We had been told if the temperature dropped below zero, it would be turned into a duathlon (run-bike-run), so you can imagine my joy (with not a hint of sarcasm, oh no) when it was announced that it was officially two degrees and therefore ideal conditions to ride a bike in wet clothes!
Well, my first tri of the year came and went last bank holiday Monday at Hart Leisure Centre in Fleet. On Sunday night I packed my bag, checked and re-checked it, then loaded my precious bike into the back of the car.
I woke with a few nerves on Monday morning, put on my lovely new tri suit which outshone the old and battered running shoes I’d decided to wear. I predicted that the cross country run was going to be a mud bath after all the rain.
The venue was already really busy when I got there just before 9am an hour before my designated start time. There’s a really great buzz at these events, it’s contagious. Everyone is busying themselves, setting up their bikes and laying out their kit for the transitions. It’s very exact, with gels, shoes, hats, gloves, all being laid out in a very specific manner. I seemed to have more ‘stuff’ than anyone else and was very glad that I’d brought some big plastic bags to lay over and under my kit, as it was threatening to rain at any moment.