Well my travel plans for the North West Triathlon at Nantwich were scuppered by a our cat being ill after having teeth taken out on Friday. So instead of staying in Cheshire I was up at 4:45am to load the car and head south down a deserted M6.
I arrived at the course and was greated by Cake who made me a brew, and then I finally met the faces behind the Forum FLAPS ( forum ladies almost pirates ), Hope, Nam, Sprocket, and Aitch. They weren’t looking as nervous as I thought they would be, they certainly seemed more composed than I did at my first triathlon. They had plenty of time but I had less than an hour to go as I was off at 8:40, so I went off to put my bike together and set up both transitions. T2 was at the finish so it was just a case of leaving my running shoes by an empty bike rack, the bike and the rest of the gear was heading off about 1/2 a mile away to the pool and T1.
Met Dave the Ex Spartan, Viking and Mrs Viking and had a bit of a chat before heading poolside. Dave was off about 7 minutes after me, and two pirates were just in front of me, Jpenno and just 30 seconds ahead Woody2run – I didn’t expect to catch either of them, and didn’t. You were given a 15 second warning and then it was time to go. It was a heated outdoor pool, but it was salt water – the water was clean, clear and warm BUT it tasted awful, I really felt sick as I managed to swallow a gobful going into my third length. I’d already had to stop and adjust my goggles as they’d filled stinging my eyes. Once I got into the second of the four lanes ( 4 lengths in each of the 4 lanes ) I was relaxed and enjoyed it more. I was out of the pool in about 11 minutes and then ran gingerly bare foot round the car park to T1 to get out on my bike.
Now on a sprint tri I wouldn’t normally take on anything else other than water, but because of the saltwater I’d filled my bottle with SIS GO and boy was I glad of it as all I could taste was salt and I was feeling sick. The energy drink helped freshen my mouth and stomach and helped me get going. On the bike I just got down to business, down on the aerobars ( which stayed in place ), slam it into a big gear and pedal like hell. It was almost a pancake flat bike course like Macclesfield had been but the road surface was attrocious, just a route full of potholes. Got to about 6 miles and a women was shouting “Go pirate” at me hanging out of a silver estate – great inspiration to pedal harder. Only 2 or 3 people passed me on the bike, and they all had the TT bikes with disc wheels – you can hear them coming a mile off.
Back to T2, Rack the bike and get the running shoes on. Again I didn’t bother with socks and my feet didn’t suffer for it. I started running and my legs felt really fresh, I was passing people like it was going out of fashion and I’m pretty certain I got faster on each of the four laps. I passed the Pirate supporters club and they gave me huge support, again you can’t help but speed up when faced with that level of encouragement !The whole of the course was on grass and thankfully with it being dry all week the going was good as they say. I realised going into the final lap that I was on for a new pb, my previous was 1:22:04, and that if I really pushed it I could break the 1:15 barrier. I just went for it and crossed the line in an unofficial time of 1:14:42. I was met at the finish by Mrs Viking and Nam and I probably didn’t make any sense, I was delighted though. I’d set pbs in all my triathlon races this season.
I then spent the rest of the day shouting myself hoarse at all the pirates on the course, Viking was convinced that I had an evil twin because I was at loads of points giving him hassle. I was also shouting at Loons Hubby Will who completed his first triathlon – He did brilliantly. I think me, Dave, Viking, Will and Calf covered more miles supporting the lasses than we did actually racing.
All the girls ran strongly and it was great fun supporting them. So to all the FLAPS ( Farnie, Mrs Viking, Hope, Loon, Callie Cat, Nam, Claasic Diva, DG, Sprocket, Double O and the others ) a very well done, you were all amazing and should be proud of your achievements today. The Pirate Ship of Fools sails on !!
So I finished the season with a pb, I’m dead chuffed. The hard work will continue over the winter with base training till January and then I’ll be following a specific training plan which will hopefully see me get round Ironman Germany in under 12 hours. That’s the goal.
2008 was great for me in Triathlon, 2009 WILL BE BETTER !!