I have to admit that I am very pleased with how the ironman went. All the factors I could control went according to plan. Inevitably it was the weather that produced the only significant imperfection to the race.
On 13th September race morning we were up at 04:30 and I had my usual porridge and banana breakfast with a pint of strong coffee. Then it was off to Weymouth. As the day dawned we could see big, threatening black clouds and sure enough as we arrived at transition the heavens opened and it poured down for an hour or so – soaking everything.
I went into transition and asked the Just Racing bike mechanics to check my tyre pressures (didn’t trust myself) . The bike was OK – just wet. Phew. I changed into my wetsuit and went over to the swim starting pens. I was quite nervous but felt in control. However, I didn’t realise my goggles were upside down until the starting horn blasted at 07:15!
Tiptoeing across the shingle with upside down goggles
On 13th September just over 500 athletes started the Challenge Weymouth long distance triathlon. The weather was not very kind and as the day wore on it got progressively windier and wetter. 408 athletes completed the triathlon inside the cut off time of 16 hours. I completed in 14 hours and 7 minutes which was about 20 minutes quicker than I had hoped for.
Finishing on the red carpet in the rain
All those months of training had paid off. I did it!!!
It was a very long hard day.
I entered the Challenge Weymouth last September but I didn’t tell very many people. There is a lot of stuff that can go wrong when you start to train an ageing body to do stuff it used to do.
I started running again. I went out with Egdon Heath Harriers on Club nights and did a few low key races.
Running the Weymouth 10 back in October 2014
I had to face the reality that I was now running at a much slower speed than I was a few years ago. I still find this difficult to accept and will keep working at it – even to hold the status quo.
The event that I have been training for all year is almost here. On Sunday 13th September I will take part in Challenge Weymouth Long Course Triathlon.
This is an ironman distance triathlon comprising a 3.8 kilometre sea swim in Weymouth Bay followed by a 180km bike ride (with 1880m of elevation – hills that is!) and then a full 42.2 km marathon run. The clock doesn’t stop during all of this, so quick changing between each element is necessary. Food and drink is taken on the move.
The whole event must be completed inside 16 hours with the swim taking less than 2:15 hours and the swim and bike 10:30 hours. I am the oldest woman on the start list. In Triathlon your age is taken as of 31st December so as I am 60 in November I am in the 60 – 64 category. There are no other women in the category and there is just one woman in the 55-59 category.
Throughout the year I have taken part in several running races and one standard triathlon.
Competing in the Bristol Harbourside Triathlon
I have kept up my Audax AAARTY with a hilly ride each month.