By Tom Callan
The day kicked off with an early pitch black start from the hotel down to Newborough Forest.
Once there I was fumbling around in the dark trying to get my kit ready. Mental note: head torch required.
All was going well transition opened, bike racked, towel down, bike shoes and trainers down which left me with bare feet. Mental note: spare footwear required.
Despite the few teething problems I was ready stream lined like a seal ready to be clobbered by much faster swimmers.
I made my way down to the beach and towards the start line – my stomach was now in my throat.
The horn blew as we all rushed towards the sea, not in a uniform fashion I might add. I dived into the sea. The temperature was supposed to around 17 degrees but felt like -10.
After a steady start and more than a few mouth fulls of salt water I completed the swim in 31 minutes and made my way past the crowd towards the bike transition area.
The transition was slow at around four minutes, which gives me something else to improve on.
I was on my way up the hill and out onto the main road of a 60k bike route.
I felt great on the bike eating and drinking at regular intervals roughly every 15-20 minutes.
Marshalls handed out cupfuls of water in those Styrofoam cups but at 18mph I was not able to grab it out of the poor lady’s hands and it ended up in her face. I would like this opportunity to say sorry, but I think she knew how it would end up.
The transition from bike to run was slightly quicker at two minutes but the legs now felt heavy.
The beautiful scenery around the Newbourough forest helped me keep going as well the odd snigger at runners dashing deep into the forest for comfort breaks.
The final stage of the run was on the sand – hence the name Sandman. With the sound of the cheering spectators I knew I was close to the end and even managed a little smile as I crossed the line in 3.34 hrs, which I was over the moon with as I had originally estimated 4 hrs.
There was lots to improve on but I really enjoyed the day and this has inspired me to try other triathlons in the hopefully near future.
I would like to thank NTC for their support in my training at the open water sessions at Astbury Mere and the long steady runs on Sunday with a great group of runners.
Full result: Swim: 1,000 metres 31:14, Bike: 60 km: 1:56:33, Run: 10 km: 1:00:03, total 3:34:39. 272nd overall, 105 age group position.