By Sarah Clough
I stood in the queue to sign in. “Are you doing the GoTri?” I was asked. “Oh bleep” I think, “I forgot that was on tonight”. I did read the email, but it’s been a busy couple of weeks which has clearly impaired memory adhesion. I have my running shoes in the car but no other relevant kit – no running socks and no, ahem, bra. Still, it’s not a long run. “Yes”, say I.
In my keenness to get ready I mis-read the details and signed up for the Sprint distance, thinking that was the only option for adults. 2 laps swim (800m) and 2 laps run (2 miles). Once kitted up I discover that I could have done the Super Sprint, one lap of each, but stuck with my first, accidental choice, as one lap of each seemed llike short-changing myself on the swim when I’d gone out anticipating a whole open water swim session.
The water part was much the same as last week – it took me a while to get into the swim (sorry, swing) of things, and was doing some breaststroke on the first lap to break up the crawl a bit. I tried not to go too fast and overdo it on the first lap, but at the same time still put in a concerted effort. I was sighting well – largely at the sight of most of other entrants together in a nice big clump 50 metres ahead, getting steadily further and further away. I found my stride though and think I even made up some ground on them on the second lap.
As I came to the end of the second lap I tried to remember the instruction – Straight back to shore? Round the orange buoy first? I swore it was the latter but couldn’t see anyone else over there. I went for that anyway, and the orange buoy seemed to get further and further away, but eventually I was driving towards the shore, and my first ever water to running transition. Which wasn’t quick, at all.
Last week, the first time taking off my wet westuit, I had to get help to get my arm out of my sleeve. I managed to undress myself this week, but was only just freeing my legs when Peter P, who had come out the water just after me, was already all changed and running away, never to be seen again. Then I put my shorts on to cover my swimsuit-clad decency. Then socks. Then carefully laced my shoes (I’m particular like that). Who on earth invented this ridiculous sport where you are timed to get changed?
Finally I was off on the run. Two laps of a 1 mile mere doesn’t sound like much. After about 3 miles I was only about half way round the lap. Distances are strange. I was also having to hold two appendages due to the aforementioned missing piece of kit, but we won’t dwell on that, except to say that it makes 2 miles (or was it 6…) seem even longer still.
I was lapped just before the end of the first running lap – how dare you Paul S! Although I got my own back on my self worth passing two other runners on the second. More seriously, I wasn’t in it to compete against others, only myself, and much nicer was the lovely cheer from the coaches and members when I came thankfully past the finish line.
Once again, thank you to all the people that makes these events happen.