This report is courtesy of Simon Jamison, who not only had the endurance to do the triathlon but also the energy to write it up afterwards. Many thanks, Simon.
For a local boy there was not a chance I wasn’t going to be part of the first ever Spanish City triathlon-got my entry in nice and early and bagged number 58. I was not as fast off the blocks as Julie Dick with her elite starting position of number 1 (no pressure there Julie!). The build up to the race saw both the bike and swim course changed a few times and this carried on right up until the night before. There were some frantic Saturday night Facebook conversations about the swim, the main concern being the run to transition and everyone seemingly dismissing any talk of the fact we actually had to swim 750m in the North Sea first.
I woke up early on the Sunday morning to see gale force winds uprooting trees and blowing old ladies across the sky. I thought about going back to bed but the lure of swimming in the North Sea, riding to Seaton Sluice and running the parkrun course backwards was just too great. I mean it’s like the parkrun course but it’s backwards. Can’t miss that can I!
I arrive nice and early to meet up with Bruce Robertson. After registering and a quick chat about the weather we head down to the beach to see 30 foot waves crashing against the shore and ships being tossed about and engulfed by swarms of killer jelly fish. Or it may have been incredibly calm with no waves, can’t quite remember now, I have the memory of a jellyfish. A killer ship eating jellyfish.
8am and the hooter sounds and we’re off into the sea. The sea is a little choppy and my god those buoys look a long way off-head down and just get on with it, reach the first buoy and head on to the next. I’m sure they looked closer when I was on the beach but I’m still going and turning to head back to the beach, by now the sea is rough and I’m having to work really hard just to keep moving forward. I reach the beach and I’m shattered. Oh well, only 20km on the bike and 5km left to run-piece of cake. In fact I’d love a cake now, must remember to tape a cake to my bike for my next tri.
Wetsuit off and onto the bike, I love this bit. The transition that is, getting undressed really fast. You should try it at home, its brilliant. Grab my bike and head out onto the course with one of my signature flying mounts. Honestly one day someone will see me doing one and will be truly amazed. I was hoping for a fast bike time but the wind had other ideas. A constant cross wind on both the way out and back was just so soul destroying but I still managed to overtake plenty of people and not one person came past me. I won’t mention that I caught and overtook Bruce Robertson on the bike and I certainly won’t mention that he caught me on the run and left me sobbing in his dust.
The bike route was uneventful and done fairly quickly with great support from the Poly. A special mention to Nick Cryer who seemed to pop up all over the place and scream some kind of motivation/abuse at me constantly. Something about me being a runner? But I’m sure he had me confused with a runner.
Onto the run and a huge cheer from yet more Poly cheerleaders and 5k of a backward parkrun course. Backwards! Crazy triathletes. Slogging away at the run and there’s a sting in the tail- stairs. So more of a stair in the tail, two flights of horrible steep stairs from the lower prom to the top and I’m not wanting to disappoint David Gilmour, David Johnson, Mel Carr and Lesley Legg who are all screaming at me. I storm up with everything I have and overtake 2 people and then remember I have another lap and another set of those bloody stairs, and bloody Poly cheerleaders making me run too fast. I keep a good pace and I’m back at the stairs. I’ve decided to skip the bit when I missed a turn and nearly ended up on the beach because I was too busy thinking about eating a lizard. I have weird thoughts when I’m running. You may have picked that up by now and in my defence the course was backwards. Up the stairs, turn left to the finish and debate doing a sprint finish but decide against it-finishing covered in vomit is never a good look.
And I’m done! I cross the line and feel a lot fresher than I have in previous tris. 750m swum in the North Sea (GPS has it at nearer to 1300m !), 20km on the bike and 5km run in just under 1hr 30mins. So that’s my first season in triathlons done and 3 events completed and I’ve loved it. My swimming is still pants but will improve and next year will see me taking part in my first half Ironman distance, well at the moment that’s the plan. I just need to persuade Paul Robertson to join me as I can’t drive and he has to give me a lift and I did give him that transition bag so strictly speaking he does owe me.
Next up for me is Grand Prix 1 swiftly followed by the Great North Run and my debut in the exclusive club of starting Zone A. I intend to pace Mo through the first few miles and then settle back into an easier pace, probably something around 9-10 minute miles should be good or I might just have a nice sit down.
Or maybe some cake.
So plimsolls on and eyeballs out and keep on keeping on.