I woke at 5am on Sunday 11th June, getting ready for my FIRST EVER triathlon, challenge no.5. Feeling quite nervous, but also very excited to get in the open water. I had been on a triathlon day the day before, ran by British Triathlon Association so I felt confident that I knew what I was doing… I think.
We set off to Country Park and Beach, Cirencester. Arriving at 7am, I set up my bike and other items in transition. I gave my mum a tour of the route and found out where I had to mount and dis-mount. In layman’s terms, this is where I’m aloud to get on and off my bike before I enter transition. Transition is where I move into my each discipline.
At 07:30am my supporters arrive to cheer me on. I get lathered up with baby oil and slip my body into my tri wetsuit. I whack my swim hat on and get my goggles into position. I give my family and friends good luck hugs for the last time.
Officials ask us to get into the water. I dunk my whole body and feel the cold water touch my skin. I splash water on my face and put my head underneath the water. Countdown begins 10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1, BANG! And we are off! I enter the water and start to swim. Everyone splashing erratically, hands and feet flying everywhere – my breathing gets faster and I begin to panic. I slow my pace and allow for those around me to carry on. I got into a rhythm and controlled my breathing. I was focused and in the zone. I sailed through 750m of open water in 20minutes.
I emerge out of the water and enter transition 1. I slip my wetsuit off and put my cycling shoes on and helmet on. I un-rack my bike and make my way to mount. Clipping in my shoes, I begin a long and flat ride (20km) to Cirencester and back, smashing it in 44 minutes.
I dis-mount at the entrance and run to Transition 2, where I change from cycle shoes to running trainers and attempt to pick up my pace for the last 5km. If you speak to any Triathlete, transitioning from bike to run is heavy going on your legs. Even though I wanted to move faster, my legs wouldn’t allow it. The first lap of the lake was heavy going, but as my body got used to my running motion, speed began to pick up. Running at my normal pace all the way round on lap 2, I picked up speed in the last 400m and in true tradition I sprinted over the finish line coming in at 1:36:00.
Smashing all personal bests in each discipline and finding a new love for open water swimming, this has been my favourite event so far. I’m super proud of this achievement and an event I will never forget! I’m glad I got to share this moment with my family and friends.