Yes, it does end!
Total number of participants 178.
Neil Taylor: 1:06:30 62nd
Nicky Turvey: 1:13:27 114 th
Rachel Nelson: 1:23:24 158 th
Bryan Markham 1:24:30:30 163 rd
There was an excellent showing by Croft Ambrey in this years Hereford Triathlon, with two of the four of us trying it out for the very first time. Neil made a very impressive time and Bryan managed a last-minute entry once clear of injury, to breeze through. Nicky more than survived – flying round on her bike – and to my astonishment I wasn’t last! A big thank you from me to everyone for your patience over the last few months with my chronic pre-event nerves, and to Bryan for his wonderful phone-call the night before with such reassuring, practical advice.
If you are thinking of trying it yourself:
Slower swimmers begin early. The pool is unmarked, and I had an odd ‘white-out’ experience as swimming in a white box meant I couldn’t judge edges & distances, which had me totally freaked. Have a practice at Lucton pool beforehand if you can – I fully intend to if I can ever face it again! Most pools have tile lines, or coloured lines on the ‘floor’. Everyone has a different swimming style and I found it reassuring that we were all different and taking it at a comfortable pace. Nicky says she went from only being able to swim a length or so, to doing the full 16 lengths for this, with the help of some lessons. That’s amazing.
Cycle. I didn’t have a drop-handlebar road bike (I borrowed my son’s bike) but everyone is so encouraging, the advice is just to get any bike you can, give it a go and see if you like it. In the event I came across a blockage en route (horsebox and car trying to squeeze past each other at Basket Gate and failing spectacularly) so all the best-laid plans can go wonky in a Triathlon it seems to me!
Run. I was amazed I didn’t walk any of this bit, although plenty of people were, especially the hill. A double-lap route with a system of collecting rubber bands on each lap threw Nicky’s time as they missed a band and made her go back for one, so take time off for her having run an extra half mile!
Swim. 16 lengths. (Rachel blue hat)
Run 3 miles. (Bryan setting out) Cycle. 10 miles. (Rachel no. 47)