On 8 August – yesterday at the time of writing – I took on the most daunting challenge I’be faced to date. Kirstie will attest to my agitation, excitement, and nerves on the day.
I wrote about the specific intricacies of my training, and progress when I blogged about my first experience with triathlon at the Jenson Button Trust Triathlon.
In this brain dump, I’m going to try and avoid repeating myself.
The sprint distance
The sadist who named the triathlon distance I did yesterday a sprint is something else!
Mum had asked me how long I expected to take and this was my reply:
Start at 4:10, hoping for an 18 minute swim, maybe 5 minute transition (its huge), 45 minutes on the bike, 5 minute transition again, 26 minute run. So optimistically 1:35, but maybe between that and 1:45.
Here’s how it actually played out:
16:43, 750m Swim (averaging 2:13/100m)
38:46, 20km Bike (averaging 30.9km/h)
27:15, 5km Run (averaging 5:27/km)
With transitions, I finished it in 1:29:45. Over five minutes faster than my optimistic time, and a full fifteen minutes quicker than I thought I might do it in!
Edit: For a bit of perspective, I finished 243rd of 1730 competitors taking on the sprint distance. I was 16th in the 20–24 male category which astounds me! And my bike leg was ranked 155th (well within the top 10% of competitors).
It’s a really strange feeling, overachieving at something you never thought you could ever do.
To the point where I’m sure I’ve wrecked my finisher’s photo with the floods of (happy) tears.
I’ve only felt that once before, but it was when my mum completed her first marathon. Experiencing it myself? Yep, first time!
The Olympic distance
Maybe I’m the sadist, but at a number of points – particularly at each transition stage – I found myself wondering if I could do that distance again. For each discipline.
Hell to it. I didn’t think I could do this distance, and it was still comfortable… I even managed a sprint finish!
Will I be signing up for an Olympic distance next year?
Try and stop me!
Just a very quick overview of the event itself:
Even though, it’s the world’s biggest triathlon, it was incredibly well marshalled, well organised, incredibly supported (particularly the noise that Team Macmillan were making), overall the day itself was fantastic. A huge thank you to the organisers!
My support team
Oh, and having the world’s best support team helps a hell of a lot! Couldn’t have done it without these two, and if anyone reckons they can cheer louder than my mum… I’m sure she’d relish the challenge! I can only hope that I continue to surprise, and make proud, the two most amazing people on the planet! Love you both! #famigliasterlini #padremio #mymum #proudparents #worldclasscheerteam #shoutloudest #windbeneathmywings
I said I wouldn’t repeat myself, but I told a white lie. I couldn’t write a post about yesterday’s escapades without thanking my support team.
Everyone who texted, called, tweeted, et al before the event… You’re awesome!
My cousin’s who took half a day out of their London sightseeing trip to see me swim, ride, and run past them just a handful of times… Seite fantastici!
My brothers who, regardless of where in the world they are at the moment, sent heartfelt messages of support… You’re both legends!
But to my parents:
my mum who carried everything, whooped so loudly I could hear her in the swim, and was at my every beck and call… You’re the absolute greatest of mothers!
This marked the first event my dad was able to come to (no gig clashes – rock’n’roll dads rock!). It was great to have him there, and to be able to make them both amazed and proud? There are few feelings quite like it! Dad… a you’re the absolute greatest Papa!
I’m unbelievably lucky to be able to tackle these events with the wind beneath my wings that they all provide.
A huge, huge, huge thank you to all of you who donated ahead of the day. I went into the morning having raised £1,085 (that’s over a thousand, dunno if you heard me counting), and I’m still astounded by all of your generosity!
For anyone who wants to, who hasn’t yet (or wants to donate again), Macmillan will benefit hugely from any amount you can give!
If you’ve already donated, then just spreading the word about the amazing work Macmillan do would be great! And if there’s ever an event like this that passes your house, or near where you live, even just ten minutes of cheering on all the competitors makes all the difference!
In the short term: Tough Mudder London South with my brother, (maybe) Movember, and to round off the year the Royal Parks Half Marathon!
Next year though? An Olympic triathlon – probably London, maybe a few sprints, and there’s an ever increasing likelihood that I’ll enter myself into the Brighton marathon. I’ve got the bug, and there is always more to achieve!
Wish me luck, and thanks for reading if you got this far!!
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