Sunday 27th May, 05.45 finds me cycling into Kingston on my way to the Walton Intotri event. Intotri is a great organisation headed by Michael Burkett which organises free tri events. The Walton monthly tri offers various distances suitable for kids and adults. The one I am going for is the Senior Long. With a 400m swim, 20km bike and 5k run it fits in somewhere between the recognised Super sprint and Sprint distances, but in any case its a great intro into triathlon. I actually did the event for the first time in October 2016, during heavy rain. Despite the forecast for thunderstorms it was actually a very nice morning and conditions were ideal.
About 30 entrants were signed up for the senior long including a fair representation from Stragtri. Another 20 were tackling the Short course option. We lined up on the side of the indoor pool at the leisure centre in order of our declared estimated times. I had stated 11 minutes which put me towards the back with perhaps 8 swimmers behind me. When my turn came I got into the pool and waited for the start signal, then kicked off and settled into my crawl which is the only stroke I can really use. The pool is laid out with 8 lanes. Staring in lane 1 you swim 25m to the far end and turn at the end of your second length you move over into Lane 2, and so on until you have completed 16 lengths. On length three a girl overtook me just before the turn. On lane 5 I felt a tap on my foot which said someone wanted to come past. I let them through when I reached the end. At the finish you get out of the pool, walk to the exit doors and then run to the transition (T1). I was wearing my new dhb trisuit, which I used for the whole event, so all I needed to do was slip my feet into my running shoes, give a single pull on the elasticated laces, pull on a T shirt and get my helmet on. I would have been quicker on this last manouvre if i had remembered to take off my swimming goggles first!
The 20k cycle stage wen well and I gained some places, although did also lose a couple to faster cyclists. Came into transition 2 just as the front tyre went flat with a glass puncture. racked the bike and set off on the final stage, the 5k run.
After the cycling my legs felt like lead and did not want to move and the first 1k was really hard work, but I had previously experienced this and knew that I would feel better after a while. Indeed this was the case and I felt as if I was getting quicker for the rest of the stage. And then there was the finish.
Overall great fun and really pleased with the effort. Had thought I was going slow on the swim due to the overtakes, but in fact did 10.58 which was 2 secs faster than predicted. And came 18th out of 28 finishers overall so not so bad for an old un.
If you are thinking about trying a tri, I suggest you check out intotri.