After completing a sprint triathlon at Lancaster University last year, I wanted to continue trying new physical challenges in 2018. Firstly, I wanted to complete the triathlon again, and see how I would do compared to last year; but at the end of this month, I am also running a 10K for the first time. So I’ve spent the last several months increasing my running distance, and I’m feeling optimistic for that event.
As a side note, I’ve been picking out my favourite running music on my MP3 player, and I have yet to find a better song to run to than Kenny Loggins’ “Playing with the Boys”, a.k.a. the song from the volleyball scene in Top Gun.
So how did the triathlon go? Well, in a definite improvement from last year, the rain mostly held off, and when it did drizzle, it wasn’t enough to matter.
The 400m swim was slightly slower: partly because I was trying to take it easier to avoid getting worn out early on, partly because I needed to stop a couple of times to let swimmers doing a front crawl overtake me, and partly because I could feel the timing chip around my ankle was a bit loose and I definitely didn’t want it to slip off. By the time I got out of the pool, I wasn’t quite as out of breath as last year, and my transition from the swim to the cycling was a full minute faster.
The 20km cycle was very hard work, not helped by the fact that even though there wasn’t much rain, it was still windy. My time ended up being about the same as last year. As for the 5km run, the route had been changed; instead of two laps on mostly even ground, it was a single lap featuring several uphill stretches, including two particularly long ones. These really sapped my already depleted energy, though while I needed to powerwalk a few times, I never stopped.
In the end, I completed the triathlon in 2 hours and 49 seconds, a couple of minutes slower than in 2017, mostly due to the run. But both of my transitions were faster; I finished in a slightly higher percentile; and considering how hard I had to push myself, I was happy just to complete the event. Now I can focus on the 10K!
Inspired by my recent volunteer trip to India with Captive & Field Herpetology, I have completed this triathlon and will be running the 10K to raise money for Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, specifically the Alistair Reid Venom Research Unit, for the important work they do to reduce death and disability resulting from snakebites in the tropics. My JustGiving page can be found here. Any donations are much appreciated!