by Bill Whalley.
Well. No doubt, you all woke at 4am on race morning having dreamt you would finish in 4.30. Wrong!! Except for the clubs elite few who posted outstanding times, and, who will remain un-named as they are still inebriated and will not read this until the blur has gone next weekend.
At 5.30am I noticed you all in transition doing the same as everyone else – pumping up tyres that didn’t need it, checking things you’d checked 5 times already and a mild aroma of flatulence that only your support crews are familiar with. You all also had the look in your eyes that said “everyone has a fancy TT bike except me”.
The time came to ready the wetsuit and support was at hand from family and friends who tried to help you do it up. Only to be told “Get off, I can do it MYSELF.
I observed, there is something very strange about the start of an Endurance Triathlon, where you all stand on the beach all together, as one, with respect for your fellow athletes. Cuddling one another, high fives, and wishing everyone a good race. The gun goes off and for the first 20 minutes you then proceed to bash, kick, pull and belt the very same people you were just standing on the beach with wishing ” have a good race!?”
In Busso last weekend the swim was in good conditions, unlike last year, when for most of you it was a day about surviving the swim. All the same, a triathlon swim does not change. One minute you are the only one out there and then you meet 500 people every time you want to go round a buoy? Some good swim times were had by most.
Onto the bike you all leapt, and for most of you, you were now in your comfort zone. The first lap was uneventful but good, lots of aero helmets and noisy wheels. At this stage there was no requirement for the fashion police to be involved, although a few dodgy compression garments were noticed. The fashion police in 2013 were noticeably targeting “baggy Chamois” syndrome. However in 2013, most of you were well behaved.
As most of you entered your second lap I got to see the pro men come past which was quite interesting for all of the 4 seconds I could keep them in sight. Now you know why there is no photos, speaking of Photos, I think you would all agree, that the support from Dennis Tan and his Unicorn ( nice abs Sam, however, I can still get you with pull-ups!) was outstanding as always. On Behalf of all the athletes, thank you.
Back to the race, and by the time the 70k mark of the bike was done; some of you lost the plot and enjoyed a chat to a few friends along the way. There was however, one male North coaster who was crying. He’d dropped his food, had no energy and had to lower himself to all fours and lick a melted powerbar from the road. One kind North coaster, stopped and gave him some chocolate and talked to him with a schoolgirl French accent and he then rallied, cycled on and started to pass a number of fancy helmets and noisy wheels. Fairly un-eventful ride in Busso 13, however, each individual has a story, good and/or bad which happens most years. A thank you to our members who provided technical support, you know who you are. And I did notice that North coast as usual provided the majority of Tech Support. From the athletes. Thank you.
Out of T2 and regardless of your ability you all had that apprehensive – could I run? Look in your eyes, for some it looked a breeze, however, regardless of the level of ability, it is AWAYS hard and that is why we do it.
To all North coaster who signed up for last weekend. Well done.
My experience with Endurance triathlon to date has taught me that everything is relative: – how well I train, how well I race, how I feel about what I’ve done. Some races will no doubt be slower than a lot of others and maybe quicker than some. Most of you set yourself a challenge but some of you, had no clue how to achieve it. So, to those of you, and you know who you are, congratulations. Endurance triathlon is neither complicated nor sophisticated. And quite often your secret weapon can be a cheese and pickle sandwich.
As you can read, Athletes, specifically have not been mentioned. The accolades for last weekend go to:
- Dennis and Sam for the support and Paparrazi.
- All of the North Coast Tech Officials.
And in particular, and this was mentioned by all North Coaster at the de-brief. Thank you to Kim and Rob Lees for the ALL DAY support to you the athlete.