My First Sprint Triathlon Turned Aquathlon
On Sunday 28th July I competed in the Leeds Xpress Triathlon. This was my first triathlon and it most certainly won’t be my last! I chose this particular Tri not realising just how ‘lumpy’ (as the race marshall called it) the bike course would have been.
5:00am start on Race Day, and I felt far more awake than the average 16 year old on a Sunday morning! Thankfully the day/night before I had meticulously created a list of EVERYTHING I needed to pack and for once I can honestly say, I didn’t forget anything. So once the car was packed Team Dobber hit the road… Leeds here we come!
As we pulled up to the very grand gates of Leeds Grammar School the nerves started to set in but soon enough they were replaced by excitement as I went to register. It was all going smoothly until one of my race tattoos decided it didn’t want to come of the paper so we had to abandon that and get my number drawn onto my arm (Dad obviously had no experience with these and put water on the wrong side before he took the backing off and stuck the number to the backing… DOH!!) .
All registered and tattooed I racked by bike, and made my way to the swimming pool to watch the earlier waves before me. No swim hat had to been worn so that avoided messing up my race hair which was awesomely done by Mrs Dobber! Lol!
2 waves before mine and a race official made an announcement ‘due to a major accident on the cycle course, we sadly have to cancel the bike. We are very sorry there is no other option.’ I suddenly felt deflated as it was my first Tri and there was no bike, so I had to refocus and really put it all into the swim and run.
It was finally my time to swim and the nerves started to kick in as my name was called on the register and I was allocated my lane. I am not the strongest swimmer so I was most nervous for the swim, but as soon as I entered the water, that was it, all my nerves went away and I was ready to race!
I was the first to swim out of the three in my lane so once in the water I assumed what I thought might be a swim start position… 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 and the whistle was blown and I begin the swim. 15 lengths down and 1 to go I heard Mum shout ‘GO ANNIE, 1 MORE LENGTH!’ and with that I put all I had into swimming that last length as fast I possibly could. I touched the swim wall and jumped out the pool.
Once in transition I rubbed my feet down, attempted to put my trainers on, put my glasses on, and had a drink and of I went on the 2 lap, 5.4k, off-road run. I soon discovered that the run was not flat and it had the consistency of the bank at Burringham! As I approached the corner heading into a small wooded area I heard the very familiar sound of cowbells and shouting as I ran past. I was out on the furthest part of the run and I still heard the sound of my Mum and it didn’t half make me smile. I soon found myself nearing the end of the second lap as the 400m sign came into sight. I then lengthened my stride and began to pump my arms through the final 400m. I crossed the line to the sound of people shouting, and that was it, my first Aquathlon finished! I collected my goody bag and had a couple of the free Jaffa Cakes.
It turns out I came second in my age group despite the results saying I am a relay team. I just want to say thank you to my family for coming to support and also thank you to Chris Spavin and Nicky for coming to support as well! 😀