Just another weekend for Team Butterill? – 3 first time triathletes, 2 birthdays and 1 fire alarm

Not a family to do things by halves, we thought let’s have a two birthday celebrations and three first timer triathlons jammed into one weekend. Would like to say it’s as we are enthusiastic and can take on anything but afraid it’s more stupidity!

First celebration done then at 10:45 Saturday 24th September we were off to Lincoln Kids Tri. Bikes went on the roof, kit plus remaining birthday cake got thrown in the boot and off we went with two boys, excitedly babbling in the back, discussing the best way to take on transition. “ I don’t think I’ll wear my socks” and “ I hope I don’t pull off my elastic lace toggle like I normally do”.

transition practice

The nerves kicked in the night before particularly with Alex, which is probably to do with at 13 he’s more self-aware with the added element of peer pressure and non like-minded people sadly mocking. At 09:00 we’d had an impromptu test transition setup on the landing led by the novice triathlete.. Roo!

Registration was uneventful, it was nice to bump into Team Gibbs, not too sure what Dave was doing laid out in some sort of yoga pose, never the less it was welcoming. Event brief was listened to, bikes racked, quick tour of the layout by the calming Louise Blow then it was straight to Alex’s swim.


Alex looked nice and relaxed, getting ready for his favourite discipline. There was a bit of confusion when a fellow competitor advised him he was starting at the wrong side of the lane then he was off! The swim looked great, everything seemed settled until “brinnnnng brinnnnng” the fire alarm went off. Startled looks shot across our faces… as we were understandably told to evacuate.. just as we’d seen Alex start his 9th length. Stood in the assembly point we were told the swimmers were coming out but Alex never appeared.. “You can go back in” we heard, so Roman and I sprinted back to the gallery and Roo and Louise did a circuit outside looking for Alex. On arrival at the gallery we saw Alex at the end of the lane then i heard “Mum! I did 10 lengths and I’ve got to start again.. I can’t do it!”

Fighting back protective mum mode with a sunken heart of “never mind get your stuff lets go” I turned into the encouraging mum modeI and hear myself yell“ it’s fine, you’ve swum further than that before, crack on”. Alex rose to the challenge and cracked on. Coming out of the swim he looked in the zone with a strong run. Into transition he went, it took a time to find his bike then off he went.

AlexThe bike went well, I wouldn’t say he looked settled throughout though, he’s a thinker so maybe he was thinking about the activity around the swim or that he’d got his least favourite discipline next? (Think we’ve got some training to do around gears and resistance, and to set his height right) Alex’s run went better than expected, we’d all split up to try and strategically get support in sections and I’d been voted in to be at the finish so paused at the finish, with Roman, I was.

Seeing Alex in his last 200m you’d have thought he loved running, maybe it was relief that the end was in sight, or that he’d not got us in his ear saying “ pick your feet up”? Excitedly approaching Alex I was expecting a reaction of “never again” but to my surprise he was beaming ear to ear. Absolutely chuffed to bits he was. I unashamedly experienced an eyelash in both my eyes causing them to fill with water. Amazingly enough Roo and Louise had the eyelash problem too.

So a quick bite to eat was next and then it was Roman’s turn. Now we’d got our first Butterill triathlete we knew what we was doing..? Roo took Roman down to his start and seemed to take forever to return, but of course the start times were now delayed from the fire alarm. We could see Roman sat on the bench where we lost count the amount of times the trisuit zip went up and down! Roman’s swim went to plan, he still can’t master not having his legs wider than the width of his shoulders but that was insignificant for us this weekend. It was all about dipping toes and seeing if the result was enjoyment.


Out onto the bike he went and that was it Roman was racing, it looked like he was in his element, enjoying every minute. Into transition he went, bike racked and off he went running with his bright orange helmet on! Thankfully before he got to end of his row a marshall had pointed this out.

I dashed to the finish knowing that Roman would dig deep on the lap particularly as this is his favourite element. I often ponder if there’s an logic as to why both boys’ favourite element is their brother’s nemesis. (Now you know where Alex gets his overthinking from). In the finish area we bump into Malcolm Marshall who is waiting for William to return from his lap,

So off we go with a bit of vocalised supporting for William (who incidentally had the most beautiful smile plastered on his face) and then i wait for Roman. Roman returns sprinting down the last 200m like his head is going to fall off from the amount of looking behind to ensure he’s not beaten and within seconds the Butterill’s have their second triathlete. Another huge family and friend hug commenced, with a bit of brotherly pushing and shoving.

To summarise, what a day! Great support as always by Team Gibbs/Stewart/Joseph and others we don’t know the name of yet, thanks to all. We loved every minute of it, even the fire alarm drama. Absolutely fantastic setup they have at Yarborough and fingers crossed that Alex and Roman wish to continue. Currently they both wish to (“Football comes first though Mum”), so hopefully Roo and I can still encourage them – I’m sure we’ll have the help of fellow squadders. Now it was time to think about the next first timer in the morning… Roo at Brigg Sprint. X