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Norwich Triathlon 2010

Sunday the 4th July saw my first triathlon and what a great day it was. The weather was lovely, atmosphere at the park was great and everybody was really friendly.

I was one of many who helped out on Saturday to  set up various bits in preparation for the big event. This was actually one of the best things  I could have done as it kept my mind of things and stopped me stressing about the event itself. It was also a great opportunity to meet other people from the club and also get an insight into how much work is involved in setting up and running a triathlon event.

Back to the Sunday, it was an early start and a short ride from home to Whitlingham. After picking up my timing chip (I had registered already on the Saturday but chips weren’t available) I set about organising my stuff in the transition area. With my bike racked and cycling and running gear laid out on my towel I got everything I would need for the start (wetsuit, cap, goggles, drink and supplies).

The problem with being in the Sprint is that I had to arrive to set up my gear before transition closed at 7:30 and then wait until 10:10 for my wave to start. This wasn’t as bad as I thought it may have been as I met up with a friend, Crispin, from Tri-Anglia and we watched various parts of the Oly and Relay waves.

So, with our start time approaching we walked round to the Outdoor Center and got into out wetsuits and shortly after listened to the race brief, a few minutes after that and we were all in the water doing warm up swims. It was cool seeing that I wasn’t the only nervous one but everyone was having a laugh which kept things relaxed.

The klaxon sounded and we set off on the swim – three buoys out, past the turning point and back to the swim exit. This went okay and I knew the swim was my weakest and I was just glad not to be the last out of the water – in fact I was 73d out of 90. Apart from getting a few knocks and then someone swimming across my legs and causing me to get cramp it was okay.

Out of the water I set off toward T1 having managed to get my wetsuit down to my waist before getting there. T1 was pretty slick for my first go – wetsuit off, feet soaking up the talcum powder I spread over the towel, on with the cycling shoes (filled with talc), helmet, glasses and number belt and away I went. There’s a two minute penalty if you get your bike of the rack without having first done up your helmet so I was pleased I remembered that!

Out of transition and into the bike mount/dismount area and I was soon clipped in and belting it down Whtilingham Lane – first problem of the day – dozy car drivers! Not content to park all along one side of the road a few cars decided to try and squeeze through side-by-side holding us up. I was lucky enough to be able to nip through a gap whereas some others were held up.

Heading through Trowse and what an encouraging site – my wife, children and parents on the corner cheering me on! This gave me a boost and I put the hammer down as I exited the corner. The bike leg was a decent effort and I was 11th fastest, I think there was only one person who took me on the 18km route, I didn’t count the number I went past but it was a few!

Also, one of my friends (who took some cool photos) was part way up the climb from Stoke Holy Cross to Poringland and gave me a cheer. He then managed to belt it past in his car to get ahead for my photos and encouragement – cheers Tone!!

I had to stop for traffic on the foot-down right turn on Arminghall Road which would have cost me a few seconds but I knew my supporters were waiting so again I put in a real effort.

T2 went well at 0:42 and was just a case of racking bike and helmet, getting running shoes on then going for it.

My legs did feel heavy and I had the sensation that I was kind of dragging my legs around to start with but I soon got into the swing of it. I was not familiar with the course leading away from the transition zone as we went up into the woods, this provided some nice shelter from the sun though.

After a few kilometers I got cramp all the way down my right leg which felt awful but I didn’t want to stop and was able to run it off. Apart from a slight stitch further round the run was quite good again passing a good few people. The water stop just after the woods was welcome as was the stop near the Outdoor Center.

A strong finish saw me take a few more people even though some spectators decided to walk across the route up Millionaires Row toward the finish.

After getting my breath back I waited for my friend Crispin to finish, he won his age group which was fantastic!

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