Just because… Was my reason for attempting a 1900m swim, 54 mile bike and a half marathon. It was recommended by Steve Nicholson as being flat and friendly so, I thought ‘why not?’
I stayed with my sister 30 miles away so didn’t need to get up until 4am (4am? Where did that come from, I didn’t realise there were 2 x 4 o ‘clocks in a day). Arrived about 5.30, parked and set up my transition, pretty much as for an Olympic distance really.
The weather was fine although rain was forecast so I was grateful for that.
I was confident going into the swim but quickly realised I had wetsuit lubricant (baby bottom butter) on my goggle lenses so visibility down to 10 metres if I squinted through tiny gaps. I decided the best way was to draft any available feet and hope they belonged to someone who was good at sighting. The swim went well, I was hoping for around 45 mins but did it in 36 which was a shock, the drafting obviously helped.
I loved the bike, it was virtually flat except for one hill and a bit of a bump. The hill seemed ok the first time but pretty hard on the 2nd lap. I really enjoyed it though especially throwing used drink bottles in the big bag and picking up a new one on the move. I had a bottle of flat coke to start then a bottle of energy drink which seemed to work well. I had planned to eat every 5 miles alternating a cube of flapjack with a gel but I went through a pothole at 9 miles and my computer stopped working – so much for my plan. I tried to stick to it though and it went well.
It started raining just before the end of the bike and my, did it rain! Torrential downpour. I got absolutely soaked, there were literally puddles in my trainers, I had to throw my socks away afterwards as it was also partly off road and very muddy.
I was quite cocky at the beginning of the run and felt great up to 10k; I wondered what all the fuss was about. Unfortunately I then found out as it seemed to get harder. Unbeknownst to me I was getting slower and slower. It was a 3 lap run and my last lap was 7 minutes slower than my first. My run time was 2 hours 11 mins so not too bad for a half marathon after the rest.
My final time was 5 hours 50 mins so I was very pleased and will definitely be doing it again next year 🙂
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