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Your Journey
In Introduce yourself
mdhalstead
Oct 04, 2017
Having done a few sprint triathlons, my plan was to step up to standard distance this year. In August 2016 I entered Nottingham Relay Triathlon with 3 friends.  Never go camping with full distance triathletes.   I was persuaded to miss standard and go straight to middle distance. I entered Cotswold Classic. I spent 8 months improving my swim, bike and run. On August 13th, my alarm went off at 4:30 am, I got up, forced down porridge and packed my last bits and headed down to the transition.  Racked my bike and set all my stuff out.  Then went and joined the long queue for the Portaloos, as once in the wet suit it was not coming off.  I charted to other triathletes, each one nervous and excited. I headed down to the water and with three friends that entered the race with me, waited for our wave to be called.  I won’t lie, I have never been so terrified. We entered the water, I felt a hand on my shoulder and stopped me starting until the melee had moved on, Thanks Mark. It gave me space to do my own swim. I started off with my mixture of crawl and breast stroke, slowly moving round the big buoys, until I could see the swim finish. The marshals were fantastic, calling you in and then being pulled out and helped up the steps.  I hate swimming and I am not confident, but I was out I had not drowned.  Time for the bike. I jogged into the transition areas, got my wet suit off, put my bike stuff on, all while eating a pork pies, all the photos show me with a pie in my gob.   I set off to the mount line, got on my bike and set off on lap 1 of 2.  The course was flat with a hill at mile 14.  I loved the ride, completed lap 1 and started lap 2. I got to mile 50 and someone passed me, being a stubborn arse. I tried to catch him, took me to mile 55 to pass him. As I pulled into the final straight, I could hear my name being shouted and saw my friends that came to support me. That lifts you so much. Made back to transition and racked my bike, put my running stuff on, and set off. The course was flatish 3 laps, and about 4 miles, that hurt, trying to run after 56 miles on the bike was not fun.  It was great being cheered on by all the marshals, supporters and friends. The first buffet station was awesome, it had water, high5, flat coke, bananas, gels, jelly beans, jelly babies, peanuts, crisps, ginger cake, choc cake and lot more. I made to the first pass of the finish, I could see my friends, it was great.  The 2nd lap came and went, the last lap, I got to 12 miles and was really struggling, and who do I see but my friend Dave, he came back for me.  He ran and jogged with me till we got the red carpet and he says ‘How are your legs?  ‘F**ked’ was the reply, ‘You have to sprint’ he said.  So I went, not sure where it came from, not sure I have ran like that in my life.. The photo of me crossing the line is not me smiling but grimacing. It was one of the hardest things I have done with my body to date. I faced a lot of fears, I am not a strong swimmer and that distance is just scary, the bike was better than I thought, and the run was just hell.  Would I do another, oh f**k yes….  I now have a time to beat.
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mdhalstead

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