Back to the cold - The Maldon Triathlon
A couple of weeks ago, I woke up at 3am to a violent storm. I stayed in bed for a while longer and tried to sleep again.... unsuccessfully. I got up just after 4am, had breakfast and got dressed.
Before 5 am, just as the worst of the storm was subsiding, 91 other triathletes and I arrived at the Promenade Park in Maldon in the dark and the rain. My Mum and Dad arrived at the edge of the water just before 5:45am - it was lovely to have their support. While we were waiting for the floating start, my teeth were chattering. I tried to swim around a bit to keep warm, but I was not used to cool water and I still felt cold. As the sky lightened, just 20 minutes before high tide, the 59 of us starting the Sprint distance triathlon set off for a 750 metre swim around buoys in the estuary.
I felt a bit disorientated during the swim. My face was cold, so it was hard to feel when my mouth and nose were in the water or not, and I had to concentrate really hard on my breathing and lift my head a bit higher than I should have done ideally. There was absolutely no visibility under the muddy water and I thought I ended up rounding one extra buoy (of course, I didn't) on the course. As I ran up the ramp out of the water the commentator said I was the first woman out - a nice surprise!
In the Olympic distance race, my new team mate, Colin Corby was first out of the water, followed just 43 seconds later by the fastest woman, Zoe Ferguson, ahead of all the other men.
I had a slow T1 getting my wetsuit off from around my ankles then putting on a jacket before I ran out. The drizzle stopped as we set off for a 28km cycle on the quiet and scenic roads of the Dengie Peninsula. The conditions were better than I expected but I was glad I had taken the time to put on an extra layer - I was still feeling the cold.
A few men overtook me on the bike and I went past a couple too. By the time I had finished the bike I had warmed up a bit, so when I got off, my jacket came off too for the run.
The run was good, my feet were very cold and my legs felt stiff but I must have seen Mum about 6 times around the two lap course and there were a few more spectators out enjoying a stroll and the sunshine! I was pleased with my run, especially considering my (lack of) training, and I managed to increase my lead on the last leg.
I won the race, the boys loved the trophy and I got a few nice prizes for my first triathlon in about 2 years and my first on my new bike!