I was feeling nervous for the few days before the race. So many people had said lovely, positive things to me that I was really beginning to feel the weight of high expectations. I was also a little bit anxious for my husband and my mum, who will be sixty years old in a few months, both doing their first multisport race.
I had our race numbers on race belts and everything ready to go, several days before and did a (rather excessive) tapering exercise for a few days before. I squashed as much training as I could into the first few days of the week and then from Thursday onwards did virtually nothing.
We prepared all of our bags the night before and set out our race kits. Mum was nervous.... Hubby was unfazed and stayed up late to watch a film. I was indecisive about using my old watch for the race the next day, or using my (very) new Mio Alpha. Eventually I decided on the Mio Alpha. Then I had dreams of racing a Triathlon where I kept losing my bike - weird!
On the day of the race, I woke up with a terrible sore throat at 5:10 because my youngest son was crying... not the best night's sleep I have ever had! Mum said she'd hardly slept. We woke the boys up, had a quick breakfast then put the last few things in the bag, took the pushchair and all jumped in a taxi.
As soon as we arrived I set up my transition, with no inner soles in my trainers as I had discovered they were more comfortable that way! Then, we went for body marking on the way to finding a shady spot on the beach for the boys to play with the sand.
I met up with the team from Journey Fitness Company, some friends and some colleagues, had a quick chat - Ben gave me some advice on how to play the race. I had time for a really short warm up then had to head over to the start area already!
The horn blasted and we all sprinted down the beach to the water. It was a bit rough at the start - a few elbows in the face, kicks here and there and some gulps of seawater, but it settled down quite soon and we got into a rhythm. I think my rhythm was a little bit too comfortable and I should have pushed a bit harder during the swim. It was soon over and we were running out to transition - lots of people were jogging up the beach, so I overtook a few. I threw down my goggles and hat, put on my trainers as quickly as I could, grabbed by race belt and ran out again. The first part of the run was comfortable but pushing hard enough to make good time, then for the last 2-3km I gave it all I had. I didn't regret having chosen my new Mio Alpha over my old watch. It was super comfortable and really easy to read at a glance, the whole way. This is also the first time ever that I have had heart rate data for a swim!
I overtook 13 women between getting out of the water and finishing the race, two of whom were in my age category. The last woman I overtook was in the last 10 metres of the race. I had been running her down for about 1km and I tried so hard (after swallowing so much seawater) that I vomited little bit, a few steps after the finish line. I was quite embarrassed and couldn't stop apologising to the people giving out the finisher medals. They all wanted to send me to the medical tent - I insisted I was fine, I had just drank too much of the sea which didn't sit well in my stomach after having tried so hard on the run!
I was second. The woman who beat me won the whole thing over all - she had over 2 minutes head start on me out of the water and she was very, very fast on her feet! My time this year was almost exactly 4 minutes faster than last year, and I think the 5km run (20:25) was a personal best, so I was really pleased with the race, a silver trophy was the icing on the cake!
(the woman who came third left before the medal presentation. I didn't just cut her off!)
Then it was Mum and Hubby's turn. I went with both of them in turn to set up their transition and nagged them both about drinking enough! The men's wave was first. We watched with Mum and the boys as he got out of the water near to the front of the pack and all cheered as loud as we could as he ran past! Mum's wave was 10 minutes later - we whooped and cheered as she got out of the water and ran up the beach, then hurried off to the back of the beach to spot 'Daddy' running past. I think we missed him by just a few minutes, because 5 minutes later, Mum came running past us. She looked a bit hot, but was going at a good pace and gave us all high-fives as she ran past! We crossed over to look for her coming back towards the finish and then Hubby appeared with all of the bags and the pushchair. He said that he had taken it easy on the swim, and could have run harder but didn't really know how to play it. He was 9th! So proud!
Once 'Grandma' had run past again and done all of the high-fives, we made our way to the finish line to meet her. When we found her she'd already been to the results tent and printed out her split time ticket. She was pretty chuffed with herself, deservedly so!
The Metasprint Aquathlon was really well organised, there was a lovely beach party atmosphere with lively music, lots of families and children playing, loads of supporters and plenty of drinks and food. We all had a great morning! Awesome end to the weekend!