3rd-4th June 2017
This year I headed back to Blenheim, where all my sporting shenanigans started back in 2012.
The premise this time was not just to compete in a Triathlon but to see how many I could complete over the two days of the event.
I had signed up for the Weekend Warrior entry. Introduced a few years ago and now expanded to allow mere mortals to have a place, the concept is simple. Starting in the first wave on Saturday complete as may triathlons as you can one after the other. Yep, as soon as you cross the finish line you head back to the start — via transition if you need to pick up your wetsuit — some people had friends/family swap their run kit for a wetsuit so they could start the next one as quick as possible.
My folks were going to come and support me so had offered to take my bag. I figured I would get them to bring my old wetsuit so I wouldn’t need to put on a wet-wetsuit. Something which is surprisingly hard to do.
I had the usual panic before leaving the house wondering if I had all my gear, and set off later than I wanted. So I cycled to Blenheim a lot quicker than I probably should have.
Having met up with my dad who, as my Weekend Warrior support team, was allowed into transition with my second kit bag it was time to layout all the gear ready for the race.
Things got off to a pretty bad start as as I was getting ready I stood on my glasses bending the frame with one of screws dropping out, closely followed by a lens.
After lining up for the obligatory photo call in my nice new ‘Weekend Warrior’ Tri–suit I headed to the lake in my wetsuit.
I was unsure how to approach the day as I had originally signed up for last year’s event when I was much fitter and, to be honest, I hadn’t done any proper training having only been out on the road bike a couple of times this year.
As we walked down the pontoon to the water I got that brilliant mix of excitement and fear.
Swimming up to the start line I couldn’t help but edge near the front and then when the horn went I blitzed it. It was one of my best swims and as I exited the water I was feeling so good, even if the photo doesn’t show it…
You can’t look cool and take out earplugs at the same time!
I ran up the twisty path up from the lake back to transition and managed a wave to my mum & dad on the way.
Then off on the bike which was a bit hairy without my glasses but the course is fantastic and by the third lap of the bike I was flying round the corners, then despite the hills I had a good run too — coming in at 1h26 for the race, only 3mins slower than my PB for a sprint set on a flat course.
End of the first lap
Starting the run
Feeling invincible I went back to the lake almost immediately to start my second.
Then after a decent break for lunch with my parents I did a third triathlon, this time made a bit easier by having my glasses. It turned out one of my fellow Warriors was an optician as was his wife who was supporting him, so while I was racing she had managed to repair them for me!
There were some friends also competing and it was great to see them afterwards though it was a shame not to have seen them out on the course.
After a very well deserved pint I cycled the 6 miles home at a leisurely 15mph. I then ordered a giant Papa John’s pizza, had a shower and chilled out on the sofa with a bit of telly.
I arrived a lot later than my initial plan as when my alarm went off I could hardly move! But despite a bit of sunburn and some very tired legs I cycled back to Blenheim with the aim to do at least one more. Luckily Sunday has the elite waves first so that bought me a bit of extra time, and I arrived for the start of the second general wave at around 10:30am
The first swim went really well and the cool lake eased my tired muscles, I probably went off too fast but got round the rest of the course without too much trouble.
I figured I might as well have a crack at another one so headed back to the swim start and got most of the way through the bike section before starting to feel like it was a bad idea.
Thanks to some great support out on the course I finished the last lap of the run and collected my 2nd finisher’s medal of the day.
As I made my way back to transition some one asked if I was doing another. I joked and said yeah if I’ve got time. I realised I could probably make it to the swim start before the final wave of the day set off. Grabbed my wetsuit and trudged down to the lake side, still unsure if I should actually start another one…let alone if would finish it. Enthusiasm (or more likely delirium) got the best of me and I headed out onto the pontoon and set off yet again.
I don’t know if it was better pacing or the knowledge that this was the last one of the weekend but it went much smoother than the previous one and after nearly two hours I was crossing the finish line yet again!
Two days, six triathlons — 4.5km swum, 119km cycled (not including the 24 miles getting to and from Blenheim) and 32.4 km run! An absolutely fantastic weekend of racing, and yes I probably will do it again next year! Seven anyone?
Thanks for reading and remember to have fun next time you race ;-)