Race report – 8 May 2018 (by Jess)
On Bank Holiday Monday, I did the Tonbridge Triathlon – my first ever triathlon! This may sound like no big deal to some people, but it was a huge “life goal”. When I started training a year ago I could barely swim. Not as in “I don’t like to swim” but as in “I really don’t know how to swim”. I would do about two lengths in the pool and then I’d struggle with my breathing then I would just paddle about, because I couldn’t do breast stroke and I certainly couldn’t tread water for more than ten seconds! But I was sick of fear pushing me around, sick of being scared to try things I wouldn’t be automatically good at, so I joined the local triathlon club: the Greenwich Tritons.
Fast forward six months and it was the morning of the Tonbridge Triathlon! I was slightly nervous before the race but I knew I could finish it. I’d done hours and hours of training and I knew I could swim, bike and run. Maybe not very fast but certainly good enough to finish.
The swim part ended up not being as bad as I feared and was somewhere around 8 minutes. Because it was a pool swim I was worried about people climbing over the top of me in the water (I’ve heard some horror stories) but it wasn’t too bad at all. I’ve done better at time trials but I was still pretty happy with that.
After the swim, I jumped out of the pool and headed toward the first transition. This was where I put on my shoes, helmet, a hydration pack and race number. I had a bite of cliff bar and a drink then I was off. I don’t know what I did here but transition ended up taking 4 minutes 3 seconds! I definitely need to improve on that.
Then it was off on the bike. I’m still relatively new to cycling and I haven’t figured out how hard I can push so I just rode. There were quite a few hills at the start so I focused on sprinting up the hills. My bike time was slower than I anticipated but not terrible given the course!
After the bike it was on to the run. My legs were a little wobbly after the bike ride, but not bad. And it wore off fast! The run felt good and I was able to maintain a pace of 4.30/km. I like to run so I was looking forward to this at the end. Now that I’ve done it, I know I can push harder on the bike and run (and the swim for that matter)!
It was such a great feeling to finish the race. Crossing the finish line after a period of hard training is a feeling I haven’t been able to get any other way!