Where we live in New Zealand there is a very active triathlon and multisport community. When I learned that there was a Sprint Triathlon to be held just a week after I arrived in the country I had to give it go. After all, how often does one have a race only 15 minutes from home? The only problem was that I had not swum for three months, and also had not been on a bicycle for about one month. This meant that my goals were simple: to have fun and do the best I can given my lack of triathlon conditioning.
I got my bicycle assembled the Thursday before the race and went out for a short 30 km ride. Had to stop for a few adjustments and I learned that certain key parts of my anatomy had softened over the last few months.
On Friday I decided that I should at least see if I remembered how to swim. I went for a 50 km ride in the morning and then headed over to the Richmond Aquatic Centre where there were 8 x 25 metre lanes. It was built just before we moved to the USA but I had never visited. What an excellent facility and at 15:00 the lanes were almost empty. My body was not happy to be back in the water again and it took quite a while to settle into my normal swimming mode. I was thrown by the 25 metres as I count strokes and have been in a 25 yard pool. There is only about a 10% difference, but when you’ve done 18 strokes per length for years to suddenly do 20 is strange. After doing 1 km I had enough so called it a day and cycled home.
Lis and I headed to the race at 8:00 on Sunday morning. We can see Rabbit Island across the Waimea Inlet from our home so it was very close. It was a very small race, or should I say three races: there was a Sprint Triathlon, a short distance triathlon, and a duathlon. There were 19 participants in the Sprint Triathlon and 14 in the short distance so it was a very select race. The conditions were perfect, with a sunny day with little wind.
The good news is that I was not last, but let’s just say that it was by far my poorest triathlon. I still enjoyed it immensely and Lis got some great photos as you can see below. Next race is in a month a Cable Bay and hopefully I’ll do a bit better.
The Very Busy Transition Area
The Water Was VERY Cold—Glad I Had My Wet Suit
I Survived the Swim – 3rd Last!
At Least It Was Easy to Find My Bike
Finishing the Bike – Average Speed 32 km/h
Starting the Run
Finishing the Run—7:17 min/mile Pace
After the Race—My Friend Andrea Inflicting Pain