Going to do my Best Josh Amberger impersonation here...
Have a free weekend at home & discover there is a Full Distance Triathlon Happening 2hrs Drive away🤔 check the training plan👨💻 🏊♂️🚴🏻🏃♂️on schedule, great, why not share the pain with 1000 other fellow endurance sports tragics. Pack the Car, wait we now have a Baby, Baby stuff takes up most of the Trunk Space, guess I'm not taking the spare wheels, helmet, wetsuit, or extra nutrition I'll actually never use. Having a baby simplifies packing👌Oops forgot we still have the Dog🐩🤦 There goes the space for the unnecessarily overloaded tool kit. Wife & her kitchen in a bag in 🚘 & off we go. Kitchen bag now stashed at feet as no longer room anywhere else in the car, wife's knees tucked up under her chin. Feels like we've never been to a triathlon before.
🏊♂️Off to a decent start for the first 5 stokes before lactate sets in, that's right haven't done this for nearly 2 years. Still in a good Group. Peleton skills coming in very handy, if there's one thing I've gotten very good at over the past 18 months it's following Men's Bums & Heels, you touch plenty of both fighting for position in an Open Water Swim bash🙄 Halfway through the swim expectations & capabilities finally collide, Fractured Rib from 3 weeks ago rears its ugly head, I was meant to take the swim easy🤦 Too late now I'm committed, the trusty left arm & kicking will have to do the work🙏 Somehow manage to hold onto the pack, exit the water in the Top 10, surprisingly great swim, again peleton skills saved me👍.
Onto the bike & quickly reminded by my lack of swimming fitness, I'm absolutely exhausted. Somehow find my way into the lead in the first 25k, figure the quicker I go the quicker I'll feel good again? Yeah I know, stupid! Haven't done this for a while ok!!! By 30km the bumpy roads have snapped off my rear bottle cage, brake hood is hanging out of the bars, gell canister has flung out of my bento box, 150k to go on the bike, no worries hand up for the team car, bottles & food required, Oops I'm not at a bike race🤦 I'll find water & gells at the aid stations, all good👌.
Find a random piece of tape on the hydration system, use that secure brake hood back in the handle bars, in long distance triathlon Improvisation is key! 30k to go, haven't managed to grab enough food at aid stations, hunger flat, completely lights out. Fortunately on a climb, will recover on decent & grovel to Transition. Off the bike first with a 6 minute lead, not as bad a situation as I expected!
Onto the run with renewed enthusiasm🥳 Wait what's that, oh yeah fractured rib & now you jumping up and down🤦 Focus shoots from running form to learning to run without breathing of bouncing, can't find a solution, suck it up & just going to have the cross the fingers here. I see Fallon, Wyatt & Olive out on course, motivation again rises! 10k down, still leading, amazing, I'd forgotten what it felt like to lead race, to finish first first you must get into the lead! Enthusiasm growing for the fairytale tale ending to the group training day. 15k in, wheels start to really fall off, lead evaporates quickly and by 19k I'm over taken by Sam Laidlow who goes onto win, chapeau.
Focus turns now to actually finishing as with half a marathon still to go it's going to be a long slow death March! Maintain 2nd for the next 15k as pace rapidly drops, walk aid stations in the hope of a miracle revival, black magic (coke) by the Gallon with water, isn't working like it used, why can't it be 2019!!! Richard Spink (Physio) & Brett Lancaster (Sports Director) from the team where there at special needs to hand me bottles, or as we call it in the world tour "extra feed". I wish I had a convoy off cars to hide in or a peleton to get towed along by at this moment that's for sure! In the last 5k I'm past by 3 more guys, vision is now going cross eyed as I grovel to the finish line & I don't even notice them passing me.
Finally reach the finish, 5th, just the way I left off long distance racing all those years ago in kona, 5th, great consistency Wurfy👏👏 No, jokes aside, it was simply great race & in the end finishing felt like an achievement. If you have any weakness a Long Distance Triathlon will find you out, particularly on the Marathon! It'd been so long I kinda hoped that aspect had changed, wishful thinking obviously🙄 Great to be back racing, go through the motions as they say, will make sure I'm healthy & more organized before I tow the line again.
Congratulations to all that took part, just surviving that spectacular course was an achievement in itself. To the organization for putting on fantastic safe event given the current climate the world faces. The host region of Girona & off course the city of platja d'aro, you have all the ingredients off making this one of the most iconic, Long Distance Triathlons in the world. Truly a heart bed of endurance sports, particularly triathlon. Definitely a Bucket List Event! And finally but by no means least, the volunteers. You guys & girls are the heart and soul of any Long Distance Event, without the athletes simply run out of fuel Haha. Jokes aside we wholly & solely depend on you to realize our dreams, Thankyou!
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