On Sunday, I took part in my first multi-discipline event- an Aquathlon organised by my triathlon club Havering Tri and another local club Spartan Tri.
The event was a good way for me to ease into multi-sport events, as it just involved a swim and a run- as I don’t have a decent bike yet I didn’t need to worry about the cycle!
I met up with the ladies from my tri club- Laura, Amy and Nikki, plus our swimming coach Kay. We collected our race bibs, had our numbers written on our arms and waited for the briefing.
|In my sexy trisuit marked up with my number|
The Aquathlon was also for children aged 8 upwards, so we watched the youngsters compete while we waited for the adult’s heats. They were amazingly speedy, and it was great to see kids getting involved with sports as I did nothing like this when I was their age!
I was incredibly nervous about this event, much more so that any running race I’ve ever taken part in. I was anxious that my calf would cramp up during the swim, I was nervous that I would fall over after getting out of the pool and I was unsure about how it would feel to run in a wet trisuit. Watching the kids swim made me even more nervous!
The adult ladies heat was the 9th wave of the day, I was assigned a lane next to Laura, Amy a lady called Becky who was from another club, I slid into the pool and awaited the off. The 400m swim was 16 lengths of the 25 metre pool. I got off to a good start- the first thing I noticed was how clear the water was! The pool I usually train in is murky and misty, but in this pool I could clearly see the bottom! I completed 10 lengths of front-crawl, before switching to breast-stroke for lengths 11 and 12, then back to front-crawl for my final 4 lengths. I did pause a few times between lengths to catch my breath.
|Waiting to swim!|
As I expected the other 3 ladies were speedy and I was the last to finish the swim, but I was proud of my time considering I could barely swim at all when I started lessons last June! The spectators clapped and cheered me on as I carried on with my last few lengths and I finished the 400m swim in 10:26.
I hoisted myself out of the pool and jogged outside to the transition area. I’d laid out my T-shirt (with race number attached), trainers, socks, Tom Tom watch, water bottle and towel before the race started. I’d used Jen‘s tip of using a brightly coloured towel to help find my area quickly and easily- but it wasn’t completely necessary as my kit was the only one left in transition! I whipped off my swimming hat and goggles, threw on my T-shirt, socks and trainers, turned on my Tom Tom and headed off for the run.
|Socks and shoes on!|
The 3 mile run was 8 laps of the school field. It was a blustery day, and as the wind whipped across the field I immediately realised how uncomfortable it was to run in a soaking wet trisuit! Glen was there to cheer me on and take photos which was lovely!
I must admit I felt self-conscious of my legs in my tight tri-suit as I’ve never ran in shorts before. I slowed down a few times to yank down the legs of the suit, but looking at the photos now I don’t think I look half as bad as I had imagined! The padded crotch also felt strange, and I needed to adjust that as I ran! It did feel like I was wearing a wet nappy!
The 3 miles felt the longest ever- usually this distance is no big deal, but after the swim it felt as though I was running a marathon! I thought of my Blogger/Twitter friends who actually were running a marathon (Paris/Manchester/Brighton) and pushed on with my 3 miles!
The marshalls counted down the laps, and when I was on my 7th lap I was overtaken by Amy who was finishing her final lap. We chatted for a few seconds before she sped off to finish.
I finished with a sprint and collected my water and Power Bar- I had expected a medal but it seemed that there was no bling at this event. I had a splitting headache and I was freezing cold as soon as I crossed the line- but it soon passed once I’d changed out of my wet kit. My official time for the 3 mile run was 30:28 (but the time on my Tom Tom was 28:59, so I assume this includes 1:29 in transition).
My overall time was 40:54, meaning I came 12th out of 15 adult competitors and 4th out of 5 ladies. Not too bad!
Overall a great event which taught me a few things for future:
-I need to bring two towels as mine was filthy from being on the floor in transition, so it was difficult to dry myself afterwards!
-Running in a wet trisuit is never going to be comfortable, but thankfully the run was over quickly!
-Wearing a sports bra under my trisuit was a good call!
-Not to waste time adjusting the legs of my suit, as my thighs are not that bad!