I had resigned myself to only doing one triathlon this year (Winchester May Day Tri), but when the opportunity to take part in the 20th London Triathlon, it was a chance that I couldn’t refuse. I’ve been to watch the event before and was impressed by the organisation, so I can’t dispute the organisers’ description of it as ‘the largest and most established triathlon in the world’.
I’m confident that I could do all of the distances required for the Sprint or Olympic distances, but I no longer feel safe cycling around people that I don’t know, so I was wary of the bike leg. Fortunately, after some enquiries, I found that I would be allowed to enter as part of a relay team, so I needed to choose my crack squad!
I’ve never raced as part of a relay before, but I really wanted Stu to be part of my team. He is a good cyclist, a great runner and a fantastic swimmer, so he would be able to do any of the three disciplines. The event is wetsuit compulsory, so although I felt that I could swim or run, that helped to make my decision as I wasn’t sure whether my wetsuit would still fit. I opted to do the 10k run and gave Stu the choice of the swim or the bike.
Stu is just a couple of weeks out from Ironman Copenhagen and his training has been going well. Last year, he put in a lot of training ahead of Ironman Dublin 70.3, but then had a bad cycling accident one week before the event. He tore his calf muscles and was unable to compete, so he doesn’t want to take that kind of risk ahead of his A-race… and also a 1500m swim is only 25 minutes exercise for him (at most!) So, that meant that Stu said he be the swimmer in my team.
I then needed to find a cyclist, but didn’t know who would want to or be able to take part, so I turned to Facebook. Very quickly lots of cyclist and triathlete friends replied. All of them were really talented, so I had a dilemma. In the end, I wrote all of their names onto little bits of paper and then picked one from a cycling helmet. The chosen one was… Jeremy H (known as Jez). Jez is the friend we cycled across Japan with last year. He’s taken up running in the last couple of years, so perhaps this will be a little push to making him a triathlete 😉
My event is on Saturday 6th August, so I probably won’t be able to fit in a parkrun, but I don’t mind as I’ll be saving my energy for the 10k run.
Hopefully, we’ll be able to watch some of the other events and will also have time to browse the Expo. There’s nothing that I need right now, but it’s always nice to be able to view new products.
My relay team’s wave starts at 13:20. Stu has estimated that the 2-lap 1500m swim will take him 25 minutes, so he’ll be handing the chip over to Jez at 13:45. I think that Jez will be able to complete the 4-lap 40k bike ride in under 80 minutes, but he’s less confident. Anyway, that means that my run will start at about 3:05pm. It’ll be weird running in the afternoon, but I should be able to eat an early lunch. I hope it isn’t too hot. Depending on the temperature, I’m hoping to complete the run in 75 minutes, but I’ll be sensible and just do what I feel comfortable doing.
The team’s timing chip acts as a baton – I hope that we’re able to transfer it quickly! There are pros and cons for the athletes doing a multi-lap course. It doesn’t matter too much for the swimming (unless very weak swimmers get in the way). For the cycling, it means that there are lots of turns and other cyclists to avoid, but it also has the advantage of knowing what is coming up. I don’t like multi-lap run courses, but it does mean that Stu and Jez will be able to see me several times before the end.
At around 4:20pm, I’m hoping to meet Jez and Stu in the Team meeting Point 100m from the finish, so that the three of us can finish together.
The Corporate Olympic event starts 40 minutes after our event. Stu and Jez should give me a good head start, so I’m hoping that I won’t be one of the last ones to finish in our wave… but the best people in the following wave may pass me.
Stu and I haven’t sorted out our travel arrangements yet, so I’m grateful that we don’t need to arrive at the ExCeL Exhibition Centre until 11:30am. It shouldn’t be a very early start!
Have you ever taken part in London Triathlon? How did you find the event? Have you taken part in a relay triathlon? Do you have any tips to share?