After feeling too tired to run on Monday, I arranged to meet my running buddy on Tuesday. Fate conspired against me and I didn’t make it, so I was pleased when Teri said that she could run on Wednesday.
I drove over to The Common and did a gentle warm up whilst waiting for Teri. Annoyingly, my Garmin 910XT is terminally ill. The buttons have become unresponsive, so none of my warm-up was captured 🙁
It’s been a while since Teri and I have been able to go out for a social run, so I really appreciated it. I hope it wasn’t too bad for her. She listened to me talk non-stop for almost 40 minutes, whereas I was not a good listener (sorry, Teri!)
It would have been possible for us to stay entirely on the flat. After we’d done the first part of our run, I thought we might as well tackle the hill. At least I knew there’d be a downhill afterwards.
Teri had brought Lulu (her dog) with her, which meant that we had a couple of little breaks. However, I’m not used to running with a dog, so I would pause every now and again whilst Lulu stopped to sniff something as I was worried that we would somehow lose her. Luckily, she is a well-behaved dog, so she always came running after us.
By the time we got back to my car, my Garmin was saying that I had done 5.8km. I was a little tempted to jog up and down to make it say 6km, but I know I had run at least 200m before my Garmin started, and I needed to get home.
Planning my triathlon season
In the evening, we met a group of friends from Tri Club at a local pub. Everyone who came along is considering doing an Ironman or a half in 2017. There were quite a few others who are interested but were unable to attend. A large group of STC people have entered Ironman Austria, which sounds lovely. However, I think the logistics of travelling overseas with a young baby might be too much for me.
Fortunately, Ironman Weymouth is unlikely to sell out, so I can make a decision much closer to the date about whether it’s a realistic goal. It’s not too difficult to find accommodation, plenty of my friends would be able to come and support and if I’m not ready for a full Ironman, there is a half taking place simultaneously. [Unfortunately, I’ve now heard that Ironman hasn’t yet confirmed that there will be an event in Weymouth next year, so fingers crossed!]
Marshalling at SUTRI aquathlon
Yesterday evening, I marshalled at an event for my other Tri Club – SUTRI. An aquathlon had been organised at the local lake for Freshers. It consisted of a 300m swim and a 2.5k run. I’d have loved to have taken part, but I’m not sure that my wetsuit would fit me, and I was afraid that the water would be too cold. (I was right to think that as it was a chilly 13C/55F – brrrr!)
Stu and I arrived at 5:30pm, but there weren’t many people around. During the day, quite a few people had dropped out. The main group was travelling by public Uni-Link bus. Unfortunately, they were travelling at rush hour. As it is the start of the academic year, the first bus that arrived was full, so they had to wait for another bus.
Eventually, it was agreed that there would be two waves for the event. The first wave would be the people who were ready at the lake and a second wave for the people who were stuck on the bus. This was mainly because the light was going. A long section of the run route is tree-lined, so it’s quite dark even on a sunny day.
Cheering people on at SUTRI aquathlon
I was marshalling at the first main turn. I took a camping chair with me as I wasn’t sure how long I would have to stand for and I get faint if I stand still for too long. The chair turned out to be unnecessary for two reasons: firstly, I was right by some picnic tables and secondly, it wasn’t long before the athletes came past.
I was sitting down when I saw the first runner, so I jumped up and got into position. It was only as the runner got very close that I realised it was Stu. I’ve not seen him wear the lovely tri top that he got at Ironman Copenhagen before. He was looking strong and relaxed… but I was too flustered to take a photo – oops!
When the tail runner came past, I asked him whether the late arrivals were going to be allowed to run. He didn’t know, so I figured that I had better wait and see.
Fortunately, it wasn’t too long before I saw a girl in a trisuit coming in my direction, shortly followed by some lads. At the back of the pack, Stu was doing another lap as the tail runner.
I picked up some route signs and cones and headed back to the start, arriving just as the final finisher came in.
How did Stu do?
A quick look at the results confirmed that Stu had won SUTRI aquathlon in 15:49. He had hoped to be quicker, but I think it’s harder to push yourself when there are no athletes around you. The faster people were mainly in the second wave. Stu also had a problem in transition as the zip on his wetsuit broke, so it took him quite a long time to get it off. (If anyone can give any recommendations for a man’s wetsuit, I’ll pass them on to Stu. He’s a strong swimmer [58 mins at Ironman Copenhagen – 3.8k]. He’s about 5’8″/173cm tall and weighs about 135lbs/9st9lb/60kg. He currently wears a 19 Rogue).
After the aquathlon, we stopped for a little while to talk to people from SUTRI. There were also other friends who were arriving for a ‘Glow in the dark’ swim. It looked like a lot of fun but was also a reminder that it’s the end of the open water swimming season here. I hope that by the time May comes around, I can get back into my wetsuit and will be able to join in the fun again.