Burnham-on-Sea Sprint Triathlon

Liz Arnold’s Return to Triathlon
Registration on Saturday afternoon for Burnham on sea triathlon was in glorious weather. We sat on the beach sun screen and shades on playing in the waves and looking at that lovely firm sand. There wasn’t a sign of rain and it was tempting to think the weather forecast for the following day was wrong.  But the English weather was true to form and we woke to a very cold, windy and rainy Sunday morning.
Burnham on Sea 2011 was to be my first triathlon. My only previous attempt was in 1999 which was cancelled on the day due to rain and subsequent flooding of the cycle course. I then started my final year at University, quickly forgot all about exercise and it has taken 12 years to make some time again.  I refused to believe that the weather could be anything but perfect for my second attempt.
I arrived with plenty of time to watch how transition works and ask finishers for any tips to cope with the weather.  I had a late start so most people were finished before I started. The smiles, enthusiasm and positive reports were at total odds to the weather conditions and the atmosphere was so friendly and welcoming I was quite relaxed by the time I got changed for the swim.
Swim started, 100m in panic started. Can I do this, no I can’t possibly, what was I thinking I can’t ride a road bike and keep peddling for  more than 10 minutes, jogging with the dog can’t possibly qualify me to run 5km. The next 400 metres was spent settling myself back down.
Transition was really quite ok. There is little you can stuff up with no kit, however getting on my bike was interesting. I was in the correct gear, thanks to Ceeli and Martins excellent transition training, after a trip on to the pavement and half way across the road I was away. I was terrified I would cause someone behind to crash as I generally weaved my way around the course and braked sharply at every slight bend as I was so scared that I might fall off with so few clothes on.  The course couldn’t have been  more beginner friendly and with only a slight breeze and light rain by then it made it hard to fall off. My lack of fitness bean to show on the home stretch down the Red Road, in to the wind, when I started the “are we nearly there yet?”.
I started slowing down for the second transition about 500metres out just in case my brakes/legs failed and very ungracefully shuffled off my bike. I was totally unprepared for how my feet would feel like two blocks of ice. I later realised that I had done my shoes up too tight and I had no blood supply to them.
It was at this point I wished I had done a little more training and as any thoughts of being able to run went out of the window I enjoyed the wonderful scenery of the golf course as I jogged out the run.  The head wind, squelchy soggy sand run over by 290 feet at that point and failed legs on the return leg up the beach was the only bit I can say I didn’t enjoy but hey it was only for 10 minutes.
Actually ‘doing’ (I will delay use of the word competing until I have some times to compete against) a triathlon has way exceeded any expectations I had. The sense of achievement was amazing and watching all the dedicated talented athletes compete was a pleasure.
The enthusiasm and dedication of club members is infectious and I am sure I wouldn’t have enjoyed it nearly as much without Mike, Martin and Ceeli’s help to prepare.
Bring on the next one.
Full results can be found here