Taunton Triathlon 2011 – My First Triathlon

My First Triathlon

The Taunton Triathlon through a Tri-Virgin’s Eyes

15th May, 2011

The Taunton Deane Sprint Triathlon was my first event and definitely won’t be my last (which is fortunate given all the money I have forked out on equipment so far!).  Like a greedy fish, I am well and truly hooked.

The build-up to the event wasn’t ideal; having spent the 2 weeks prior to the race in Singapore and Hong Kong with work.  What I naively billed as ‘pre-race warm-weather training’ was in fact ‘too hot to leave the air condition and go outside training’.  With temperatures of 35c and humidity around 75%, running and cycling were out of the question but I did get some to practice my swim turns in the 10m hotel pool.

Right, so now I’ve made my excuses I can get on to the race itself.  Being my first event I wanted to make sure I gave myself plenty of time to get set-up; my start time was 11:50am so arriving at 9:30am was maybe a bit over the top!  Making a list a few days before the event of all the things you may need on race day was a good idea, just one less thing to worry about.  Having registered I then had to set up my transition area, after over 30 minutes in transition I must have looked like the most meticulous triathlete ever but in reality I am a typically indecisive male!  After some helpful advice from Michelle I was all sorted and I can guarantee it won’t take me as long in the future.

Taunton Deane Triathlon

The hanging around, waiting for my start time was made easier with so many WCT members there to chat to and most had some useful insights regarding the Taunton course.  Again, having Caroline and Paul DSP in the same wave as me kept the nerves at bay and by the time I jumped into the salty water (bit of a shock!) I was an image of composure (maybe!).

The swim went swimmingly (couldn’t resist) once I had overtaken the guy doing breast-stroke and with only three of us in the lane, it was a lot quieter than I am used to on a Monday and Wednesday evening.  I was a little disappointed with my swim time of 7:01, pacing isn’t my strong point and I think I would have benefitted from having someone a bit quicker to try to keep up with (this was also the case for the bike and run, although Caroline helped for the second lap of the run).

Taunton Deane Triathlon

Transition was a breeze with my meticulous preparation, and I was glad I left my shoes attached to the pedals; the elastic band trick worked liked an absolute dream.  So then on to the bike course which I would sum up in two words: hilly and windy.  Conscious of not pushing myself too hard with the run to come, in hindsight I should have pushed harder but, in the eternal words of B*witched, c’est la vie. Then into T2 where I opted for socks after some nasty blisters during the Burnham Aquathlon.  It wasn’t long before I was regretting my lack of brick sessions with my legs seemingly unwilling to do what my brain wanted them to do and adding in some immense pain for good measure.  The nasty hill half-way through the first lap nearly had me walking but I kept running (probably at a walking pace) onto the second lap.  Now sporting a very fetching fabric necklace in recognition of my first-lap heroics, the second lap seemed a lot easier (not as easy as it was for Paul DSP, striding past me like Usain Bolt) and with Caroline in tow for that dreaded hill the finish was finally in sight.  Some great encouragement from WCT members near the finish, including Martin getting his massage, just to rub it in (sorry I couldn’t resist), had me “sprinting” (relative to my previous speed) for the finish.  All that was left was some ‘just-over-the-line’ photos (thanks Sara) and I was all done!

I finished in a time of 1:19:10, I had estimated a time around 1:30 before the race so I was very pleased with my first race.  Achieving my other goal of finishing in the top half (99th out of 267) also put a smile on my face.  I am so proud that I can now call myself a triathlete rather than telling people I swim, bike and run in my spare-time.  I have definitely caught the bug after my first event (I think I was infected before but I think it’s a super-bug now) and have already analysed my results fully and decided where I need to improve (namely my swimming, my biking and my running).  So I think that is all from me, I’m off for a ride.

James Kyffin.

Taunton Deane Triathlon