Ashburnham Place – Standard Tri 2016

Race Report by Ian Dunning (Caution, contains expletives)

“Nothing standard about a standard”

Before I start… On a serious note… We learnt 2 very valuable lessons today

Firstly… There is no price on your health and at times the toughest decision is to listen to your body saying ‘no, enough is enough’ and stop (unless your name is Brownlee)

Secondly, the importance of doing jack shit the day before your race 🙂

Well it wouldn’t be a race day without some sort of commentary from me now would it?!

Can’t use the word ‘blog’ as Pete has nicked that to write about himself and himself only… #sorryaboutthatpete 🙂

Up and out at stupid o’clock on a Sunday morning to register between 0630-0800 to a place of worship and religion… Well it is a Sunday afterall…

Triathlon has become my new religion and I was praying for a sudden drop in water temp so it was a wet suit swim

As I arrived at Ashburnham Christian Trust. (Sussex Triathlon race venue) I started to notice those yellow arrow signs… You know the ones… They show us the way?

But all these signs were pointing uphill !!

At registration, the pre race whooper upperer was using words and phrases like ‘I would describe the bike as HEAVY’ ‘It may be 80k but it will feel like 90k’ ‘ Run has hills’ ‘one that steep most will walk it’

Hardly words of encouragement and motivation… Anyway… It is what it is…

With race bag in hand I set off to collect my bike and prepare for transitions and saw some friendly ATC faces.

Alex… Is he an umpire or a referee?

The Swabbotts complete with dogren

A unique group, light in number but high in quality…

3 entrants, 2 support crew and 1 referee/umpire

Surely a day without incident… Hmmmm wait n see

Martin and Robert carefully slipped into into their wet suits… hallelujah… Praise The Lord… It is a wet suit swim and left together off into yonder distance to race briefing by the water

This left Julie and Mandy sitting down and suddenly realising they had 6/7 hours to kill and the reminder this is life now supporting or racing on a Sunday.

Each race started after the previous race swim had finished so I went down to water side “with my wet suit” to cheer on ATC and also to check out swim entry and exit.

Entry was easy… Get in the Water

Exit… Was a single step ladder out of the shallow end

Now for those intelligent ones amongst you, will realise that shallow means different things for us vertically challenged. I wasn’t quite treading water before I got out but it certainly wasn’t far off…

Anyway back to the start, as I approached I saw the volunteer paramedics tucking into their pre race bacon roll. It’s an even longer day for volunteers than competitors and we can’t race without them…

I did say I hope I don’t see you again and I got a ‘I hope we don’t see YOU again’ back… A phrase that would later haunt me…

It will come as no surprise that Mr & Mr entered and left the water together and ran off towards T1 with Mrs & Mrs cheering on the way…

My turn to swim, standard distance and longest race distance yet.

Job done, safely negotiated the step ladder, unzipped wet suit to waist as all good triathletes do and legged it to T1…

I felt surprisingly well and as I ran past Mrs & Mrs I screamed ‘I survived the swim’ punching the air with delight. I know I can bike and I know I can run… Shit me I was actually doing this.

Into T1 and looked at my watch. Had to double check the time… I was 10 mins quicker than I had ‘planned.’ Must be a Garmin glitch 🙁

I was purposely methodical in transition and got out on my bike. Pressed lap and started biking. Time was still 10 mins up…

Must be wrong , can’t be and I doubted myself… Pressed lap again and showed me running whilst I was biking…. F#*k it… IT WAS RIGHT… Arghhhhh.

I somehow managed to set my watch to an individual bike and later an individual run so I could keep an eye on time and pace.

Another lesson… The months and weeks of training really do pay off and dont be surprised if it all comes together 🙂

I finished my race and the first face I saw was the umpire/referee who told me I wasn’t going to tell you how tough it was… Thanks… but I had completed my first standard and there is nothing standard about that.

Off to my support role (after compulsory massage) and asked Mrs & Mrs how Mr & Mr were doing…

Bike done… Together (no drafting I hope)

Running… Together…

4 park runs on a hilly trail together… Tough!!

Rob completed his first circuit and painstakingly looked chilled and relaxed. He even had time to stop and have a chat at drink station, enjoy a refill, mouthful of sweets and off on his way… BUT…

Where the f#*k was Martin…

Nothing… Too long a gap and could sense a worry in Mrs A…

Where the f#*k was Martin…

Then he appeared… Like an advert for ATC… blue through and through… Easily recognisable but taking only little baby steps… #worried

Got to his beloved and lent off barrier, dropped his head and clearly in discomfort.

A loving arm around the shoulder and a gentle rub of the shoulder and it could have been a scene from a romantic tale but sadly Martin was visibly in pain.

Martin gingerly walked into T1 and was interrogated by the umpire/referee ‘Have you finished?’ A little bit harsh from said official as Martin was sobbing real tears as he realised Rob was going to finish before him again 🙂

Martin replied yes and before he could say ‘I have’ said official was down on his knees…

I have heard of mouth to mouth resuscitation in the case of emergency but going down in the public eye was a bit drastic…

Oops… My mistake… ‘I need to remove your chip so you don’t get a PB’ #heartless

And then he called for first aid… Actually Alex did that first but for comedy value I chose to omit that…

Martin was escorted by 2 ladies off to the ambulance and duly looked after…

I reported back to Julie that Martin was being looked after and got changed etc etc…

Walked over to the snack van for post race chips but saw Martin first waving at me from ambulance… Was he ok or was he waving for assistance, a holding of the hand… After all last I saw him he was crying…

I sacrificed my chips and leapt to his need… #worried

Shouldn’t have been, sitting up joking with paramedic Laura holding his finger where she had stabbed him for a blood sample… #dramaqueen…

As I turned to continue my journey to snack van, Mandy appeared holding her wrist… Have you anything for a wasp sting? Only to be treated by the paramedics I had told I didn’t want to see again… (the ones at swim start)

I asked if they treated anyone else today for exhaustion, dehydration, bike crashes or any race related injury… No… Nada…

I then did a quick calculation…

Nearly 40% of attending ATC had to be treated by paramedics.

1 for a wasp sting and 1 for couldn’t be bothered to finish the race (I did check with Martin I could say that)

Confident Rob will finish, I enjoyed my chips (eventually) and left for home.

The drive back took me on the reverse of the bike route and I got to enjoy those hills from the comfort of my car and the contentment I had completed my first standard distance and I can now well and truly tick that box…

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