Battle of The Somme :: Ruth Goddard :: 18th November 2016

ruthgoddard01On Friday the 18th of November I took part in The Battle of The Somme Challenge at Samphire Hoe.

6 hours to complete as many 3.8 mile loops.

This year marks the 100th year anniversary of one of the bloodiest battles in history, of which there were over 57 thousand casualties. The first day being on the 1st of July and the last on the 18th of November. We were reminded about this at the race briefing as some of the runners had completed the same challenge on the 1/7/16 and the time between, men had fought bravely for their country.

We all stood on the slope that leads out from the visitor centre at the nature reserve and listened to The Last Post and paid our respects. I was shaking due to the cold and I reminded myself of those heroic souls. I also looked up and saw Julie and Mandy in front of me amongst other faces from my running family.

The race began with the blowing of a trench whistle and we were off.

I toddled up the hill and was faced with an issue immediately. COWS. Now they all got a fright too and started cantering all over the place as multicoloured / fluorescent runners were closing in on them. I felt like cantering in the opposite direction and getting out of there!

I spent the first lap with Louise, who I know from Ashford Run England. We hadn’t seen each other for a while and we caught up on general chit chat as I de-layered. I looked up and hoped for a bit of cloud as I prefer it cooler. There was no wind so a lovely sunny start.

After the 1st lap I had some pigs in blankets pringles and went off for the second lap. This was an out and back and the wind started to pick up on my way back in.

By the third, the clouds were looming and I could no longer see Dungeness Power Station. I also saw lightning over France. For the following three laps it was a case of covering up as much as possible so only my eyes could be seen as we were treated to stabby rain in one direction and in the other, a cold wind on the back of my neck. Like I said earlier though, no complaining and my aim was to stay cheerful and smiley.

There were lots of high fives and the cows didn’t attack me so that made me enjoy it even more. I had a cup of tea on the way round on my penultimate lap and that was lovely jubbly. I enjoyed my last lap as the sun came out and I sang and felt proud of myself and everyone else that stuck it out in the rubbish weather.

Marathon distance done and dusted.

Member Profile :: Chris Sardo


With the dark months rapidly approaching, it’s time to reflect on the year’s racing.  Usually that means what we messed up and what to do to iron things out for next year.  Most of the time, little or no credit is given for what was accomplished.

But a little discussion at home recently brought to my attention that the last 15 months or so had really gone rather well for me regarding my sport/hobby.  Given my history of injuries and having been written off by the medics on more than one occasion, it was wonderful to enjoy this period with little more than a few temporary niggles.

In 2013, I competed as a GB age-grouper at Sprint distance at the European Champs (Turkey) and World Champs (London).  2014’s qualification for the Olympic distance at the Europeans, had to be surrendered weeks before the event due to injury which would last the whole season.  So last year my aim was GB qualification at other distances too.

1)     The first step on this new journey started in June ’15 at Grafham Water which hosted the English Middle (half iron) Distance National Championships.  This would be my first full race at this distance (an attempt at the ‘half’ some weeks earlier at Bala, Wales, was cancelled near the end of the bike leg when a competitor tragically lost his life).   The unloved swim was tempered by having 2 laps with swimmers leaving the water after lap 1, running a few yards and then re-entering for another lap.  Despite this, as usual, my bike looked very lonely in my Age Group section of transition!  A good bike leg in mostly heavy rain then followed before 21km of extreme back pain on the run.  My son Luca had come over from Bath to join me for the weekend and having him cheering the old man on during the run and transitions was just brilliant!  And having him with me when the results were announced – National AG champ!! – and the thoughts of how the medics had kept telling me “forget it; no more”, left me with more than a few little tears behind the cycling sunnies!  Although I had won my AG at a small number of events in the past, they were sprints/standards, not at Half Iron distance and certainly not at the National Champs!

chris-sardo82)   A month later, we were in Geneva in scorching 35deg heat to race the European Sprint Triathlon Championships which I had qualified for over a tricky course in the Peak District. We drove down and spent a few days in this lovely city.   As always, this was a noisy, colourful and cosmopolitan affair with much going on, loads of GB supporters, top elites (a chat with superstar Xavier Gomez!) and closed roads around Lake Geneva and through the city itself.

My result of 11th in AG (3rd out of about 18 GBs in AG) was similar to my previous European Sprint experience which left me a little frustrated although I thoroughly enjoyed the race, the venue and the whole experience.

3)       Early this year I was lucky enough to have my name pulled from ATC’s hat to win a place at the London Marathon.  A marathon was not ever something I had my eye on because of my ‘glass body’ and I was reluctant to risk all the triathlon ‘fun’ by tackling the training required to do well over 42km.  But now, with an entry to London on a plate, I couldn’t turn down that opportunity and I put my mind to training for this new experience. The aim was to do as well as I could….perhaps try for a ‘Good for Age’ result and not merely to finish it.  Oh, and to remain uninjured.

chris-sardo5Part of the build-up included the Headcorn Half followed some weeks later by the Lydd 20 miler, both in the company of several ATC clubmates.  This was the first time I had raced these distances too and both went exactly to plan at 1:37 and about 2:45.  All good so far.

An offer to join the A&D coach to the Greenwich start was greatly appreciated.  It was generous of them to open the coach up to ATC too and great for me to have the company and all the advice on offer from the experienced A&D folks on board (although at the time all I needed to know was where the loos were!!

Nothing could have prepared me for the atmosphere along that course.  42km of constant wall-to-wall noise.  Nowhere on the route was ‘quiet’.  Yet I’d been warned how ‘easy’ it is to get carried along by the cheering supporters from the off and then be overcooked by the time we get to the Cutty Sark.  On the other hand, my little brain kept reminding me of certain ‘jibes’ by some ATC mates about Sprint tris vs marathon and also about ambitious target times which the KE had printed in an article that week!

Childish I know, but I have to admit by the time I reached half way and was still consistently clocking 8min miles, I was being driven by the memory of the ‘jibes’ to continue at that pace!  As it turned out, after I had caught up to the 3h30 pacer at about 4kms, he would never be more than an arm’s length away and I was ecstatic  to complete my debut marathon in 3h29m, earning a ‘Good for Age’ place for 2017 by 15 minutes in the process. Everything had gone exactly to plan and all the body had held out.  Absolutely loved it; thank you ATC!

4)    A few weeks later, in early May, Luca again joined ‘the old man’ in Copenhagen, to race the European Long Distance DUATHLON Champs, my first duathlon as GB age-grouper.   We spent a few days in a waterfront apartment close to the start/finish/transition.  Like the ‘Grafman’ Nationals some months before, it was good to spend time together, and to have his help and support.  My focus on London marathon since January, however, meant some neglect of the swim/bike training and I wasn’t as prepared on the bike as I’d have liked to have been for this race.  So after a good first run, I had to work really hard on the bike to try to ride as I know I should, but this took its toll on the second run which was a frustrating and painful affair.  The final result was a 4th in AG and 1st GB home, the best I’ve achieved at European level. But again I was left frustrated knowing that had I cycled as I am capable of, it may well have been that elusive podium. Lesson learnt!

chris-sardo45)     Lisbon was the venue in June for the European Olympic Distance Triathlon Champs.  Lynn and I were joined by family of mine living in the Algarve who came up to help make some noise.   A swim in a protected harbour, followed by a 2-lap bike course on closed but exposed motorway and a packed and spectator-friendly 4-lap run along the promenade past bars and restaurants and a great indoor arena finish, made for both extremes: the most enjoyable weekend of Championship racing and fun to date, as well as the ‘worst’ European result! (15th in AG and about 5th GB).  Maybe too many Portuguese custard tarts with the family…..!?

6)   The final race of the season was what I’d been looking forward to the most.  Early September, and Lynn and I flew to Munich and drove across the border to Austria for a week amongst the mountains to race the European Middle Distance Triathlon Championships hosted by Challenge Walchsee.  A beautiful clear lake surrounded by magnificent Tyrol mountains and table-smooth roads made for a stunning venue and again we were blessed with brilliant sunshine on the day.  A couple of blokes in Austrian traditional gear (not cycling in those lederhosen!!) fired an ancient cannon on the lake shore to set off the elites, followed by a rolling start for all the Age Groupers. By now, the early morning mist had burnt off and the day was warming up to the point that I was fearing a non-wetsuit swim.  Over 1.9km without a wetsuit and I may still have been out there right now!  As it turned out, the swim in that crystal clear lake was a relaxed and controlled race on my part, so much so that I spent longer than most in there (as always!)

The bike was a magnificent, scenic and hilly 2 x 45km lap race which kept cyclists alert all the time….no boring mile after mile on the bars here!   Was also such fun taking back 24 places I’d lost in the swim.   The run, a gorgeous 4 x 5km laps around the Walchsee lake, was extremely difficult because of the high temperatures by then but mainly for me the old ‘back issues’ returning to haunt me. Despite this, I would haul in another 3 competitors by the time the red carpet appeared, to come in 10th in AG and 2nd GB home.  Only 2 GBs in top 10 and being one of those helped confirm my National win result from 2015, in my little insecure mind!

chris-sardo3Everything about the race went as well as I could’ve hoped for.  For me a solid result, an awesome setting, brilliant supporters, great organisation and racing over an exciting course….and all without technical incident.

We met so many folks there – competitors and supporters – everyone open, friendly and helpful, no matter which nation they represent……typical triathlon community.  Great to see folks from opposing nations helping each other during bike racking (“we can kick each other’s heads in during the swim tomorrow!!”).  Even our AirBnB host was a keen cyclist who insisted on proudly (justifiably!) showing us around the area and taking me for a recce of the bike course during the week before the race, despite not speaking a word of English (and you can guess the extent of my German, ja?!).  On race day, he was a volunteer at a bike drink station while his wife was lakeside on the run course, insanely jumping about each time I passed, ringing a huge cowbell and shouting out the ONE and ONLY word she could say in English (with the help of my name on my trisuit)…..”Sardo! Sardo!!”

So from June ‘15 to September ‘16, we’ve had GB representation at 4 different European Champs:  Middle Distance, Sprint and Olympic triathlon and long course Duathlon.  Also a National Championship triathlon win and a debut marathon at 3:29 in ATC colours.

chris-sardo2Some of these European results mean there is ‘automatic’ GB selection to the same European Champs (long distance duathlon & middle distance triathlon)for 2017, as well as London Marathon.  However, there are still decisions to be made about next year.

It took a month in hospital with a broken leg and other serious back/shoulder injuries following a hit & run while cycling, to get me started in triathlon 5 years ago.  That and the prognosis that has been dished out to me so often, makes me so thankful and blessed for every step I am able to take and enjoy.  I am so aware of how important our health is and how fragile our lives are.

I love the competitive racing, especially competing abroad and I love the welcoming and supportive triathlon community. We all have our personal stories to tell of our journeys and reasons for participating.  I am grateful to ATC and the support of the Captains’ Fund as well as the support and influence of several members personally and also extremely fortunate to have the absolute support of my biggest fan, my long-suffering wife Lynn.  Hopefully my little grandson, Joshua, will be inspired by Papa’s adventures to also get to understand the many joys and benefits that our sport and its community can bring, whether as a newbie or an elite or anywhere in between.

I feel extremely proud, honoured and humbled to wear GB colours and would love to wear them on a podium at a European Championships sometime. Maybe next year……!















Member Profile :: Craig Rawbone

craigrawboneI honestly thought I would never be able to do a triathlon.

In my early twenties my health took a bit of a spiral and it got to a point where any form of movement was extremely painful. Thanks to a very persistent Mum, I was eventually diagnosed with something called “Ankylosing Spondylitis”.

I started swimming as a direct consequence of my illness. Looking back I think swimming was something of a silver lining, at the time it was the only place I felt normal, it was also a massive outlet for me. Running initially was a no go, as at my worst I relied on the use of walking sticks and family members to help me get round. In regards to cycling, even before my illness I couldn’t ride a bike for any distance.

Fast forward a decade and a half, and my condition is fairly under control due to swimming, a self-help group and some new medication. I’ve been a member of the club for over a year now. I’ve learnt to ride a bike, although some members may disagree with that statement :-), and I’ve only got 17 more park runs to go before I reach 100.

I regularly attend the training sessions provided by the club which I find invaluable.

The first one I ever attended was something called the ‘The Blue Bell’ run. I find meeting new people can be a bit daunting; however, these concerns soon disappeared after meeting Paul and Adey. Paul was leading the training session and explained the course and what you had to do. During the training session I still vividly remember that everybody was making an effort to chat and introduce themselves. At the time I thought it spoke volumes for the club.

One of my concerns before joining the club was that everybody would be super fit, but it soon became apparent that the club catered for a wide range of abilities. From people attempting their first triathlon to those competing in ultra-marathons and Ironman events. Training sessions are well thought out to deal with the various abilities.

If you need to get confidence on the bike I can definitely recommend Alex’s brunch ride every month. He’s always there to offer help and advice and at the end of the ride you have the option of a cooked breakfast and an opportunity to socialise a bit more with other members of the club.

I also found the Go-Tri events the previous year were useful to gain confidence in open water swimming. The participant numbers are a lot less and they have canoeist in the water to help you out if you get into trouble. On my first attempt I made the mistake of not acclimatising correctly on entering the water. I then tried to swim like I was in the pool, a few minutes later I was holding onto a canoe struggling for breath. It then took me two more attempts before finally completing the 300 metre swim. I was grateful that the canoeists were there that day.

So last year I completed my first sprint tri and this year the aim was to complete the standard distance which I did at the Owler. Along the way I also did my first cycling sportive, standard distance duathlon and just completed my first 10k run. At each of these events there was always somebody from the Ashford Tri Club offering words of encouragement.

I’m now contemplating a half marathon in November.

Paul Barron :: Ashford Tri Club Head Coach

paulbarron2006: There was I, mooching around at the gym and having an occasional ride around the forest on my MTB ‘leisure bike’ when a gym instructor called Lee said:

“Do you fancy joining our group and doing a duathlon?”. I didn’t know what a duathlon was but my time at the gym had no purpose and the duathlon sounded ’fun’.

About 8 of us started the journey, training each week together and mid-week alone, the ‘training together’ bit dropped off as most of the group developed injuries (sound familiar?). Eventually only two of us reached the start line’, Lee and I trained together, raced together, finished together and, completely surprisingly and ‘SPECTACULARLY’, came first and second in our age group – smiling and gesticulating like Olympic heroes! On that day I saw my first triathlon and this is where my enthusiasm began to grow… I got the bug!

Shortly after the race I joined ATC, a great club and I became involved in the whole ‘club/teamy’ thing, however, I realised most club members were at different standards (in those days we had less than 50 members) so group training wasn’t always possible.

2007/2008: I entered my first couple of sprint triathlons and was extremely motivated when I entered my first ‘club championship’ at East Grinstead. The club was supportive and the event was magnificent. It was a big stage for me and I enjoyed every moment and crossed the finish line with a beaming smile.

2009/2011: I completed more duathlons, sportifs, runs and adventure races culminating in the ‘Forestman’ a long distance triathlon in the New Forest (I couldn’t bring myself to pay for the proper Ironman and this was much prettier with an off-road marathon). My finish line smile may have been a bit droopy but it was beaming inside.

2013: A couple of ATC members were considering ultra-running. I enjoyed the countryside and running so why not do a long one. With support from family and mates we spent almost a year in preparation and in June 2013 we set out on our journey, again with families and friends as Support Crew 103 miles from Wye village. About 24 hours later we kept bumping into sky blue shirts, inspiring us for the last 20 miles we met ATC runners, ATC cyclists and ATC supporters. We crossed the line in Wye village with around 50 ATC members, family and great mates cheering us on. I managed the smile too.

Along my journey: I was Men’s Captain for a couple of years, I became Chairman when the previous person moved away. Later I decided to concentrate on my development as a coach, leaving the committee work after about 5 years at the helm. Now, as Head Coach, I am proud to coordinate a super team of qualified coaches at ATC.

2017: I plan to ‘go long’ again. My personal journey continues. My family and friends will be with me and will support me; it will be a tough year and I will cross the finish lines grateful for their encouragement. I will finish my races with the same smile I always have because I enjoy my sport. It is a personal journey, however, it cannot happen without the support around me. Usually an individual sport, always a team effort.

Chilham Castle 5km, 10km and Duathlons :: Sunday 16th Oct 2016

swabbotts-chilhamOh my, what a wet day, but it was the muddy underfoot that made this race what it was. Trail run I was told but no, cross country which the occasional swim in the mud. I would say this has to be one of the most fun races I’ve ever done but I reckon it was running with Dora that made it was it was. The first race I’ve had solely with participants running with dogs. What could be better?

Joey Chasseaud took part in the standard 10km. Team Swabbott were out in tow of their canine team mates.

Ruth Merry and Iggy also took part in the Cani-X, “Wearing his medal with pride after his first 5km race. He stopped at every puddle and tried to make friends with quite a few dogs regardless of how much of a trip hazard that made him. Then he felt we had run enough by 4km and walked the rest. He was also perplexed by the duathletes who kept running behind him and would stop to watch them approach and then overtake us. I don’t think he’s very competitive.”

Event information can be found here



Amanda Magnabosco :: Winnie the Pooh Wander :: 15th October 2016


Two members of ATC took on the *Winnie the Pooh Wander* running challenge at Ashdown Forest, East Sussex – better known as the Hundred Acre Wood.

This race was a 6 hour, time over distance, trail running event on the hills, valleys and heathland.

Mandy Swinerd and Amanda Bashford set off early on Saturday morning to take on the figure of eight course, which offered views of many scenes from the Winnie the Pooh stories as well as some unexpected ‘undulations.’amandamagnabosco

The first loop of the figure of eight was well balanced with a downhill drag into a cluster of trees before breaking into an equally sharp uphill through an exposed field and then meandering around the edge of the main clump of trees. This half of the trail offered beautiful views over the Weald and returned to the main checkpoint before turning runners onto the back half of the course which was soft underfoot and gently rolling save a steady hill to the aid station.

For this race, the aid station was full of a variety of sweet and salty offerings with the added treat of honey-drizzled flapjacks in keeping with the Winnie the Pooh theme. Mandy completed 10 miles and is definitely going back for more next year. Amanda had a fun day on the trails and completed 32 miles, finishing 2nd Lady overall. She would absolutely run this course again.

Member Profile: Pete Heritage

pete_hAlthough I didn’t know it at the time, my journey towards triathlons started around 5 years ago. After years of working out in a gym, I decided to go for a run. It was only 3k, but it was so hard! I wasn’t anywhere near as fit as I thought.

After building up distance slowly but surely, I ran a marathon, plus multiple obstacle course races. Looking for another challenge, I bought a bike.

I was now enjoying running and cycling. I’d always liked the idea of triathlons, but it never seemed like an option because my swimming was so bad. Honestly, I was terrible. I needed to learn how to swim from scratch, but I was too intimidated to join a club.

Then two years ago, I finally plucked up the courage to go to one of the ATC Tuesday night coached swimming sessions at Ashford Girls School with a couple of mates.

I was introduced to Ruth, who would be my coach. She asked me to swim a length or two so she could see what she had to work with. I couldn’t even swim a length of the 20 metre pool. It was embarrassing.

But Ruth was amazing. She basically taught me how to swim, building a competent swimmer, piece by piece. All of the other coaches are brilliant too.

A few months later, I did my first triathlon. Then another, and another. I did six triathlons in my first year. It’s safe to say I’d caught the triathlon bug.

This club is so friendly and welcoming. It genuinely is suitable for everyone, regardless of experience, fitness or pace.

I realised this after taking part in the Owler half-Ironman distance triathlon. I’d had an absolute shocker. My swim was awful (it was a miracle that I was even swimming in open water!), and I had a nightmare on the bike. I’d had two punctures, and only one spare inner tube. Eventually a kind passerby gave me a spare tube, but I spent nearly all of the 56 mile ride in last place. It was a wet and miserable day. I was miserable too.

By the end of the race, I think I’d managed to get to third from last. As I entered the Julie Rose Stadium for the finish, it was a bleak sight. The organisers were packing up, the spectators were long gone. I’d pretty much decided to give up triathlons all together.

Then I heard my name being shouted over the PA system. I looked over to see who it was, and noticed that a group from ATC had waited behind for me. Bare in mind I hadn’t been with the club long, I’d never even had a conversation with most of these people. Yet they waited for a long time in the rain for me, just because I was one of them.

Genuinely, I’ll never forget that. What a great club.

This year I completed my first Ironman, which was one of the best experiences of my life. And it would never have been possible without ATC.

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…