Cold and soaked - the decision to ride to Clumber already had us fighting with 4 miles of 'small rain' by 7am - Rone and I arrived (damp and slightly miserable) at the rules tent. Had it not been for my Llyods Card and Tim's (long awaited) rant at the grumpy woman, we could have (and probably would have) just gone back to bed.
Having made it through transition 'set up' - which is arguably more complicated than the race itself (Don't actually ride your bike)- and had a soft warm jelly baby from Tim's backside pocket (I was THAT cold ok?!), we made our way to the start line...
Tim, who was even more stupid than us for choosing the Olympic distance was off first....then apart from a flash of his backside (zooming past me on the bike lap) and a couple of victory 'hand slaps' from Rone as we past on the runs, I came to realise I was alone...in a sea of nearly 1000 athletes...with only my mind to occupy me for the next 1:35:58.
5k (26:58) run was fine once I found my rhythm - the 20k ride (50:11) actually came as a nice 'rest' for the legs...for all of about 2 minutes that is - 'Tarmac Torture' was pretty tough going.
T2 was interesting...my legs felt pissed on Pernod and even Gold Olympic medalist James Cracknell looked like a newborn giraffe on Speed.
After all that, the final 2.5k 'run' (14:27) (although I would argue you actually shuffle backwards for the first km) was definitely, mentally the hardest part to push through, not to mention calves that were actually on fire. Eventually my head found my legs, all in time for a final 30m sprint finish: "This lady really wants it!!" shouted the gobshite sellotaped to the microphone... AND I really did - wanted to go home for a lay down that is!!
Smalley, Chrimbo and Andrea were diamond - plenty of crisps, chocolate, sweets and hot chocolate to undo all our efforts...well, we deserve to eat crap after all that I'd say!!
Anyway, here's to the next one - Rother Valley Tri anyone? Answers on a postcard... and that INCLUDES you time Chrimbo!!