Monday, February 06, 2006

Women's triathlon

Yesterday morning was the Palmerston North She Women’s Triathlon - I am writing this at 7.55am Monday and this time yesterday I was half way through my swimming leg!

The forecast was for a bit of a southerly and some rain. The first thing I did when the alarm went off was to dive to the window and check outside. The road was dry and it was dead calm. Long may it continue I hoped! As it turned out, it did. The cycle ride took place, very unusually for Palmerston North lately, in dead calm conditions.

I was in Wave 51. Things kicked off promptly at 7am. What I enjoyed with a slightly later wave was watching everyone else in the pool. There were a few fast swimmers, but there were also some really slow ones who just plodded their own way on. Made me feel OK that I am such a slow swimmer – I will never panic about it again! (There were also a few non-swimmers who need to learn a few lane courtesies like not sticking together and blocking the lane for swimmers who want to come through.) I seemed to do the first length a bit faster this year: I had gone under the lane ropes into the second lane before the hordes from the next wave were upon us!

The hardest bit I found of the whole triathlon was actually the transition between swimming and cycling. My legs felt quite jelly-like and the distance seemed long to reach my bicycle! But they had good mats down over the gravel bit this year so it didn’t hurt the feet.

I headed off on the cycle ride and thoroughly enjoyed it. It seemed that I had finished the first circuit almost without realising I had begun. Second circuit and it was still calm. Reached the turn at the furthest point and gave a yeehahhh as I turned for home.

My muscles didn’t feel quite as relaxed as last year on the walk, but I still did it ok. Loved the bit beside the river with the sun sparkling on the water. Seemed no time really before I was back on Ongley Park and in the home stretch. Thanks to the man who put my finisher’s medal on. I proudly wore it. I kept wearing it on the way home. When I passed a ‘gypsy fair’ I called in and wore it there – quite out of context! I wore it into the supermarket. And I am going to wear it at morning tea tomorrow at school!

As with the two other years I have taken part, the marshals were superb. Thanks to the guy at the start of the bike section who told me “good to go”. He will never know how encouraging those simple words were. Thanks to all those who stood out on points along the road with the cones to make sure we managed turns and intersections safely. Thanks to the encouraging people along the Esplanade trail. And special thanks to the man giving out the medals who made me feel like I was the only one he gave it to!

I finished the triathlon one minute faster than last year. Not a lot, but hey, I am pleased!!

I sat with a family from school while they gave out the spot prizes and that was lovely. One woman missed out on the bed because she wasn’t there. (Her friends were though, so she is going to hear about it.) The elderly (76 year old) woman from Milson who is an encouragement to us all as she cycles around town, won one of the new bicycles on offer. A very popular prize. I hope I am still cycling when I am her age if I am still around.

Another great morning was had by all.
PS As I sat at the prizegiving at the end, I realised that in exactly six weeks time I would be arriving at Auckland airport, ready for my flight to Singapore!


  1. Congratulations on completing the Triathlon, and in a Personal Best time (even if only by a minute :-)
    Now you can look forward to Europe. Will you be able to keep the blog going (e.g. in internet cafés) while you are away?

  2. Yes, that is really the reason I set this blog up, for my travels. I will mostly send fairly short e-mails to family and friends. I think most people will only want a vague idea of where I am, and to know that I am safe. Anyone who wants the full 'gen' will be able to go to my blog to get it.
    I suppose 'how much' I write will vary with ease of internet access. Once I start cycling and going by more rural roads, my postings might not be quite so regular. We'll see!