“Sixteen Tons and what do you get? Another day older and deeper in debt” – Tennessee Ernie Ford
OK, it’s a Triathlon not a shift in a coal mine, but the speed with which they seem to come round again is making me feel like a prisoner in an Escher drawing, plodding endlessly onward in a closed loop. Time for a change perhaps? Not just yet though, for it’s Hayle Sprint time once more!
The day begins at 05:44 when my eyes open one minute before the alarm goes off. That’s my special “Heroes” style talent – pre-alarm wakefullness (though I think my brain is safe from the malign attentions of Sylar for now). It’s number one daughter’s 23rd birthday today, so T3 (run -> home) has to be as short as possible, so that we can go somewhere nice for lunch. Mindful of this, I decide to put a little more effort into not doing a crap swim, as i’m generally OK on bike and run. This resolve is tested as soon as the hooter goes, and Copperhouse Pool starts to boil with the kinetic energy of nigh on two hundred souls, all determined that no one is gonna kick their goggles into touch. I do my best to stay on course, but an early sight check reveals a rubbery shoal some metres off my port bow *sigh*.
Adrenalin is a wonderful thing. If someone’s trying to kill you, it can temporarily grant you the leg speed of Ronnie James or the brawling skill of Chuck Norris, depending on whether “flight” or “fight” mode is engaged. In a Triathlon swim, it’s no help at all (well, not to me anyway) – it just floods your body with pure nervous energy for which there is no useful outlet. I seem to spend most of my time thinking “I really should be trying to get my heart rate down a bit” whilst flailing through the water and gasping for air.
Happily, this purgatory comes to an end (after about 17 mins), and I get the satisfaction of overhauling all the men and women from Atlantis (they of webbed foot and gill) who can’t ride a bike too well. After a cagier than usual descent of the hill down to Relubbus (wet roads y’see), I catch and pass one of the “wide shouldered brigade” on the way up Tregembo Hill. He’s riding a hybrid with a rack and mudguards on it! “You’re one hell of a swimmer pal”, I gasp as I grind past. More scalps are taken on the fast run in down to the foundry roundabout, including Brooksy, just before Philps. Pretty soon my bike shoes are exchanged for my manky trainers, and Neddie and Luggy are among the spectators who give me a cheer as I give it some out onto the road. I catch Mike Penberthy of Tri-Logic at almost the same point as I did on the Standard last month. “Touch of deja-vu, Mike?”, I venture, before starting to winch up the hill to the holiday park. Phil Sanger is here, camera in hand, so a snap or two may yet materialise to illustrate the pain and suffering of the Mighty Bay Massiv, ayyyyyy!
On the run in, I spot one of our Wednesday night sea swim regulars – sadly, she’s playing for the other team… Tri-Logic, that is! I step on it and pass her and another guy who’s taking it much too easy. My watch says 1:14:55 as I cross the line, and Mark Worledge’s grin says “no fourth team place for you (or 5th, or 6th!). I have to skedaddle, so I don’t know yet how we did on the team prize, though North Devon were looking likely winners. Kyle Kearey must be in the medals overall, so not a bad day for the Bay.
Thanks once again to Cris and Karen and their Black Sheep chums for a well organised and marshalled event. I’ll probably be back next year unless I can break out of this mobius loop…
Don “AikenDrum” H