Three from MBH took on the challenge of the Perranporth Surf Triathlon, me (Nick Brooks), Shay Bowen and Paul Hooper. Half mile surf swim, 24 mile hilly bike, 4 mile beach/cliff run. The event slogan ?are you tough enough?? ?..were we?
Arrived at 8.30am to a very busy car park and registration area, it was pretty breezy and the sun was shining. Shay and I took a look at the surf which brought a smile to our face?s?..Paul wasn?t looking so happy!
We were all racked up and ready to go by 9.30. Briefing at 9.45, Start at 10. The PA system was excellent keeping everyone informed before the event briefing. A few funnies thrown in and comments about the sea conditions?.?pool swimmers are reminded that this is a surf swim??raise your arm if in trouble, the RNLI will come to your aid??you won’t drown!!!? Shay and I were loving it!! Then our worse fears from the PA?.?due to the surf conditions the swim will be shorter than usual? ?WHAT??!!! It?s a surf swim for goodness sake!!! Paul smiled and I made my usual comments?it’s too windy and hilly for a decent bike ride and the cliff is far too steep for a decent run, and it’s on sand, how about shortening them???.no chance!!
The air-horn sounded just after 10am and approx 300 charged into the sea. It certainly was tough bashing out to the first yellow bouy, (that you lost sight of when in the troughs) 4ft breakers at times if you were unlucky which had enough power to keep you under for longer than you could hold your breath. Once you cleared the break and rounded the bouy it was a lot easier swim but you had the out going tide and rips to contend with. Once around the second marker we headed for the beach and another fight with the white stuff!! You exit the sea and then it?s a 800m run to the relative calm of T1 after gagging for breath for 20mins!! (Dave Bartlett blitzed the swim and lead from start to finish). Shay entered T1 in the 20?s me in the 30?s and Paul?..dunno, but after his third experience of Mother Nature smashing him up, he considered raising his arm and await the rescue service, but no, he remembered the slogan and toughed it out. I?ve heard that 11 pool swimmers were dragged out!!
Out of T1 and onto the bike and up St Georges Hill!! Its so steep, and with legs like jelly it’s my worse nightmare!! I was pleased to get to the top and then deflated when a spectator shouts ?Come on Brooksy, look as if you?re trying!!? (Thanks Charlotte Hurst). Things went ok from then on, even the second grunt up St Georges was more pleasant and no barracking!!
The crowds of supporters at the bottom of the hill certainly spurred you on!!
T2 approaching and commenced the newly found skill of removing feet from bike shoes when on the move. Got my right foot out but failed with the left so it was a one shoe on, one shoe off run into T2!! Saw Shay’s bike for the first time since leaving T1.
Next it was out onto the run, a paddle through the river 100m into the run provided enough moisture to give uncomfortable feet and then across the beach to the bottom of the cliff, passing the Watering Hole on your right hand side. The smell of coffee and cooked breakfast made me think?..why am I doing this?? The steep shale cliff path is another energy sapping leg but once you are at the top you know it?s only 3 miles of wet, but firm, sand to the finish. It was a head wind out to the turn, but once around, it was wind behind, great, but the sun was right in your face and it became very hot for the last mile. The crowds had now moved from the town to the finish creating a great atmosphere to welcome home those that were tough enough!!
Paul 2 27.58