Fernwood All Girls Triathlon–Darwin

So, a couple of weeks ago, I did my first (very mini) triathlon.  It all started when I had to go to the NT for work.  Anna, a friend and colleague said to me, “A few friends and I are doing a mini-triathlon – are you interested”?  In typical style, I said “yes” forgetting that I’d sprained my ankle so hadn’t run in nearly 6 weeks, and probably hadn’t swum a lap of a pool in close to 4 years – and this was 4 weeks out from the event.  Oh, and did I mention that since it was in Darwin, that I wouldn’t have a bike?

But the distances seemed reasonable (a 250 m swim, 10 km ride and 2.5 km run) so I thought I’d give it a go.

So, Sat afternoon we turned up at the race briefing.  It all seemed very official, with technical officials, overhead photos and briefings.  We did all feel a bit better when the race director said, ‘hey, if you get into difficulties on the swim, just stand up’ and ‘don’t worry, we probably have more volunteers than competitors’.

I had a quick lesson on how to do a transition in the carpark (step on towel, helmet on,  step into shoes and NO SOCKS) and had a little practice.  It’s amazing how hard these simple acts can be when you are in a rush.

The next morning was an early start.  We had to leave by 6.30am to get to the race site, and get organised.  Getting organised meant firstly getting body marked (a fancy term for having someone draw large numbers in permanent marker on various limbs), getting your bike racked (in my case a borrowed bike) setting up your gear for transition and getting your beautiful pink swimming cap on.  Then it was a stroll down to the lake to the race start.

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The race was started in two waves, so that it wouldn’t be too congested.  I found the swim pretty entertaining.  I’ve never swum in such a big pack before.  There were arms, legs and bodies going everywhere, and I’m surprised people didn’t lose teeth!  I think I swum over the top of someone, but anyhow.  The hardest part I found in the swim was trying to swim in a straight line.  You forget how easy it is to swim in a straight line when there’s a black line on the bottom of the pool.  In a lake, it’s a fair bit harder.

Coming out of the swim, it was a short toddle to transition.  Here I found my bike (I tied a pipe cleaner to it so I’d know it was the one I was supposed to be riding), did the funky transition bit, and was off on the ride.  The riding was the easy bit.  It was 2 laps of a mostly flat course, with two markers to turn around.  The only problem with the ride was that there were a few speed humps to negotiate – not a problem to get over, but a bit of a pain for your cadence.  There were all sorts of bikes out, not just roadies (in fact they were probably in the minority).  Hybrids, mountain bikes, even the odd beach cruiser went out for a lap.

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Then came the dreaded run.  I was surprised that I was a bit tired getting off the bike.  I guess the accumulation of a swim and a ride, (not to mention the Clare Bowditch concert the night before), probably added up.  Anyhow, I survived!

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Thanks to everyone for a great event!

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