Very Durty!

Looking out at the Loch on Saturday morning it could only be described as dreich. I was busy going over reasons in my head why I shouldn't do the race (24hrs the previous week was seeming like a good one) but finally decided that pulling out because it was a bit murky was probably more embarrassing than just getting on with it!! So, telling myself 'it's not mist, just my goggles steaming up because it's so warm', I got into the water as fast as possible and joined everyone else in their demented splashing and kicking efforts to keep warm.

The two laps of the course was nowhere near as bad as I'd thought and by the end I was quite enjoying it, though the timing chip on my ankle did feel ever so slightly like an octopus grabbing my leg...

I know all about drafting on bikes but I've never managed to do it in swim before so that was quite a nice experience to latch on to someone's feet and feel it all get a tiny bit easier. Unfortunately after 10min they obviously decided they were tired and switched to breast stroke with a VERY powerful kick in a slightly different direction to what I was anticipating. (Ouch).

As it turns out, the swim was neither wetter nor colder than any of the rest of the race and I only got kicked in the head twice, which is probably a lot better than many people faired on the bike ride. The organiser had described the course as 'marshy' - quite an optimistic description really. A marsh would have been better. It was all a bit 'puffer-esque' in fact, with front wheels planting in the bog right left and centre and bodies flying over the bikes like a human cannon show. I didn't have any bad falls myself, mainly cos I'd decided by that point that I wasn't 'racing' so went at a (happy) snails pace the whole way round. Someone has stolen my fast buttons so the pace was pretty much the same as the previous week's 24hr effort.

I was fairly pleased to catch up with some girls who were doing the short course and should have been at least 30min ahead of me. I think they were definitely traditional triathletes and were a bit shocked by the narrow ditches and bog. Off-road can mean different things to different people but I certainly enjoyed sliding down the hillside. I'd just replaced my rear brake pads so any slight braking at the back would see my back wheel locking up and trying to overtake the front - all very exciting!

I can't really remember too much about the run, it went along the Loch for a while then turned into a slimy, steep fire road that went on forever. Then glorious fast downhill to the finish which made it all worth it. That's definitely why I run.

The best thing I saw was someone had forgotten to bring their seatpost (how?) and taped a running shoe over where it should have gone, then proceeded to do the whole race out the saddle. Awesome!


Red Bike said…
Yet again, highly inspirational. I would love to have the fitness and the courage to do something like that.

Just how warm is the water?
(Not very I would imagine)
Elizabeth A said…
Water is much warmer than you think it will be, once you're in at least.

I honestly don't think it's about fitness, I just have a short attention span so always need a new challenge. I think it helps that I'm not too competitive either so I can usually just enjoy myself and not worry much if I'm last! Give it a try next year!

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