So I’d done what I came for, what I’d spent this entire year’s free time, my focus, diet, time, money, everything on…and my hope.
After stretching out, I headed back into the transition area and prepared everything for if I decided to do the second race, in the afternoon. I was able to shuffle the bike along a bit so I could hand the wetsuit to dry without it dripping on the next bike. I felt so proud and grateful to those who supported me; I just needed to prepare, rest, try to eat and then see how I felt about doing the afternoon’s race.
Remembering ever-so-gratefully that I was told at the last minute that I’d have to check out of the hotel after the morning race and before the second one, I decided to quickly take the most direct route and get it done.
Reaching the end of the transition lane, I turned towards the hotel and all at the same time two stewards called out to me and I heard electronic beeping next to me. My timing chip was still on my ankle and I’d set off the sensors at the end of the transition area!
While everyone else was maybe enjoying a nice lunch and stroll around the athletes’ village, I was rushing to check out and to find my room key which was in my now-missing trousers. A few trips backwards and forwards across the site while snacking on small shortbread-type bars and I finally found that when I’d taken them off to take photos in my race suit for my sponsors, they’d slid into the side pocket of my Scicon Aerocomfort 2.0 TSA bike bag instead of the main one, which is why I couldn’t see them the first couple of times I glanced inside the bag!
While going through all this I took a quick photo of someone’s cars that they’d inconsiderately left parked in the middle of the grass right by the finish line, just in case they went away before a traffic warden showed up…
It was now fifteen minutes to the second race, and with the words of my friend and training pal Rob ringing in my ears to the effect that it would be insane and as good as having done nothing at all if I didn’t do both races, plus remembering the many handshakes and words of support from all quarters I’d had as I met people since the morning race who had heard my back-story, I decided in a second to stop thinking and just get on with it.
I headed back to transition to grab my not-quite-dry swim gear, and was grateful that this Zoot Zenith 2.0 wetsuit is so great that even if I didn’t have time to put on any Sport Luub it didn’t matter. Trotting out of transition towards the swim start, I turned sharply around, trotted back, put my sunglasses in the helmet and put sweets on my shoes, no gels, to ensure I loaded them in my pockets, checked the drinks were the right way around, and headed across to the swim start, hoping that the stones wouldn’t cut my feet and mess things up for me.
Next up…Race Report part four: My second-ever triathlon!