Teesdale Triathlon, 22 Sept 2019

The format of this Triathlon is a 400m pool swim, 17 mile “undulating” (12 mile up hill, 5 mile back down) bike course and a 5km cross country run to finish it off. With having one of the faster swim times I was in the last 10 to set off and 2nd last female. This is a good way of sorting the swimmers into ability but rather demoralising when most men pass you and you’re the last one on the course, but that’s the way it is.

 So, after a rather average swim and first transition I started the bike course, with the hills starting more or less straight away you don’t get much recovery from the swim and it’s straight into it! After nearly all of the climbing was done and I was at one of the highest points in the course, the temperature suddenly dropped, it went dark and a full thunderstorm set in. With this being a rather chilly day anyway, in just a Tri suit I really struggled to generate any heat. In addition to this, it was just when I was starting my descent back towards the transition so couldn’t do anything to warm up either, made more scary with my hands being too cold and wet to work the brakes properly. After nearly falling off my bike at the dismount line I jogged into the transition area, visibly distressed as I was so cold. If it hadn’t been for a very nice man who spotted me and gave me his only, dry jacket to wear on the run, I don’t think I would have been able to continue.

On the run, the first mile is more or less just straight up hill, which I again struggled with as I was shaking uncontrollably and it was still heavily raining. Shortly after this I began to warm back up and start to run properly. After what seemed like a 10km rather than a 5km I finished, having just warmed up. The kind man was waiting at the finish line for his now soaking jacket, however without it I doubt I would have made it round the run! 

Somehow, through the near hypothermia and all round horrendous performance, I managed to come 2nd in the Junior Female category and this gave me enough points to come 2nd junior female in the Grand Prix for the North East!

Paige McLeod

Tim PhillipsTriathlon