Sorry, that should actually be half an ironman. At least that’s what I hope I’ll be next year.
Online I mix with a right group of nutters and some of them did the Outlaw half ironman this year – as it’s local to me I went to watch it. And although the swim bit is way too short and there’s far too much cycling and running involved it seemed like a fun event and a challenge that I’d like to take on. But you know… one day… not now.
My priorities are and always will be my swimming goals, but I realise that they are actually quite a long way away and the lack of a more immediate ‘big’ goal has seen me drift since the 2swim4life swim.
It’s not just the recent heat that has made me become a bit listless. I had a bit of a reality check the other day and realised that I needed to have a challenge, to start training again (for my mental wellbeing as much as physical), and lose that bit of weight that has started creeping back on. So I pre-registered for next year’s Outlaw half ironman.
That doesn’t mean that I’ve committed to it, but after more conversations with the aforementioned nutters, it my own mind I have committed.
Of course I have some worries:
– That I am as rubbish at cycling and running as I fear
– That it’ll break me for future swimming
– That I’m just doing this to distract me from my current single status, but it will actually restrict me from ever being not single – you know: “That was a lovely date, when can we do it again?” “Well, I have a gap in my training schedule in 12 weeks time.”
– That real life and work reasons will get in the way and I’ll be undercooked by event time – I’m not sure I have enough time to do all the swim training I want to do
– That it’ll get addictively expensive – have you seen some of those tri bikes?
– That I’ll just be the rubbish fat bloke at the back of the field
I’m pretty sure the nutters will help me with some of these fears. I think a bit more training will help me to overcome some of the others and well, who knows.
So, when the email comes through for registration it looks like I’ll be signing up.
I may have mentioned that I’m a member of Team Bear – it’s a virtual Tri Club with members spread all over the country. As we’re virtual the support we offer (and lots and lots is offered) is usually over social media etc. Despite not having met each other (or possibly because of it) the team bond is very strong – in fact it a Team Bear member offered to support me in Guildford before we had ever met.
So when the chance came to support in person and to return the favour to other team members I jumped at the chance – especially when the event in question came through my village.
So that’s how my son and I found ourselves stood in the rain for about an hour and a half watching cyclists whizz past so quickly that we weren’t sure if they were team members or not – so they all got a cheer and a clap just in case.
What they were taking part in was the Outlaw Half Ironman event, organised by One Step Beyond, and in the end we managed to spot nearly all of the Team Bear entrants as they were wearing the ace team trisuits. And once we had cheered them all past we got into the car to join the rest of the cheering crew at the National Water Sports Centre in Nottingham – about 30 minutes away. Once there the Team Bear corner was easy to spot and hear – cowbells were the instrument of choice.
From our area we were able to see the runners twice each lap of their two lap half marathon (which was preceded by the 1.2 mile swim and 56 mile cycle ride). To see the combination of joy, pain, suffering, grit, determination and refusal to surrender was great – the competitors weren’t bad either!
Once we’d seen them all run past our vantage point we made our way round to the finish where the decibels increased and the emotions became even rawer. To see some of the people finish, often with kids joining them for the final ‘sprint’, and the look of joy and achievement on their faces was amazing.
I did a couple of sprint triathlons very badly last year and I’ve not really run since then, but the whole atmosphere on the day made me think, maybe… I’ve got more swimming goals to accomplish first, but once they’re done…
In the meantime, to read a proper blog post about the day, see Vikki’s here.