The Gauntlet Half Iron Triathlon: I CAN DO ANYTHING (except fix a puncture)

If you’ve ever thought about doing a triathlon, go right now and sign up to one. Believe me: it may just be the best thing you’ve done. Triathlons are exhilarating, exciting and so ridiculously much fun – even when they go wrong. My half-iron yesterday proved to me why people can get obsessed with this three-sport thing. Although it the training takes over every spare minute your life, it is all entirely worth it for the race-day feeling. Getting out there and smashing through a swim, a cycle and a run is worth every early morning, every late night and every aching muscle.

My race went spectacularly well. I was so nervous heading into the race that my expectations were low, and every one of them was blown out of the water. I felt strong and comfortable in the swim, and didn’t get phased by the too-muddy-to-see first and last 100m of both laps. I cycled faster and with more confidence than I have on any training ride, and finished it all off with a blazing fast run which left the people I overtook saying “jeez, she’s fast!”. My nutrition was spot on, and I felt like I had all the energy I needed throughout the day. Every minute I surprised myself by still feeling strong, still keeping on going, and generally just bossing it the entire way around.

However, it also went spectacularly wrong. 118.9km leaves a lot of time for mistakes, and my big one was not bringing a spare inner tube on the ride. I ended up getting a puncture at ~55km into the bike ride, and lost 40min waiting for a mechanic to save me. Then at ~75km I got another one, and this time was rescued by a kind man named Barry who generously gave me his spare inner and swapped the ruined one out. I thought several times that I would be ending up with my first DNF, and it was only thanks to the generosity and helpfulness of all these wonderful people that I made it to the end.

I can’t wait to do another half Ironman. But first I really need to learn to fix a puncture…

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