Get in training for your first Triathlon
Here's the recent article published in The Creak about the West Wight Triathlon:
What sort of image does the word "triathlon" sum up to you?.....perhaps incredibly fit (and probably a bit bonkers!) super humans, sweating and toiling for hours wearing nothing but a piece of revealing lycra? ...or perhaps you thought of the West Wight Triathlon? You would have found one or two of the aforementioned nutters, but the majority of the participants were just "normal" people!
Now in its 6th year, the West Wight Triathlon was set up by West Wight Sports Centre as an event that would be fun (no really!), friendly and a realistic challenge for a person of average fitness.
This year's event on September 14th was the most successful ever. Of the 201 competitors, there were 51 first time triathletes. This was an amazing statistic for the organisers, whose goal was always to appeal to people who had perhaps watched those lycra-clad loonies with awe, but never really felt confident enough to actually go out and do it for themselves. With 25% of the participants doing their first triathlon this year, it safe to say that the goal has been reached.
It's a scary concept - there's so much to think about when it's your first tri. What do you wear? Do you change out of your swimsuit in the transition area before getting on your bike? What indeed, is a "transition area"? Will I be last? What if I get a puncture?...and thatâ€™s just a few of the questions going through your head, never mind the fact that you're just about to swim 600 metres, cycle 35 kilometres and then run 7.5 km - one after the other - without a rest in between! But the team of volunteers, marshals and helpers did a great job of putting everybody at ease with a friendly team handling the registration process and a lot of laughs from the commentator. And as competitors went round the course, they found the marshals had all been briefed and were shouting their names as they passed.
But the personal satisfaction achieved by putting in the training and completing the event takes some beating - and it does feel really good to say "I've done a triathlon"!
Having said all that, it is a competitive event and there were some spectacular prizes created by Paul Critchley of Diamond Isle Sculptured Glass to be won. First woman this year was Nina French from Brighstone in a time of 1 hour 51 minutes and first man was Dave Woodgate from Salisbury in 1 hour 32. These are serious athletes â€“ the majority of competitors finished in around 2 to 3 hours.
There was a team event as well - you could enter as a team of either two or three people. Winners for the 4th year in a row were "Two men and Daisy" comprising of Daisy Grundy on the swim, Martin Piper on the bike and Paul Cameron on the run. If there had been a prize for "best team name" it would have gone to "Gin'll fix it".
If you're one of those tempted to go out and have a go at something a bit challenging, but need a friendly face and a bit of encouragement, then the West Wight Triathlon is most definitely the one for you. Go to www.westwight.co.uk to find out more. The date for next year hasn't been set yet, but it will be sometime in early September - so start training now! And if you want a bit of advice on how to get started with a triathlon, then use this form to get in contact with Clare.