Tuesday, 10 June 2014

A weekend full of first's and an amazing weekend at that. Part 2 Sunday

'Sundays until recently were normally a day of rest and a catch up on TV programmes maybe a run now and again, but 4 weeks ago that changed and after this weekend I hope they never change again.

This Sunday was and will be for the foreseeable future Junior parkrunday and I sometimes look forward to it more than running on a normal parkrunday. It's pure fun in a disguised as a mass gathering of chaos, so many smiley faces before and even afterwards. It was SJ's turn as Run Director and she did a brilliant job we had volunteers coming out of our ears and 175 fabulous juniors giving it their all round our exciting course. Louise did the warm up again and she does it really well with music blaring and juniors jumping and waving. Then SJ did a great run brief and set the juniors off around Greenhead park in the glorious sunshine a complete opposite from the rain the day before. We are starting to get a nice regular team of volunteers and are starting to become more familiar with the juniors and their names. There is one thing that you don't take in to account when becoming an event director or run director is the amount of people who know you but you don't know them in return. As time goes by I'm sure we will get to know more and more and gain lots of friends in the process.

We had a lot of great performances again this week and we are always surprised by the number of fast juniors that return week on week to try and better their times or finishing positions. Matthew Burke decided to give his usual Saturday parkrun a miss this week to save his energy for the junior parkrun. This was so he could try and give it his all and improve his PB and beat it he did, so well done Matthew. Even among the juniors there is competitiveness between each other  but more importantly they're always trying to better themselves. Yet it is all done with complete honesty and friendliness, even helping each other too. Some with younger siblings will run back to find them and help them to complete the rest of the run together.
 We did have some slight issues but luckily none of the little problems affected the juniors runs or times. We had lots of PB's again and a few of them were helped by our first ever pacer Matthew Jack Potter who dressed up as a bunny and ran as a 10 min pacer. We had a couple of comments from parents that he helped their junior to a PB which was great to hear and will probably mean we have a pacer more often.

So with Junior parkrun done it was now time to head off home and prepare for the rest of the day, as I wasn't finished just yet. I had to be ready for 11.30 to meet up with my good friend Luke as we were taking part in our first Triathlon down at Scissett. It was a 400m Swim, followed by a 15km bike ride and then finished off with a 5km run. We were both really excited but Luke was more nervous than I was probably down to the fact I had been in more race/run events than Luke and was used to those pre-event butterflies. 

We arrived at 11.45 with plenty of time until our start times, Luke had put down a silly time for his swim so was setting off a whole hour before me so I was in for a wait. I also knew a few other people who were taking part in the triathlon all mainly from parkrun. Mr Ian Rutson of the parkrun show fame and Pontefract parkrun event director, and Rich Mcloed a fellow Huddersfield parkrun member and an amazing all round athlete.

Luke and I arrived and propped our bikes up and whilst Luke went to register and hear the event brief I said hello to Ian. He seemed really relaxed about the event but was a little confused about the layout of the transition area, he said it was a bit more complicated compared to last years. Ian was the first of us to start at 12.45 with Luke going at 13.00, me at 14.00 and Rich going off at 14.30. As this was Luke's and my first triathlon we had no real idea about what to do but we seemed to fit in pretty quickly with the set up. Luke parked his bike in the transition area and then I went to register whilst he got change into his triathlon suit then once I had parked my bike I did the same. It wasn't long before Luke was due in the pool so waited in the reception area and I took the opportunity to go upstairs and see Ian doing his swim. He looked like he was going well and was soon off out of the pool and on to his bike, which meant it was Luke's turn in the pool.

After Luke had done his swim and was off on his bike I was left with an long wait till it was my turn but as it was such a lovely day I just hung about outside watching the triathletes on their bikes and catching some rays. Just before Luke was due back from his bike ride section SJ and the boys turned up to support us and it was nice to see them before I had to get in the pool. I missed Luke's transition as I was pool side ready to start my swim, I was in lane 2 with just one other guy which was nice not to have too much pressure from other swimmers as some lanes had 4/5. Whilst waiting to go I could hear the boys and SJ on the balcony above me cheering which was an awesome feeling.

The whistle went and I was off swimming front crawl at a nice steady pace but before long I had to change to breast stroke as I just couldn't comfortably get a good breathing rhythm. Luckily my pace didn't slow too much and after 10 mins I was off towards transition and my bike.

Once on my bike and on the main road I put my foot down and was soon at the first corner and on my way up the hill towards Emley and the Emley mast. There are 2 steep sections of the 6km climb and on the flatter sections I tried to push it as much as I could. I did get overtaken by about 6 riders on proper road bikes and a couple on olympic style time trial bikes funnily enough they were part of the GB triathlon team, so didn't mind getting overtaken by them. Once at the top I pushed once again and even managed to overtake someone who had passed me earlier, that was a nice feeling. From here it was pretty much all downhill to the end and I tried to push hard to the transition area. About halfway down there was a photographer and he took a photo of me looking like I was on a gentle bike ride and all I was missing was my shopping basket on the front but I promise you I was going fast.

Once I was back at the swimming baths I quickly put my bike back and got on my way round the 5k run

I took me about 500m to get my calfs working properly after the bike ride but once they were going again I found the run ok. It was another uphill route all the way to Skelmanthorpe and then a nice steady downhill all the way to the finish. You finished the run on the same roads as the bike so I passed the same photographer as before so this time I tried to give a pose but looked more like I was dying rather than having fun

Once I was back down on the flat on the final stretch to the finish I dug in deep and keep going all the way to the line and where the final chip mat is. The final mat was rather thin so when the guy behind me tried to do a sprint finish to beat me on the line he missed the mats and had to double back to stop the time on his chip. A bit of a fail on his part but I liked his determination to get to me before the line, maybe next time. Well that was it I had finished my first triathlon and I was so pumped that it kind of felt like it wasn't long enough and I was up for going round again, I had a really amazing time and experience and I was really pleased with my time. I finished my first triathlon in 1hr14m25s and I know I could do better too, maybe next year.

The set up of the event was great and rather than a race it felt more like a competitive time trial, there was always someone to chase and someone chasing you which kept you pushing all the way. 

For all of you who are wondering how Luke, Ian and Rich did, well they all did pretty amazingly.
Ian knocked 3 mins off his time from last year completing it this year in 1hr18min12s

Luke finished his first Triathlon in a fabulous time of 1hr12min16s

I finished in 1hr14min25s as you know

And Rich did it in an amazing 1hr02min41s

Well done everyone who took part and usually at this point I say keep running everyone but this time I will say

Keep swimming, biking, and running everyone.

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