I’m currently sat in a lovely cafe in Keswick having a nice coffee and a leisurely lunch. Eight hours ago I was just getting up. Yep, at 4am ish we got up, forced some breakfast down and headed out from our lovely accommodation for the night (thanks Sue & Colin). Jac, The Short One and I headed into Keswick and the start line for Lakesman 2018!
With around 700 competitors doing the full and half Ironman distances this morning the Theatre by the Lake car park was tense with nervous excitement and anticipation. It was genuinely lovely to see so many people down there. Athletes, spectators and the vast event team all willing to get up so early on a Sunday morning!
After yesterday’s relaxed registration, bike racking and watching a bunch of men (and a few ladies) run round in some very small pants it was great to finally be getting on with it. The Short One was a little shaky, nervous about her long ride later but also feeling a bit odd that she wasn’t doing the swim to start!
We swam at 6am. Around 300 of us setting off in the water at once. My only slight worry about the event was the start line. That’s a LOT of swimmers setting off at once. I had envisaged being swum over and kicked in the face. I have friends who’ve come out of swims with bleeding noses. I’d sharpened my elbows in preparation! I needn’t have worried. With the small bay by the boat launch to spread out over all was fine. There was the odd touch and awareness that swimmers were nearby but it was nowhere near as frantic as other, smaller swim events I’ve been to.
I made it round in 1 hour 20 minutes. Pretty much exactly what I thought I’d do. Not being an exercise statistics junkie I don’t analyse my speed and pace when I’m swimming. I have a good idea of what my pace might be but it always varies depending on my mood. So my guess was a bit of a stab in the dark, particularly given that I abandoned any training three weeks ago when my chest got bad. So I’m happy. I made it round, didn’t get kicked in the head and wasn’t at the back – that’s a win for me!
The hardest part of my part was the run back up to transition to pass the baton that is our team timing chip to the Short One. I was wheezing by the time I found her in transition, waiting & cheering with her bike. And off she went for roughly seven hours in the saddle, blasting round the Cumbrian coastline.
I’ve been back to our accommodation for a shower and a well earned bacon sarnie. Now I just need to wait for the Short One to get back in and wave Aidan off on his run.
We owe Aidan a lot! Not only did he step in at short notice, his parents have put us up for the night and his run is tedious to say the least. Five laps of a slightly convoluted route around Keswick. The only good thing is we’ll be able find him and do lots of cheering!
And so now I’m heading back to the start to wait for the Short One to get back in.