Your hands shake as you pull on your swim cap and make your way slowly to the start. You walk past other people with the same shakey hands, as well as hardened pros who look like they've been doing this their whole lives. "Maybe they have. Maybe they were triathlete babies" you think to yourself as you try to psych yourself up for the open water swim, easily the most intimidating type of swim ever known to man.
When you throw yourself into the water and start swimming though, your nerves start to disappear. The rhythmical pace helps you focus as you wind down the metres, one stroke at a time. Now just for the bike and run.
With Midlands Ultra coming up, newbies, pros and old-timers will all be competing for podiums and pride. Here’s five thoughts that every triathlete has had on race day.
“Why is there so much STUFF to pack? Maybe I should just be a runner instead”
There’s wetsuits, tri-suits, running shoes, bike shoes, goggles, swimming caps, socks, energy sachets, race numbers, helmets…sooo much stuff. The struggle of packing then rechecking your bag at least 6 times is real for triathletes.
Race day, no biggie. I got this”
“I got this” you say to yourself as you warm up distractedly, swinging your arms in big circles, stretching, jogging on the spot. “I can do this….I’ve trained hard.” Rinse and repeat until you think you’ve truly got this.
“Nevermind, I don’t got this”
This thought comes to almost all triathletes at some part during the race. For newbies, perhaps its your first competitive open water swim where the hundreds of other athletes all just seem so calm and collected. Or maybe it’s halfway through the run where you’re so tired you could happily just call it quits right there. Oorrr maybe it’s when the below situation happens:
"Did that 15 year old just..? Yep, he/she just passed me. It’s ok, I’m doing it for the fun of it.”
There’s something a little bit embarrassing about being overtaken by someone half your age and half your size. Granted, they’re probably triathlon prodigies, but even so. You can tell yourself it’s all about the taking part, but you still feel a twinge of envy as the super kids shoot past you.
“I’m going to eat the biggest pizza after this is done”
After all, there’s got to be sufficient reward for all that effort! And a triathlon definitely merits a pizza or burger. Or three.