Race Report: Henley Triathlon | Eclectic Cake: Race Report: Henley Triathlon

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Race Report: Henley Triathlon

RACE:  UK Tri Super-Sprint Triathlon
DESCRIPTION:  200m pool swim - 12.5k cycle - 2.5k run
LOCATION:  Henley-on-Thames
DATE:  23rd June

"Never again, never again. Just this once, never again..." This was my mantra through the cycle of my first, and seemingly last, triathlon. 

The swim had already felt horrendous and that was meant to be my strongest section! With only eight laps of the pool to do, I decided to shoot off but after just 50 metres it all seemed too hard. My technique had gone out the window and I was just splashing around. To make it worse I got lost! We had to swim up and down each of the four lanes, cross over and swim in the next. For speed I thought it would be good to swim directly under the lane divide but I didn't quite make it under and head butted it instead. I never thought I'd look forward to jumping on my bike so much!

Initially, the bike felt amazing! I was so grateful to be whizzing around on a road bike rather than my heavy mountain bike. But soon the 'flat' course turned pretty hilly and it dawned on me that there was a final hill to climb before having to run!!! Why on earth was I doing this?! That's when I decided that this would be my first and last triathlon.

Until I heard a bell. 

That same bell had been ringing as I set off on my bike - it signalled that I'd almost finished the cycle loop! Over two thirds of the race done. That sound dragged me up the hill, past those that were resigned to walking up it and past the woman making that glorious noise. After declaring my love to her, I jumped off my bike and intended to run it into the transition area. My legs buckled! I settled for stumbling towards my kit whilst leaning on my bike. I shook my legs out, gulped some water and forced myself onto the run course.

I ran through my Bambi legs and managed to set a fairly good pace, finally overtaking the person I'd been chasing! That gave me a boost and kept my tired legs moving. One lap down and I could hear that pesky inner voice suggesting I should walk. I stamped it out on the track and kept going. Even in view of the finish line, there was no fuel in the tank to sprint. But I'd made it, I WAS A TRIATHLETE!!!

Not only had I finished it but I'd smashed my two goals! I hoped to finish in the top 10 of the 23 in my race, I was 8th! And I aimed to complete the race in under an hour, my time was 56:46!

Now all that was left to do was cheer on my husband to the finish line in his race. He finally emerged from T2 with a brilliant pace which he kept up for the whole run. I dotted around the course cheering him on, running alongside him when I could. Until he spotted the finish line 200 metres ahead and he zoomed off for a sprint finish! He came in last place by a matter of seconds but as the only one in his wave with a slow mountain bike I think he did an amazing job and certainly earnt some rest!

I am now well and truely hooked! It took just three days before I started looking for my next triathlon! Never again, my arse!


  1. Never again. Until next time.

    Great race report. I was just down the road at Marlow tri on the same day. Well done.

  2. Exactly! I'm scouting out races but it seems I may miss most of them, so I'm planning a full attack next year. Only super-sprint or sprint, mind. A massive well done you! ***Ironman***