Hey Len, I did the same one as you for my first triathlon I was surprised at the poor visibility in the pool- it was all wash and bubbles. The bike was pretty hilly for a beginner tri. But, it was seriously good fun.
I've recently done my first triathlon (pool swim, super sprint) and it's inspired me to 'step up' to a sprint. I'm about to start lessons, to improve my swim, with the aim of being ready to do an open water sprint in a few months. Two questions then;
1) What's the Thorpe Park triathlon like? I'm looking at the one in September. Are there any others I should look in this sort of area (I live near Guildford)?
2) Is there a way I can get a cheap wet suit? I would prefer to buy, but rental is ok. The only rental one's I've seen are fifty odd quid. I know it's for a season, but I would only really want it for the race for this year.
Oh man, your knees sound worse than mine. First things first, don't run if your knees are hurting you so much. The pain is telling you to stop! I would suggest trying a physio first, who can diagnose your problem and help you improve it. I would also suggest some gym work (weight training) to build up your strength and correct any weaknesses- again, the physio can advise.