Posted: 06/09/2013 at 18:56
Run, 9 miles, 3hr 25
Luckily(!) I didn’t have to run for long as the path was so steep and rocky everyone was walking up it. At this point I realised I hadn’t really eaten enough on the bike (a bottle of energy drink hadn’t really cut it) and was feeling a bit weak and tearful. Still onwards and upwards, stopped every now and then for a breather and the view back down to the lake was stunning. I looked up and saw people clambering through a gap in some rocks, surely the summit was near….err no. Onwards, still couldn’t see the top, spoke to a lovely marshall wrapped up agains’t the elements “Am I near the summit?” “Oh no sweetheart you’ve got 2.4 miles to go”, “How far have I done already”, “About 2.2 miles” she then helpfully added “don’t look up to the top when you see it, it looks a long way but it isn’t really”. Great.
I finally made it to Red Tarn which I had seen on my OS map I had bought but didn’t actually know how to read. Turned left and oh dear it seems rock climbing was involved too! The wing was really strong and at times I had to crouch down to stop being knocked off balance. I really didn’t like this bit at all there were sheer drops either side and I was scared but there was only one way to go and that was up, so I gritted my teeth and pushed on. Finally I got to the top and shouted at another kind marshall to be heard above the wind “Am I here?” “Yes you are, isn’t the view lovely?” “No, it’s cold and blowing a gale”.
In theory this is where I should have made up time, as it was all downhill now. Except I can’t run down hills very well and ended up walking most of it. Had a little joke with another marshall as I shuffled and slipped my way down the hillside “Don’t tell me it’s just around the corner!!”, “It is love but its 3 miles round the corner” Grr and he was bloody right. I carried on barely overtaking people out walking until finally I could see the bottom!! Shuffled on, down the finish chute, no photographer as he had packed up. Waited for a huge medal to be placed round my neck only to find there wasn’t any (for anyone, not just me!) and that was it, I was done. Wasn’t first, wasn’t last but I’d completed one of the hardest triathlons in the country (apparently). Total time 7hrs.
I’d like to say I took it easy the next day but didn’t. I climbed up Hellvelyn again but this time the visibility was rubbish so I only got as far as Red Tarn before turning back which made me appreciate that despite the wind, conditions had been kind to us on race day.
Would I do it again? Probably not. Am I glad I did it? Oh yes!