Posted: 23/09/2015 at 11:30
ok, a report for the Brutal full distance triathlon...
After managing to mis-read the bus timetable to get me to Llanberis on the Friday I arrived slightly later than planned, registered and had my mountain bag checked. I then set off up the hill to Dinorwic (where we have a house we're renovating) to pick up my bike and check I really did have all my kit before taking my bike back down to Llanberis to rack it before the compulsory race briefing at 7pm. Transition consisted of a large marquee full of chairs, and a food and drinks table (urns, tea, coffee, hot choc, biscuits, cake, toasters, microwaves, soup, bread, spreads - my kind of event!) So I chose a chair to set my kit up on before trekking back up the hill again to an awaiting bed.
Friday night didn't see a lot of sleep and so it was rather dozzily I turned the alarm off at 5am on Saturday morning. Attempted to get myself dressed and couldn't find my sports bra - I eventually found it packed at the bottom of the bag of stuff 'I didn't need'! A cup of tea and a bowl of porridge later I grabbed my torch and started down through the woods for Llanberis and to meet my fate. Clear skies overnight had led to a layer of mist sitting on the lake and Cae'r Ddol and dawn broke. Transition was now a hub of activity. I checked my bike was where I thought it was on the racks, made sure my tyres were still inflated and that I had my picnic packed on the crossbar - 116 miles of cycling was going to need more than a few gels, there was an aid station in Beddgelert and Llanberis so I would pass each of these 4 times over the course, but wanted to have enough on me. So I had some fingers of sandwiches, snickers and mars bars and a few gels alongwith two bottles of sports drink loaded up.
Back into the marquee and into my wetsuit before the walk down to the edge of the lake. To be fair, although the water wasn't too cold - around 14C and after 5mins acclimatisation we got out and were counted back into the water for the floating start. The distance I was doing required 4 laps of the course, getting out of the water and over the timing mat after 2. (This event has much potential for increasing madness in that they do a 'half', 'full', 'double' and this year a 'triple' distance event)
Now swimming isn't my strongest point. I can swim no problem, but I am not a fast/strong swimmer, so I positioned myself towards the back of the 200 competitors, told myself to ignore everyone else and just concentrate on breathing. I swam a few hundred yards, stopped, trod water and calmed my breathing down before getting into a steady rhythm and carrying on. two laps later and I needed to get out and go over the timing mat. As I got to the shallow water and put my feet down I got cramp in my calves, but it went pretty instantly and out of the water it was, over the mat, past the aid station (a mouthful of flat coke and a handful of jelly babies) and back into the water for the rest of the 2.4mile swim. I had a sportcount finger watch on and quickly checked my time, a minute slower than I'd hoped for, but all good. The second two laps took a bit longer (I've only swam the total distance once, and that had been a few weeks ago, so definitely at my limit on the swim distance, full respect to the 'triple' competitors who were swimming 7.1miles!) and I'd had enough by the end of the fourth lap, but out of the water for the last time, and I was not the last 'full' competitor out, but the swim had taken me 1hr45. Quick check from the medics lakeside to check for signs of hypothermia and I was off up to the field to get out of the wetsuit and off onto the bike. When I did the Slateman tri earlier in the year I had suffered on the bike course from the cold, so was determined not to make the same mistake. So two pairs of socks, t-shirt, armwarmers, buff and jacket on and