Saffron Walden Triathlon – 1st May 2016 by Jane

I am still buzzing from yesterday’s race. The sun isn’t shining this morning and my body certainly wouldn’t want to cycle or run up those hills again but I still feel good about yesterday’s triathlon and have enjoyed the whole weekend.

Louisa and I checked out the race on Saturday afternoon and drove the course. Good fun and a wise move – we knew where to go and what to expect.

In fact, the excitement had been building on facebook all week – why was Matt swimming at 8.10, even I didn’t swim until 8.25am? What should you wear given the week’s arctic weather – a buff is Caroline’s advice and what do you do when the race briefing is at 7am and your swim is after 10am? Cheer on your fellow club members is the answer.

Caroline, Simon and Anna’s reports capture the spirit of competing in a very professional, well organised and friendly triathlon – the marshals knew your name and added their encouragement, the competitors too.

Matt and Louisa wrote about the great support they received – there was a Meridian tri member at every stage of the event cheering you on – swim, bike and run, they were there shouting words of encouragement – Anna you started something at last year’s team relays!

And as you finished you joined the team at the finishing line, to mull over your efforts and to cheer on those still out on the course. What a boost it gave everyone and I mustn’t forget the high fives on the run, a little gesture but it made a difference. Thanks Caroline. It was also great to see Graham who had cycled over to lend his support.

Many of us wore our club colours which promoted the club – we heard the Meridian Tri club name checked so many times over the microphone and of course it made it easier to spot fellow competitors – it was Trevor thankfully and not some random man we were shouting at as he set off on the run. Steve also recognised his running ‘style’!

On a results note, Alice, Steve and Louisa won their age groups – a fantastic result. I came third in my age group behind Louisa and am chuffed to bits – if only I could swim better. Clare and Anna were fourth in their respective fields and everyone should feel proud of their achievements in a competitive field and tough race – those hills again, especially the one off the bike which was a killer.
And on a personal note, all the training over the winter has paid off. I finally front crawled the whole swim and can go on to do more and get faster I hope. I didn’t even panic when my chip came off 5 metres into the swim. I calmly picked it up; finished the swim and a helpful marshal put it back on the way to transition. I have Josh to thank.

The bike was good too and the run tough but I kept going – all that running on a Wednesday night and great rides on a Sunday paid off. I am now up for Newmarket and looking for another pool swim in June before heading out into the open water by the end of the season. I have also promised to start wearing my Garmin!

What’s made the difference is the tri club – both coaches and friends who have helped me improve all aspects of my swim, bike and run, who have motivated me and shared experiences. Who else would want to talk about body posture when running, transition tips and the infamous hills on the run at Saffron Walden tri!

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