Saffron Walden Triathlon – 1st May 2016 by Louisa

Race report number ?? er….. not sure but here goes – Early start as usual with these events. Jane picked me and my gear up at 5.55.

Arrived at the leisure centre and got parked up steps away from transition area. We met up with some of the other Time Bandits and headed for registration. Not much of a queue and I was surprised to see my race number matched my age!! (I’d missed seeing it in the email which gave our swim time start). However it proved to be a good omen!

I felt more comfortable once I’d racked my bike and left all necessary kit etc in transition. Then for the THREE hour wait as I wasn’t in the water until 10.30!! The time passed fairly quickly as we all got together in the pool area discussing the race, what we were going to wear on the bike – long or short sleeves and eating Trevor’s delicious flapjack! We were true to form with the Monster MTC cheer as Matt left the pool. It was great being able to go and cheer on our fellow TB’s as they raced in and out of transition. Poolside numbers were reduced until it was only Alice and I left. My anxiety grew and grew. I just wanted to get started.

Swim ok, then onto the bike. Sun was out and it was pleasantly warm. It was great having friendly faces cheering me on as I left transition. I remember seeing Graham with his bike (learned later he has cycled over to support us all!). Jane and I had driven the route the day before so I knew what to expect – harder first section to Thaxted then easier second part heading for home! I knew I would be the last of the Time Bandits to finish the event and Alice came past we with 4K to go on the bike. I kept on pushing then for the run!

I knew the route from doing the SW Tri on previous occasions. That hill never fails to tire me!!! It was helped by having the cheers as I went by the TB’s who had finished. The marshals were very encouraging, calling out my name. Maybe it looked like I needed it!!! Alice and I passed each other on the turn around section after the hill down. I knew what to expect but that bit seems to go on forever! I kept looking at my pace and tried to go quicker. I did, but not much. Then out of the hedge and down the hill to the finish line. I put in my best efforts as I could see and hear all Time Bandits rooting for me. Thanks guys – you really helped. It was a great event to be part of.

It’s been said before but I’ll repeat it – the support was awesome! I was amazed to find out later I’d come first in my age category! Only wished I’d stuck around to receive the prize -thanks Caroline for stepping in. Fab event organisation and marshalling by SW Tri Club but the last words must be for MTC – Time Bandits are GO!

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