My Super Vet story
I have always been a bit of a fitness fanatic and back in my forties I had a go at a couple of pool-based “Tri-a-Tri” Triathlons. Then in 2007 my husband, daughter Kathy and I all entered the Roade Sprint Triathlon. Kathy and I won our age groups. I was 62, she was 33. (This was Kathy’s first foray into Triathlon and she’s become hooked!).
I continued to swim, bike and run for pleasure, then in 2015 I decided to have a go at the local Market Harborough Sprint Triathlon. A Sprint triathlon consists of a 400m swim, 23km bike ride followed by a 5km run. Then aged 69, I won the female Super Vets category (for those over 65) and repeated the feat the following two years. I missed 2018, then this summer at the age of 73, I decided to have another go.
Some serious preparation
So I took to early morning biking to the pool for the lane swimming sessions, then would jump off my bike to run round the block a few times a week. I’m not an early morning person, but the peace, beautiful countryside where I live and the sheer privilege of just being able to do it at my age is the spur. I really enjoyed the training and felt fit and ready to take on the challenge again.
Race day dawned
Before I knew it, race day dawned on September 1st and I had all my kit ready. I had laid out my kit for transition one – from swim to bike – and my kit for transition two – bike to run – so knew exactly what was needed for each stage.
I lined up in the pool for the countdown and before I knew it, I was off!
Immediately, I began to feel sick. This was a first for me. It became so bad that I actually stopped swimming twice at the end of the pool, the lifeguard looking on with a concerned expression on his face. Being in lane six next to the steps there was a strong temptation to simply get out; never have I felt like that before!
16 lengths later and after a wobbly exit from the pool to transition onto my bike, the feeling gradually receded.
The perils of country lanes!
The bike leg of the triathlon is a two-lap hilly course, the best bit being a steep, narrow, downhill one mile stretch into the village of Braybrooke. On the second lap as I was about to descend the ‘mile hill’ an enormous farm truck pulled out in front of me, laden with straw. The driver had no intention of letting me, or lots of other cyclists, get past and we were being showered with bits of straw as we followed the truck, braking, all the way down the hill.
I finally returned to base, racked my bike and headed out for a rather hot 5K run to the finish – looking forward to my medal.
About that medal …
After being handed my medal, I was rather surprised to overhear the marshals saying that insufficient medals had been ordered. They were obviously quite stressed about this, so I happily handed mine back! With a finishing time 15 minutes slower than I expected, I did not win the Super Vets category this year. If I’m honest, I was a little disappointed, but the prize was a month’s membership of the Leisure Centre where I am already a member!
It wasn’t one of my best ….
At the finish line I got chatting to friend and fellow participant Ed, who was also caught behind the straw lorry. He bought me a cup of tea and we laughed about the event. I find that’s the best way when things don’t go to plan! It wasn’t one of my best, but I did it!
Anne was a guest on The Retirement Café podcast earlier this year, sharing her personal story of retirement and ‘Why ‘live the day’ is her motto’. You can listen here.