While on holidays in NZ I read about the Triwoman Series that runs a Triathlon for women and as I read on I became convinced that the 300m swim,10km bike and the 3km walk were all doable. I returned home, bit the bullet and paid my $60 rego fee.
What was I thinking?!
Family and friends were sceptical to say the least and not without good cause. Not only was I unfit, I am also not an outdoorsy person at all. Well I was committed so I set the alarm for 5.00am and wondered how I would drag myself out of bed – did I mention I’m not a morning person?
Surprise! Surprise! I jumped happily out of bed and was off to the ocean baths for a swim in the dark dawn. There I was putting my toe in the water as half a dozen blokes in their ‘budgie smugglers’ were doing serious laps. Where are all the old women like me I thought? Well if they’ve any sense they are all still in bed!
I struggled along, only touching bottom a few times, and I had competed 50m.
After a two weeks of this I was able to do 300m without stopping. Great. Now I added the walk – half a kilometre a day to start with then up to 1 km – then finally up to 3km
My daughter reminded me ‘if you’re going through hell, keep going’. Good idea!
Only the bike to go. So I got myself a gorgeous purple bike, purple crash hat, and purple shoes. I looked fabulous. Only one teeny, tiny problem – every time I tried to ride, I fell off the silly thing. Still I was committed and I had the swim and the walk under my belt so off I went on my own to Christchurch (This just before the earthquake).
I checked into the local friendly backpackers and arrived at the Event Centre and was instantly overwhelmed by the size of the place it had ben built for the Olympic Games and was complete with ornamental lakes, gym, polo pool, diving pool, lap pool, athletics field, child care and wonderful change rooms. After the Manager gave me a tour of the place and found out why I was there and my age, he then gave me two free passes so I could have a couple of orienting swims before the event – you beauty!
At last the Big Day was dawning! Did I have butterflies? Yes! Did they fly in formation? No!
I arrived at the grounds at 7.30am for an 8.30am start. It was a brisk, cool 10 degrees as hundreds of women and their supporters arrived. I explained that I was a danger on the road on a bike and they quickly adjusted my registration and with my number (205)pinned proudly on my chest I proceeded to the area assigned for our bags and stuff.
It was a colourful scene as nearly 300 women in pearly pink caps wound their way around the pool to the stands. While climbing the stairs I moved to my seat and without my glasses I was unable to see that the floor changed levels, and down I went – no worries – nothing broken I was shaken but not stirred!
How slow I was became embarrassingly clear when everyone behind me had finished and I still had two laps to go and the officials were taking down the ropes around me .. I just remembered ‘if you’re going through’ …yes you got it. Finally the finishing steps were in sight and I pulled myself out to the cheers of the two remaining officials! now to dry off and head for the walk, the bike had already finished by now. The track took me through magical woodland and the women were so encouraging that it seemed to go very quickly.
By some miracle I found myself walking amid cheers, down the finishing line to be greeted by an official presenting me with an unexpected gold medal WOW! (I have to say that we all got one just for finishing)
I sent a text to my daughters “Got the Gold, home tomorrow!”