London Triathlon 2008
I did it! Not without some adventures, but I did it!
I'd like to thank everyone who responded to my announcement and supported me and the charity for the event. I am very grateful!
This was my first triathlon and I decided to do a sprint rather than a full Olympic distance (sprint is 750m swim + 20km bike ride + 5km run) As it turned out, it was the right decision. My overall official result is 01:49:18. Considering the fact that it was my first time, the total absence of training and the equipment failures, I am very satisfied with that. And, really, it was seriously great fun! I am looking forward to do another triathlon in the near future.
My detailed results are as follows (you can also check out other competitors' results):
|(bike lap 1)||00:23:00|
|(bike lap 2)||00:24:03|
|(run lap 1)||00:14:42|
|(run lap 2)||00:13:25|
|Placement:||1198 out of 1405|
Most people who take part in an event like this spend the last few weeks (at the very least) training. I could not afford this. Instead, I was travelling the world, attending and presenting at conferences, and making new friends, which usually involved a lot of drinking and not much sleeping. Not a very good training approach. But it gets worse. My race was on Saturday. On Thursday before the race I was at the conference dinner of the ALife XI conference. This was a very fun dinner and we were served a lot of wine. I am not sure whether the wine was bad (it did not seem so at the time) or whether my judgement of how much of it I had was inappropriate (more likely), but the day after the dinner (i.e. Friday - the day right before the competition) I had one of the worst hangovers of my life. Those who know me will realise that this means a lot. I was still a little sick when I got up on Saturday. But well - life is there to experience it fully and I was after the experiences, not after a few seconds at the finish line.
The swim went well, although I learned that it is very difficult to overtake people during the swimming leg. I started at the back of the group hoping that overtaking people would boost my confidence, but it turned out that people are swimming shoulder to shoulder and in order to overtake them one needs to move 3 times as fast as they while swimming in a zig-zag trajectory at the same time. Next time I will attempt to start at the front and try to simply ignore the faster swimmers. The wet suit I hired gave me quite a bit of buoyancy and I felt well when getting out of the water, which, by the way, appeared to be a lot cleaner than I had anticipated.
The bike ride turned out a few surprises. I had borrowed the bike from a flatmate of a friend. The It was a very good bike - at least when it was made - about 30 years ago. Now it had no more gear switch and we had fixed the rear wheel the day before the competition. I did not care about any of this - riding a single speed bike may make you a bit slower overall, but it is good fun - however, after a few kilometres the chain started to slip from the rear cog, and that was less fun. I had to get off the bike several times in order to span the chain back on, and the last time I did it ... the quick release mechanism snapped. This was no fun at all. The event staff guy at the kerb wanted me to quit, but I felt too good for that, so I ended up running and pushing the bike for the rest of the leg. This was particularly bad as running is the leg that I find most difficult, and additional running with the bike did not make it easier. This whole thing also lead to a very long transition time between the last two race legs.
Running was as usual. Being tired after pushing the bike for a few km, I was satisfied with doing the 5km just under 30 mins. After the steep climb from the main track into the finish area I was happy to find some energy for a final sprint and to overtake a few people right before the finish line.
As promised earlier, here are some pictures of myself during the event. I hope you can clearly see the pain!