After the Edinburgh marathon, I deliberately didn’t have anything in the diary, as I was a bit busy with another event, of the not-so-sporting kind.
However, when an email dropped into my inbox asking if I wanted to do the Brighton and Hove Triathlon for the sponsor, Sebamed, I couldn’t really say no, and what a way to celebrate a month of marriage.
The triathlon is now in its second year, and one of the final big races on the calendar in the South East. There are a choice of distances, from super sprint to Olympic and you can sign up as an individual or as a relay. It’s a big race, and so you must register and rack your bike the day before: fine for me as I live in the next town, annoying if you live far away and have to pay for an extra hotel night. However, it does mean that check in on race day is super fast!
The triathlon is held as part of The Sport and Fitness Show on Hove Lawns, which meant the atmosphere was great all weekend – there were heaps of stalls promoting all things fitness (including Bez’s new venture!) and lots of free classes to try out, as well as some really yummy street foodstalls, which were perfect post-race.
Things kicked off with a sea swim – something I had been incredibly nervous about, as last time I’d done a race in the salty expanse of the English Channel, I’d nearly been washed to France. Sunday, however, and I couldn’t have asked for a better place to swim 1500m: it was so calm and pleasantly warm. There’s something wonderful about swimming in the sea on the right day – being able to look back at the City as you power yourself along. It was over all too soon and I was clambering back up the pebbles to find my bike.
The bike lap was flat, fast and… a bit dull. I know why it’s kept to the route that it is, but it’s hard to keep yourself entertained for 8 oval laps. I tried to think of different types of waves that I could do to my parents-in-law every time I saw them (16 times), imagine what I was going to have for lunch, tried to count to eight in as many languages as I could, what was going to happen in Doctor Foster, how I could be Prime Minister and ways that I could cut my hair. It *is* fast though, and that’s super fun – everyone loves bombing along a closed road as fast as you can!
Back into transition, popped on my visor, had a quick chat to the person racking up next to me and headed out onto the seafront. It was lovely and warm, and I was loving being back in my all in one and my visor. There were plenty of marshals about giving us all great encouragement, and my friend Jen and her family were at the turn-about point giving out high-fives. Again, 4 laps got a bit much, but I love running along the seafront, so I mustn’t moan.
It was a relief – as it always is! – to see the finish, and be handed a massive medal and a banana (win!). The finish was really well organised, and I was quickly able to collect everything and head off into the Sport and Fitness Show to help Bez out on the Body Happy Studio stand.
I really enjoyed the whole experience, so thank you to Sebamed for asking me to take part. It’s a really well organised race, everything goes like clockwork and the location is fab. It would be a great race for newbies to triathlon, and obviously a great course to bag an Olympic-distance PB. I found the course a bit dull, but then I’ve been running and riding along the seafront many, many, many times before! The t-shirt is good (huge though – STOP DOING THIS PLEASE, RACES), the marshals were brilliant and the freebies from Sebamed and Cliff were ace too.
All in all, a great big city triathlon, and the sea swim is the best!