IMG_1020Our very own Compliance Director, Lindsey Hamilton has raised thousands of pounds for charity over the years so we persuaded her to give us an account of the London triathlon she took part in during August.

It was a typical Tuesday night in the middle of our lovely English summer  – cold, wet and windy. The last training session saw us swim 750 metres round Bray Lake, waves slapping us in the face and geese looking on smirking from the side.

Now was the time to sit back, rest up and lots of pasta.

Race day dawned and it was, unusually, warm and bright. Sensibly filling up with porridge, fruit and more porridge, we set off for the Excel Centre.  And that’s when the nagging doubts started to creep in… getting changed next to a super fit (very) young athletic-type sporting a Team GB 2012 TriSuit doesn’t exactly do wonders for the confidence. Had I bitten off more than I could chew?

Just as we were called to ready ourselves for the plunge, our mental preparations were thrown into chaos……my goddaughter, who was taking part in her first triathlon, had pulled her goggles on too hard and they had snapped, left dangling in her hand.   We ran back into the main arena and snatched a new pair from a concession stand with a promise that “we’ll come back and pay later”.

And then we were off. The water was salty (it’s the Thames, why wasn’t I expecting that?) and the fumes from the planes from City Airport filled our nostrils. But the atmosphere amongst the competitors was great and enough to pull us round the Docks’ course.

The second discipline was the cycling. Much to my relief, the route was lovely and flat with just one main incline at the Canning Town flyover. Much to my amazement, I pedalled straight past the Team GB 2012 TriSuit athlete and never saw her again. Perhaps she was just an amateur who had borrowed the gear for the day? Perhaps she had bought it as a souvenir? Or maybe she was indeed the real deal but like many others was suffering due to the excessive heat, as it was very hot by mid-afternoon? I know which version I prefer.

Either way, it fortified me as I headed to the final discipline – the run.

After sitting down in transition to do my hair and lippy (only joking team!), the run was underway.  This is the part I enjoy the least and, with lots of people falling by the wayside in the heat, those nagging doubts resurfaced…why do I participate in events like this? I’m 50, overweight and probably drink too much.  I have nothing to prove.  And I must remember not to do this again…..

But I did keep on going. And what spurred me on was the thought of raising £1,500 for Macmillan Cancer Nurses. As did the rather raucous support from my lovely family, friends and colleagues who were shouting at me the whole way (using words I can’t repeat here)…… And, just in case I forgot to mention it, the fact I’d overtaken a (VERY YOUNG) athlete wearing a Team GB 2012 TriSuit.

So a big thanks to everyone who generously sponsored me or came to support on the day. Thanks also to “My Triathlon!” for sorting out emergency goggles at the last minute (and yes, we did go back and pay!).

And, despite all this, I bet you can guess who has already compiled a short list of events to enter next year…?!!