This was a biiig race with a lot of personal meaning for me. Here’s my thoughts on how the days events went.
📹 Video version of the race report
✍️ Written version of the race report
It’s fair to say this was a biiiiig race for me. In 2019 I came to do this. Freaked out in the swim, didn’t finish the bike.. 8 mths later had my left leg amputated.
So I had some demons to face.
My first multisport race in almost ten years (if we don’t count the DNF) and my first as a paratriathlete.
Despite all this I felt pretty chilled in the lead up to the race. The only thing that was quietly worrying me was the persistent rain on the bike course and the many junctions I potentially would have to stop at.
Kept out of the way not knowing where I’m placed in this kinda pack these days. Uneventful swim where people were weaving all around me failing to sight effectively and swim in a straight line. Picked off a number of these (included choosing the smartest line at the first turn buoy) and came out of the swim exactly the time I expected, around 18 mins. Water not too cold considering it was raining persistently all night and all day the day of the race.
Alice my handler and I have never done this as a pair before. but, nevertheless we got the swim exit figured out in the end and navigated the stop bank down to T1 without falling over (which is a miracle IMO!)
I have no clue what the best way to do this is, having never done one as a para before. I’m sure with practice I’ll refine this somewhat. Anyway, we got it done in the end, and out to the mount line. Me on my bike peg leg and crutches and Alice pushing the bike. We did a swap at the mount line and off I went.
I came under prepared for the weather!! But luckily I always carry spare kit and my bike showerproof jacket was already in my car. Better than nothing! I intended to only use the e-assist on my bike when needed to keep the leg pain at bay. I knew I was near the back of the pack, and the full Oxman leaders started whizzing past me as they started their second lap.
Gradually, by the time I got about half way into the loop I started to pick off cyclists in front of me. Each time I made the pass, the bike battery was turned off. I wanted it to be just ME passing them haha! I did feel smug and guilt all at once thinking of how they must have felt being passed by a cyclist with one leg! 😏😂😜
Then my chain came off! I had to stop to put it back on and got totally covered in chain oil. so I dropped my bike on the ground to wipe my hands on the grass. (Remember I’m on an ‘I can’t walk on this’ bike leg) at that point two cyclist came by and called out to make sure I was ok. It must have looked like a wee hissy fit! (Sorry to those two cyclists who got passed not once but twice by a cyclist with one leg! but also thanks for checking I was ok)
Remainder of the ride was ok but that wee stop briefly didn’t half cool me down, took me a while to warm up again.
😍 Dismount / finish.
Again I was back roughly when I said I would be. Alice was there waiting – and the rather unhelpful Marshall was standing in front of the sign to tell me to dismount, but I worked it out based on wheee Alice was standing.
The leg felt ok so I decided to walk the 1km to the finish schute. Alice came with me. Frankly that was the hardest part of the whole morning. As you know walking is so hard for me!
I found a wee jog in me when I got to the finish arch and Alice was there to cheer me in and took a wee video.
I’m so bloody proud of myself and all the difficulties and demons that I have overcome to actually finish this race today.
My first multisport race as a para, and it’s a race I failed to finish on two feet, but managed to finish on one.
Go me ❤️❤️❤️