Race update – Bala Standard Triathlon, Sept 2017

Welsh adventures – Natalie Stevenson

This image from Dan Wyre photography summed everything up just perfectly:


Luckily I didn’t feel too cold during the swim – I was religiously doing warm up laps while everyone else waited around for the start though. The field was packed, I was so grateful for the mass start practises at Pinkston, there was nowhere to go, bodies left, right, front, back…. did my best in the mix. The waves were rolling in pushing everyone to the right on the way out, left on the way back. I concentrated on not getting rolled over, just getting it done.

Straight onto the bike, and perhaps an error of judgement to not put on a jacket. The wind chill on the bike was instantaneous. I HAVE NEVER BEEN SO COLD ON A BIKE! A few times I had to come off the bars to hold myself against the gusty wind. After a very wet and slippy dead-turn (eek!) the way back was slightly quicker with the wind but there wasn’t any let up in the driving rain. By the final quarter of the course I couldn’t shift gear… I tried… hoping for an easier cog… every time my fingers couldn’t push the paddle hard enough and my gears just clicked harder and harder… desperation was beginning to creep in!

Back into T2 and the reality of the cold really hit. I couldn’t get my helmet unclipped. Not on the first or eighth attempt. Couldn’t undo the twists on my shoes. I looked around desperate for some help but knew the rules meant I couldn’t have any outside assistance… I had to just hang on, keep trying until I got them off… yes I did try to see if I could just rip my helmet off over my chin, I couldn’t!

On the run at least I was generating some heat. My socks were bunched under my toes and shoes squelched on every stride. I just focused on staying with the lady ahead. Had to settle (happily) for 11th overall, 9th senior and 3rd age-group, job done!

On reflection really loved it. Especially with the brutal conditions couldn’t help but smile afterwards, there’s a lot of fun in epic adventures and getting through something you find tough!

I would go back and race there again, the closed road was great and the event was really well organised, just needs some sunshine 🙂
posted by Natalie Stevenson on