Hogmanay drifted by without being celebrated in the Hardie household. I know, how dull! Two reasons, my ribs were ker-fecked from falling off my bike a few days before, and I had foolishly entered the New Year’s Day Triathlon in the morning. Bruised (or cracked) ribs are the most annoying injury, as it rules out just about every form of exercise and makes even the most mundane task, like sleeping, rather painful. It really is rubbish, and puts a real dampener on a night out and getting ready for a race. Painkillers and sleeping tablets have done some good work, but that puts an end to any idea of getting smashed on Hogmanay. Boozing purists would point out that just hitting the bottle has the same effect as painkillers and sleeping tablets, but I didn’t want to take that risk. So I just retired early on Hogmanay and left the bells, fireworks and snogging neighbours to my wife.
Next morning, I met Chris Henty and Mark Hartree in the morning for the ride over to the Commy Pool for the start. We met Rachel there, and Seona, and I’m sure I spotted Ann Nimmo there milling around. Mike Lynch and Neil Burnett were also there to support. The NYD tri is a great start to the year, and a really good fun event. It consists of a 400m swim in the Commy, then three laps of Arthurs Seat on a road bike (11ish miles), and finally a lap of Arthurs Seat running (3.5ish miles). People start at 5s intervals in the pool, starting from the slowest swimmer to the fastest, each starting up lane 1, then down lane 2, then up lane 3 and so on until eventually you run out of lanes (8) and have to climb out. It’s a neat way of doing the swim, I have to say, and means there’s a steady stream of starters. The only downside of people following each other is that everyone is useless at predicting their swim times, so inevitably people clog together and have to overtake and it can get a little messy at points. Not bad, just a bit messy, and the organisers had it all under control.
Chris was the first of the Carnethy starters, then Mark. Seona, Rachel and I all started a little later at the estimated 8mins. Despite starting fairly closely together, I didn’t see any of the others for the entire race, except for hearing a “well done, Jim” from Seona during the cycle. The swim was pretty good, if a little crazy when people overtook, and it seemed to fly past without any problem. It was a bit of a shock going from the warm poolside out to the car park for transition, but a cheer from Carolyn Dyson out marshalling kept spirits high whilst I ran around barefoot searching for my bike. I really must try to remember where I rack my bike, I really should.
The cycle was where I really wanted to make a difference as I’ve been trying to improve my cycling for a wee while now. The last time I ran the race my cycle wasn’t great, as it often is during triathlons for me, and I was hoping to improve on my time. It was a struggle getting my bike fixed to start the race, and truth be told I didn’t fancy getting on the bike after crashing the week before. I’m a bit of a feartie, really. Replacing bent handlebars and resetting gears are all relatively easy, but trying to reset your head another thing entirely. Thankfully for me the weather was good so icy and wet roads were less of a concern, and ultimately the cycle went well. The extra training really made a difference! In fact, comparing the cycle leg with the previous time, I improved around 6mins on a 40min cycle which was awesome! If only I could make the same improvement at running races!
Last, but not least, the run to complete the triathlon. The run is always the best bit, partly because I run fairly regularly and so I find the run on triathlons the easiest and most rewarding. You manage to catch all the guys that are good on the other disciplines but lack a bit on the run – it’s very satisfying! In fact, it’d be good if the run was twice round Arthurs Seat instead of just once. As soon as it had started, it was over. The ol’ ribs were a bit annoying but I don’t think that made any difference, really. After all the good weather it was only as I finished the run that the rain started, so a good reason to get back indoors and get some tea.
The score on the doors:
I was first Carnethy, 15th overall, 1:11:22. I’d like to dedicate my result to Panadol. Thanks, guys!
Rachel just behind, 41st Overall, 9th female, 1:18:09.
Mark next, 7th Supervet, 1:21:29.
Seona deserves a mention too, 15th female, 1:22:19.
And then Chris on 1:31:08.
I went looking for Ann Nimmo on the results to see if she or Ian were racing, and spotted Camus, Sara-Jane and Ailish. Ann must’ve been supporting! Anyway, they finished 1:31, 1:43 and 1:56 respectively.
Oh, and Mike spotted Colin Ledlie, finishing his first tri in 1:34:31. Good work!