Visiting the Cradle only a few weeks ago, I was ecstatic to race there for the first time at the Red Hub event on 1 September. I am not new to the standard triathlon distance as I have done a couple of 5150 and Trinity events, but nothing could have prepared me for this!!!
Feeling a bit icky the day before, my husband literally had to pull out his inner motivational speaker to get me to the swim start and reminded me (very politely and lovingly) that I actually entered this event by choice. That’s the only time in a race when I second guess myself – at the swim start – but once the gun goes its pure joy (or probably adrenalin).
Anyway – the race was hard – harder than any standard distance I have done before. For a start, the swim was freezing. I could hardly breathe for the first couple of 100 meters…and there were still people who opted not to wear a wetsuit! CRAZY/STUPID – a fine line, but you decide!!! A bunch of us had such a laugh in T1 as no one was capable of executing the most basic tasks; we were all struggling to put on socks or gloves with frozen hands and feet! T1 took me 4 and a half minutes…Claire would probably think I decided to take a bit of a rest before the cycle.
Biking in the cradle is always great, there are so many other cyclists on the road, everyone greeting and shouting some encouraging words when they see you are racing. Even with the wind coming from all directions it was a great day for me on the bike. T2 was much more successful, and with feet still frozen, I took off on the run – which to my surprise was a full on trail run. I knew we were running on dirt roads, but in my head I pictured good old flat farm roads. Apparently not – welcome to single track valley with dips and climbs and who knows what you call the other things. Even though it was brutal, the only thing I remember thinking that this is so beautiful – I love this!!!!!
I think I make it sound like it was quite an ordeal, which in all fairness it was, but I loved every second of it. I managed to end up 3rd in my age group and was the 6th lady to cross the finish line which is a massive accomplishment for me! Thanks to all the support and guidance I have from Claire, my amazing husband (also known as the photographer/manager/motivator) and the rest of my “fan club” I am at a fantastic place in terms of my triathlon adventure. All of this is part of the bigger plan, which is to do my first full Ironman on 29 March 2020 - with my current motivation always ringing in my head – I AM HEALTHY, I AM ABLE, I AM STRONG!!!
by Karin Stapelberg