Can you enter a race just because you like the look of their logo?
Well, I did which was back in October 2017. The Monster Mojo is a middle distance triathlon & I haven’t done one of these since 2010 but as they say that you can do a middle distance race off of the back of Olympic distance training, so all that I tweaked in my training was that I continued my 3 hour bike ride up until May. That was 21 of them & 7 of them had an hour’s run off of the back of it.
Could I make a reasonable effort & not make a complete numpty of myself?
Having kept an eye on the weather for this weekend for most of the week, it didn’t look that great for Sunday – probably wet & windy. So we travelled up to Peterborough on Saturday & did a reccie of the bike course before registering then headed back to the hotel for dinner & an early night.
Sunday morning dawned with a 4am wakeup call & the real heavy rain that we had had overnight had cleared but the roads were still very wet. Although it was dry now, & cloudy, we were relieved to hear that the wet day was now going to be a dry one so we arrived at the rowing lake to set up transition & had plenty of time to do a warm up run. As well as a middle distance race, there was also an standard distance one on the same day. I entered the lake for a prompt 7am start with the standard distance racers starting half an hour later. There were no untoward issues in the swim & with it not being the biggest of fields, I managed to keep myself out of trouble & quite enjoyed it.
Into T1 for not the quickest of transitions because I had to put socks & my nice new Synergie jacket on top of my arm warmers & as I was going to be out for 82K, I didn’t want to get cold.
The bike course started with a 4 mile road trip through a housing estate & then into the country which then consisted of a three lap circuit before returning back to transition. The course was undulating & the ride was uneventful. The only really bright spot in it was seeing Coach 2 parked up just at the start of each lap.
The first lap was a little bit too racy, when I think back on it, but that was the reason I was there.
Nutrition was a big part for me so every 10mins I took a drink, every 30mins I had a small piece of energy bar & every hour a gel. On the second lap, there wasn’t so many people around so I settled down to my own rhythm but by the third lap things started to hurt a bit. Now this was a real lonely lap until I started the 4 mile trek back to the lake where a few people started to overtake me, so I lifted the pace to try to stay with them.
Into T2 for another slow-ish transition because I decided to change socks.
This was because transition was set up in a field that had calf length grass so I had soggy feet from the dismount line to where I racked my bike. Because I wanted to be comfortable for the 4 lap, 20K run which was why I had made that decision. As I headed off onto the first lap I left with another guy & just sat with him for the first half but decided that he was going a bit too quick so regretfully backed off a bit as I started to look at the bigger picture. Lap 2 was OK as I had settled into a steady pace. Lap 3, I managed to catch one guy who seemed to be running at the same pace as me, although a bit slower than the previous two but I had to make a quick stop for a comfort break but I managed to pull him back by the end of lap 3, which I was very pleased about. Then we were joined by a very tall man & possibly his wife who was running with him (surely outside assistance!!!) so the four of us were running all together. For me, I was now in unknown territory as my longest run had only been for an hour but to my surprise, I managed to drop both of them in the final half of the final lap but to add to all the pain that in my legs, nearing the final 100mtrs, Coach 2 was on the side lines telling me to sprint (you are having a laugh!!!) but sprint I did not knowing that one of the guys was closing in on me, but he did not pass me so thank you Coach 2.
After I had crossed the line I crumpled on the grass & started to sob, which had never happened to me before. This was for the fact that I had finished a hard fought race. However, I was really happy that I had managed to complete a distance that I hadn’t done for a long time & can proudly say that I hadn’t made a numpty of myself.
My splits are as follows:
Swim – 32:55
T1 – 1:42
Bike – 2:31:44
T2 – 1:36
Run – 1:38:17
Total time – 4:46:13
I came 25th overall out of 87 & 1st in my age group so got a nice bit of bling to go with it.
Note from Coach 2 – I am so proud of Gra. He put himself through a lot but deep down I knew that he could do it & do it he did.