Jonny continues… Day 2 – Stratford Tri 12th May

Groundhog Day. The Stratford Tri.

Sunday morning I awoke to find myself setting up in transition- again! This is just like Saturday morning! Whoa! What’s going on? My mind raced. It took me a while to calm down and look logically at the possibilities:

1. I had fallen through a wormhole in space and it was in fact yesterday. (unlikely)
2. Drugs (unlikely unless beer counts)
3. The really far out possibility that I had done something really stupid and entered races on consecutive days (impossible)

I decided that it was most likely that I had copped a dodgy mushroom omelette and was in fact hallucinating wildly. Best to go along with it I decided. My theory was a little undermined when I encountered a couple of other MVHers: Nick and Crocko, who seemed to be sharing my trip. They too looked a little confused and were convinced that they had been in transition the day before. I was reassured to meet some other MVHers namely James, Angus, Gemma, Phil and Alex who seemed to be having no trouble whatsoever with the day’s proceedings.

In contrast to the previous day, it was sunny and only a little breezy. To start off we had a pool swim. Haven’t done one of those for a while I thought and slid in ready for my start. The start was at the deep end, something I had failed to notice, so instead of the water being below nipple- height as I had expected, I plunged to the bottom and would have had to put my nipples on the end of a long stick to keep them dry.

“Go!” I was off. A bit of a weird swim (the mushrooms again I think), only twelve lengths and I’m sure I finished in a different lane to the one I started in. Onto the bike-big crowds cheering everybody, I was spurred on to a fast start only to stop at a pedestrian crossing to let an old lady cross with her shopping trolley. “Good luck boys!” she croaked throwing her dentures into the air in support. Nice one! Even Wiggo doesn’t get that. For a change it was a reasonably flat course and the breeze didn’t seem to cause many problems. It may even have been a tailwind. That is until a stretch of dual carriageway where it was definitely uphill and definitely a headwind.

A fast descent into Stratford centre, T2 then out for the run. The mushrooms seemed to have worn off and everything is normal: ie I’m running like I’m trying to keep a high five gel warm between my bum cheeks. Then, “Whoa!” the ‘shrooms struck back. The running trail was suddenly lined with rows of miniaturised soldiers showing me the way. Either that, or I’ve grown huge on the bike. I ignore this hallucination, thank the tiny soldiers and on to the finish where mercifully the crowd are normal sized.

The MVH collective decided that this tri is well-worth entering and is well suited to the beginner. It’s well supported, well organised, the bike isn’t too taxing and the run is really rather pleasant. The swim is a little odd with the lane changes, but this can be a positive as you don’t find yourself continually swimming with psycho-swimmer or even worse, the breaststroker. The novices competing all put in very creditable performances: the rest of us should be aware that there will be some strong challengers coming up through the ranks in the next year or so.

Top tips for this race:

1. Stay off the mushrooms
2. Don’t enter races on consecutive days
3. Nick, always talc your shoes or some old guy might beat you by 18 seconds.

Jonny Fitton
MVH’s serial journo – the singularly long haired triathlete