Dalesman Full Distance Triathlon by Sophie Hedges

It was only when I thought this race was going to be taken away from me when I realised I need to enjoy it, embrace every minute and not put too much pressure on myself to succeed. As a replacement for Ironman Kalmar it’ll be my first full distance race and what will be will be. So with the relief of a negative PCR test it was on to the next hurdle, delaying mother nature! Turns out they have a very effective pill for that so it was time to focus on my final week of tapering. Every cycle and run felt like hard work, my legs were struggling to hold the watts or pace, this made the challenge ahead seem even more unachievable. Nevertheless the days ticked down, the strange dreams set in and the day before finally arrived. Campervan packed, lists checked and double checked and we headed over to Ripon.

The venue was a triathlete's dream. 500m from our accommodation to the transition area, the lake and the all important facilities. We set to work setting up camp and after wrestling with the awning, it was definitely time for some food and a lie down. Registration time finally came as did the rain. Into transition, scouting out my number along the rails to find I had the ideal position, second to last bike on the end of the rack, dreamy! Kit bags to the marquee and a quick recce of the swim in, bike out/in and run out points before leaving all our pride and joys sat overnight covered in bin bags looking more like a landfill than a transition area. Pre race meal was calling, chicken in sauce with some salad and bread, not really the carbs I was hoping for but made up for it with the 80%