Other side of the fence

Yesterday my other half and I got up at 4.45am so we could drive an hour up the road to watch our friend compete in her first ever triathlon (well I did, he got up at 5.30am).  

Let me tell you, it was worth every missed minute of sleep!!

We have followed her antics over the last couple of years as she took on the challenge of a marathon and achieved that in Edinburgh last year.  She then set herself the challenge of a triathlon – a middle distance one too – and smashed that! 

We arrived after they had entered the water so it was a very careful watching game to spot her coming out.  I think we may have just missed her as the other half spotted her coming through the transition gate on her bike.  She looked nervous but confident – I wasn’t sure whether or not to cheer her on as I was worried I might give her a fright and cause her to fall off! But then I thought there’s nothing better than knowing someone’s cheering you on so I yelled at the top of my voice.  She spotted us and gave us a huge grin.  She was going to ace this!

We then did a little research – the husband has his sights set on a triathlon so we wanted to see more of the detail.  How strict was the transition, what did the holding gate look like, how were the bikes racked up etc.  We spotted quite a few swimmers with gloves and shoes too which we thought odd as what we had read so far had us believing he wouldn’t be able to use them.  He has Raynauds phenonmenon so it’s a concern.  

We slowly walked back to the car – she was off on a 90k cycle on closed back roads so we couldn’t get near, this left us some time.  We got chatting to some relay swimmers on the way back who informed us the swim had been shortened due to expected Loch temperature and that’s why the gloves etc were permitted.  Back at the car and we drove to T2 (second transition from bike to run), parked up and went for a cup of tea.  Chatted the whole time about how friendly the atmosphere was and how tempting it was to join in.  The other half was feeling very jealous he wasn’t out there ha ha.  We spotted a sign for a local half marathon there too in a couple of weeks….. details noted and entries may very well be going in soon!

Back at T2 and we watched the first lot of athletes come in.  They were very competitive! Lots of shouts of ‘you’ve lost 6 mins pick it up’ and ‘3 in front’.  Surprisingly the relay people were not the first out, some of them were actually amongst the last.  We had expected the relays to be some of the fastest.  We picked up some tips from the officials from triathlon Scotland.  Small things such as your race bib has to be at the front when leaving for the run, you get penalties if you drop anything on course, when you come in on the bike there’s a Marshall to take the bike from you etc.  Really picked up some good stuff! 

Ginnie came in all happy smiles and raring to go – she looked good for having just done that swim and bike ride! She quickly changed to running shoes etc and went by giving us her usual 2 fingered tongue out pose ha ha.

We knew she would be about 2 hours for her run so we spent the time cheering the insanely fast people coming in and betting on who was next.  There was a Tri club from West Lothian and the support they gave was incredible! They had one person down the track a bit sending messages up to say who was coming and then the clapping and cheering and cow bells would start.  It was truly amazing.  They cheered everyone else too but you knew instantly when it was one of their own by the level of noise. 

Ginnie came in strong, didn’t look too tired at all! We had chosen to cheer at her final corner so her partner and parents could get good photos and videos at the finish line.  She hadn’t expected her parents to be there as they were on holiday so there were many tears, bless.

All in all a fantastic day! Different being on the other side of the race track but wouldn’t have missed that for the world.  She truly is one inspiring individual and yup, looks like I now have a triathlon in my sights! 


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