Me and The Cub have just had a fun and eventful weekend in Llanelli taking part in the Llanelli multi-sport festival run by Healthy Life Activities.
The Cub started on Saturday with her first duathlon ever, which in her Tristars 1 age group consisted of a 1.2 km run, a 4 km cycle and a final 500m run. She raced intelligently (meaning basically that she didn’t run off at full steam from the start) and with a smile on her face and put in a top performance with a 3rd place. She also had the pleasure of being the “first non road bike” rider thus beating quite a few kids on racing steeds. Phew, you can still perform with non race-specific kit in the 9-10 year-old age group!
As for me, I took part in the “long” sprint distance triathlon, which doubled up as the Welsh Championship. I say “long” sprint because it consisted of a 750m swim, a 30 km bike and a 5 km run. I needed 1h42 min to complete this and came 27 minutes behind Andrea Rutz-Etter, the incredibly fast female winner. With this time, I came in 8th out of 22 in my age category. I was happy with my swim, very happy with my bike and extremely frustrated with my run. Unfortunately that’s nothing new and Mr Tiger, my “P.I.T.A.” coach, reminds me, again, that running is where I need to work.
It’s easy to say we race for fun and enjoyment and hide the truth that actually we also race to get as close as possible to being first. When I race, I want to give it the best I can and on Sunday I don’t feel that I performed as well as I could on the run. So I was quite angry and disappointed on finishing the race. This is where racing as a family helps diffuse the frustration of not having your best performance.
Moaning and moping don’t take you anywhere else than down the road to even more frustration. And when the next generation is watching and learning from you, you’ve just got to set the right example! So even if the bottle we popped open on Sunday was pear cider rather than Prosecco (direct consequence of my frustration), I can’t make everybody suffer. In short I have two extrinsic reasons to work on my run weakness: peace of mind when the time for our “apéritif” comes and – more importantly – setting a good example for The Cub. Hopefully in turn she can learn the importance of attitude and dedication rather than search for quick fixes or complain that “she can’t”…
1. the kids event with closed roads, which really gave them the opportunity to race as grown ups with an impressive transition area on the closed bridge
2. the beautiful settings in Llanelli with the Millenium path and a great playground for kids who are not racing
3. the Sospan sprint triathlon on Saturday afternoon where some of the best junior athletes in the country had come to race, what an inspiration!
4. on Sunday, hearing in both transitions the commentator say “my name, member of Team Zoot Tri Europe and she’s a strong rider”, wow if that doesn’t put the pressure on I don’t know what does!
5. numerous and efficient motorbike referees on the bike course, really keeping an eye out for drafting
6. having a women-only wave and leaving first, as there was noticeably and pleasantly less dangerous testosterone riding than usual in our section of the race
7. being back racing a triathlon and trying out some great new kit in real life conditions
8. the sprint’s finisher medal, in the form of a Welsh cake was a very much appreciated tasty touch!
9. and of course The Cub’s happiness at her third place!