Ripon Triathlon race report

Ripon triathlon was an Olympic distance triathlon so this is double the distance of the two  triathlons already completed this year. The distance was 1.5k swim, 40k bike, 10k run. I was the only para triathlete with Andy as my guide. As the only para triathlete on the race course this meant that we didn’t just have to compete to the best of our abilities but that we were competing against all able bodied competitors.

The swim was an open water swim in Ripon Racecourse Lake. To get to the swim we had to run to the start of our pack as we were running a little late. Once there we had to jump into the water and swim about 20 meters to catch our race pack for the start. Once we were there we only had less than ten seconds before the start horn was blown, once it was blown we were off this urgent start made me very nervous and because of this I really struggled to keep my head under water to breath correctly, being the stubborn individual I am, I wouldn’t stop and carried on to do a time of 50 mins, although this is slower than I had hoped, I was still proud that I managed to complete as it was a really tough swim.

At T1 or transition one to give it is proper name we ran through and got our wetsuits off quickly, once they were off we followed through with our plan to put all our gear, that we needed for the bike section. Once our helmets were on we ran with the tandem to the mount line which states the start of the bike section and the end of the transition area, once there we mounted our tandem and started stoking the bike and we were away. We pounded on the bike section and overtook a dozen or so bikes which was great. The most memorable bit for me, was that we had to stop to reset Andy’s saddle height as it either came lose or just dropped and a women passing shouted to see if we were okay, once we had completed our repairs we speed off and within moments Andy informed me that we had just overtaken the individual in question. This is a pure example of the comradery and humanity that bonds all triathletes.

We completed the bike section of 40k in 1 hour 21 mins which was a total road course circuit on the main roads of Ripon. A funny moment that comes to mind yet again a marshal doesn’t know what a tandem is as we got a whistle blown at us as they thought we were breaking British Triathlon Federation drafting rules.

At Transition 2 we came back in to the cheers of the crowd as we reached the dismount line Andy counted down from three, one meaning we are dismounting. Once we dismounted the tandem which we did to the left of the bike we ran with our trusty steed to our rack position once there I had the run tether ready once me and Andy had removed our helmets we started running and this was it the final discipline. With the roars of our supporting crowd we started to run.

This was the hardest part as by the 2k mark I started to get horrible cramp down my right lower thigh, this was so hard as the pain was horrible but with Andy’s motivational support and my stubbornness we carried on the pain stayed with me the entire run but we completed it with a sprinting finish to cheering crowd whom we got high fives off as we sprinted to the end.

The race was over we had done it we had fought through the pain in my right thigh and the nerves that had hit me in the swim we did it in 3 hours 35 minutes and 35 seconds and position 13th for my age group. The day was great and one that will always stay with me as it was a brilliant day and showed that all my hard training had paid off also we had proven the even with sight loss you can stand your own on the field of triathlon.

chris Vaugn ripon tri