The Wirral IMG_1170open water sprint distance triathlon was help at the marina, West Kirby and was organised by Epic Events. The weather forecast was not good for early in the day but we were were blessed with ideal conditions for racing and spectating for whole event. I’d entered this event so that Dan and I could race together during his visit on his way back to New Zealand following the Rio Olympics. We were of course accompanied by our number one supporters, Rhonda and Kate.

The c.300 competitors were set off in three waves and kicked-off at 8.00am. As we gathered on the shore of the marina lake clad in the usual open-water swim apparel the organiser ask competitors raise their arm if they had traveled more than 50 miles, then 75, then 100, then 200…at the end of this process it was only Dan who had his hand in the air; no one else had come from as far away as New Zealand to do this race!! His spot prize was duly donated to his dad. 

The klaxon sounded spot on time and the one lap salt water swim got underway. The first wave had the fastest swimmers in it, including Dan, and the third wave the slowest. I was in the second wave. The first turn buoy was a challenge as the mass of orig_11183_31740074957c2e38c72203_39swimmers tried to take the shortest line and a kick to my jaw wasn’t very pleasant! After this though the race went smoothly and was great fun. For me, the race unfolded in the usual. After a mediocre swim I set about chasing down as many competitors as possible on the slightly over-distance two lap bike course which thankfully had quite a long hill in it!
This was followed by a slightly under-distance two lap run route which circumnavigated the marina lake and was absolutely stunning. As I came round for my second lap I was a little surprised to see Dan standingorig_11183_88497369257c2eadd63434_50 with Rhonda and Kate…he had already finished and came second overall on his training bike and minimal training due to Rio. After the race it was amazing how many people remembered Dan from the old days and came over for a chat – we felt like minor celebrities. All-in-all this was a fantastic event, well organised, great atmosphere and fabulous venue and course. Oh, and I won my age-group by 13mins!