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Tales of a first time Triathlete

Updated: May 19, 2022

Here’s a summary of my triathlon debut!

I crashed at 38km/hr despite a warning before the bend, there was gravel on the side of the road and when my front wheel went into it, it slipped out from under me. I’d seen crashes in bike races before on the TV and it was like slow motion happening to me. My heart rate went from 150bpm to 122 bpm I managed to get back on my bike. I was halfway round so miles away from anyone. I was a bit slow to get going again and thought I’d lost my gears but slowly I picked up my pace and realised I’d only lost top gear due to a bent derailieur.

It all started with the swimming really. I am treasurer at Chesterfield Swimming Club where I have been a member since 2008 but my eldest daughter Emma has been swimming since 2004. Swimming is great exercise and also helps with young people’s personal development  – with strength and conditioning, advice on nutrition and sleep and they have to be able to organise their time especially when some of the top squad are swimming nine times a week with early morning starts.

On the back of the swimming I was looking for a bit more of a personal challenge, so I checked out Sheffield Triathlon Club in January and recently joined Triathlon England to get my race licence. That’s how I found myself at the recent inaugural Clay Cross Coalman Triathlon which took place from Sharley Park Leisure Centre which consisted of a 400M (16 length swim), 20K rolling bike course and finished off with a 2 lap, 5K run.

Unaware of the injuries that I had sustained during my fall, I got back on my bike and continued the race. My cuts were on my right side and I couldn’t see them, but quite a few cyclists passed me and all asked if I was ok and one even asked if I wanted her to stay with me. I got back to transition for the run and felt ok so set off. I managed a smile for the photo as I ran to the finish line and a High5 drink at the finish while my timing chip was removed. I was hoping for anywhere near 1 hr 30 minutes so was very happy with my eventual time of 1:18

I decided to have a shower in Sharley Park Leisure centre to clean up my wounds, which is when I realised how bad they were, seeing the blood pour away and wondering how I was going to cope. Special thanks must go to the Leisure Centre staff – they were brilliant.

PS Since then, I have since finished the Peak District Triathlon at Chatsworth house where I scraped my hand swimming under the bridge! I did also complete the Hathersage Hilly triathlon without any injury! Next challenge please. The pictures below are from Hathersage and are courtesy of


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