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The train drivers guide to Tri
Welcome to my world.I'm going through a mid life crisis and trying to be the best i can at triathlon with very limited ability! I work as aTrain Driver on the East Coast Main Line, and thought writing this blog would show people who work awful shifts can try and fit in a great sport and keep you fit! I've just been selected to be an ambassador for Xterra Wetsuits so expect plenty of pictures in their wetsuits!

Black Sheep, London Brik and 15 seconds of fame.

DazzaTri72by DazzaTri72Aug 14th 2014
In July Team Kelly headed North. Car rammed full of Tri gear and camping gear. We were heading to Ripon to take on the Yorkies in their own back yard at The Black Sheep Triathlon run by NYPtri Club.
We had an uneventful journey, a few thousand games of iSpy and the usual watching of Frozen, we now know all the lyrics to 'Let it go', personally my favourite is 'in summer time' by Olaf the snowman! Anyway I digress...again! We were staying at a campsite about 6 miles from Ripon, all was going well until white van man turned up and took out 4 tents for the rest of his mob, who turned up later and decided to just be a pain in the a*se the wholetime!
The Friday night is The Pasta Party at the venue for the triathlon, Ripon Racecourse, we headed over there, for some cracking lasagne and a huge flapjack, washed down with some Black Sheep Ale, hey ho, race wasn't starting until 2pm on Sat!
We woke Saturday, (after very little sleep, thanks to our chavvie fellow campers!), to a bright sunny morning. Wow, surely we are not in for blistering heat again!? Yep, it was a scorcher. We got to the Racecourse in plenty of time to register and have some lunch, and also so my daughter could make use of the bouncy castles etc. ( if you have a young family and do tri, this is the race for you). As the temperatures started to hit 30oc, rumours were flying around transistion about a non wetuit swim, please god noooooooooo, was my 1st thought! Trust me to have my bike racked next to the guy who wanted a non wetsuit swim and was very unsympathetic to my whining!! During the warm up in transistion we were treated to a fly past by some magnificient planes from WW2.
The race got underway at 2pm sharp with the amazing drummers from Manchester, they got us all pumped up, I was in wave 3, the water was lovely and I felt good for a change. I settled into my swim quite quickly and apart from hitting a few weedy patches I came out the water in under 25 mins, which was my fastest swim to date. I did my usual wobble about in transistion, my legs had gone, so I had to sit down to take wetsuit off and calm myself! Eventually I got on the bike and started making up some ground on the quick swimmers, its a good bike course with some sharpish turns and a long drag up the old A1, there was about 6 or 7 of us who had a really good battle on the bike, and I thought this is what racing is all about, hammer down and give it my all! I got back in to T2 after 1.07 on bike, and got on the run, it was so hot, I felt awful too be honest, but as usual the support on the run was fantastic, hosepipes cooling us down and even a band, banging out some tunes.
I ran most of the run with a girl from Wakefield Tri Club, we helped each other along, then the thought of getting chicked...again popped up in the grey matter. With a mile or so to go I found some energy and pulled away, the finishing straight was a welcome sight, and having my girls there cheering me on gave me one final push! I finished in 2.19, so not bad, coming in 91st overall and 11th in age group.
After getting some much needed fluids in, we headed straight back to campsite for a shower and some beer, it was well deserved. Race done, we now had 3 days to enjoy the lovely Yorkshire countryside and ice cream!
2 weeks later I was off on my travels again, this time to Bedfordshire for the 1st ever London Brik Triathlon at Stewartby Lakes run by the top folk of NiceTri Club. This time I was flying Solo, so decided to camp at the race venue the night before for a bit of chillaxing!!
All in all it was a peaceful night with lots of athletes turning up camping with all their shiny carbon and bike stands. I don't know why, but I got a bit intimadated by all the young guns there and all the fancy gear, I thought oh dear I'm done here, not a chubby one amongst them!!
I woke Sunday at 530am, and got some porridge, banana and coffee down me in plenty of time before the race kicked off at 8am, again the weather was perfect, a bit of a stiff breeze but warm. 2 other friends were racing, GB athlete Andrea Robinett and fellow Deeping St James and Stamford Tri Club athlete Claire Stilgrove.
We bumped in to each other at the race briefing and had out nervous giggles and excuses as to why we were not in top shape! Andrea is so much harder than me, non wetsuit for her, wish I had her swimming ability. Claire and I opted for our safe and bouyant rubber!
Swim got underway and I found it a real struggle, I zig zagged and splashed my way round in 27 mins! gutted after Ripon!
Right I thought the bike needs a hammering, the bike course was a TT course, up to some roundabouts and back a few times, got the bike done in just under an hour, when I got in to T1 there were not many bikes racked and I thought,'ooh crikey I could get top 30 here or better!'
The run was nice, off road and through a tree lined route, it was an out and back course, so you could see who was chasing you down. Now my running has not been the same since my back injury, so I knew I had to settle in to a decent pace, I actually over took a few people which is unheard off! I pushed the run as hard as I could, with one guy over taking me near the end (I didn't know at that point how significant that was), I finished the 10k run in just over 42 mins, I was well happy with that, it was a tough hot 10k, and there didn't seem to be many finishers about?? I went to get my times, wow, 2nd in age group ( The guy who ran by me, beat me by 29 seconds to calim 1st in Age group) and 9th overall!! In a time of 2.09. Not bad I thought for someone who doesn't do hours and hours of training.
This was another successful race from NiceTri, its always nice to see and chat to some of my friends there, this is one I will be back too!
Now as the Vitruvian is fast approaching and my fundraising efforts are gathering pace, I had a call from BBC Radio Cambs to see if I wanted to be interviewed live on air! Yes I said straight away, great we will call you at 750am in the morning! Gulp, no turning back now, no time to rehearse or prep as I was at work the day before! I must say, I was bricking it, I don't know why I just was!
The next morning came and I was so nervous, what if I mess up? what if I put my dids and dones the wrong way round? drop H's etc?? doomed I thought!!
The phone rang and they eventually put me through to Paul Stainton at the Radio Station, who asked me about my event and the effect Alzhiemer's has had on family, and my thoughts on Chris Turner (PUFC legend). It went quite well really, and I enjoyed it!
Now the power of the media is amazing, within a few minutes of the interview I had a donation of £100 from a listener! Brilliant, it was worth the nerves and sleepless night! As for fame, you can shove it, I'm not cut out for it! :-)
So, next stop Rutland water for The Vitruvian, am I ready? Ask me afterwards on 30th August when I shall have an ale in my hand!

www.justgiving.com/Darren72
 
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