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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!

Vitruvian man, it's for charity mate!

DazzaTri72by DazzaTri72Sep 3rd 2014
Darren Kelly YOU ARE A VITRUVIAN!!!! These were the words that I wanted to hear so badly!! After a 1.9K swim, 85K bike ride and a 21K run I had crossed the finish line to rapturous applause and cheering from my small band of followers! Well I think it was for me!
Lets go back 24 hours....I was nervous, in fact, secretly I was bricking it! Friends were trying to guess my time after foolishly I had put on Facebook....Guess my time!?? Idiot! Times came in for me, all under 5 hours, I would of been happy with 5-5 and a half hours....well that was what I was telling people. Deep down I had a figure in mind. So the pressure was on! My sleep leading up to the race was awful, stressing about getting under 5 hours, not only that my Wife, Joanna had a stressful time worrying about the parking at Rutland Water and keeping our daughter Gracie occupied! I really needed that like the proverbial hole in the head!
I decided on the Wednesday to go for a swim with the Tri Club as part of my taper week and the fact I hadn't been for ages, bad mistake, hurt back and got smashed by faster swimmers, leaving my confidence in the water at an all time low. So far this week was not going well.
The Friday before the race Team Kelly headed up to Rutland Water to get registered and rack the bike, having only 30 mins to travel to do all this really does ease the stresses that come with racing triathlon.
On the way home we dived into Raj's chippy for my pre match meal....large fish n chips and mushy peas!!! Followed by some dairy milk chocolate!
We had a chilled out evening and I got tucked up by 9pm after setting my alarm for a 4am wake up! Why oh why us triathlete's do this I've know idea! I guess it beats being a lazy arse...that's why!
Wakey wakey, can't be that time already, yep, 4am soon came round. Breakfast was forced down, a bowl of porridge and a strong coffee, followed by apple juice and immodium!!!
I set off at 5am and felt quite excited and nervous, the weather wasn't looking good, rain clouds were gathering and the old fen blow started to pick up!
When I got to Rutland, I went to set up my transistion area, and tried to keep a low profile and gather my thoughts. After the race briefing and a nervous wee, it was soon time to get in to the water for a 0650 start.
The swim was 2 laps, and went ok, it was quite rough around the bouy's with legs and arms thrashing away, and I had my usual trouble of sighting, goggles steaming up didn't help!!
I got out the water in 35.09, little disappointed to be honest. Running into get my bike I whipped the wetsuit off and put on my Alzheimer's cycling top with TURNER 5 on the back (in honour of Peterborough United legend Chris Turner). The 1st lap on the bike went well and after I had warmed up I felt quite strong, taking on food and plenty of fluids, getting up the infamous Ripple felt easy and I probably should of pushed harder. Now the 2nd lap went belly up!!! Going up one of the hills on the Ripple my chain decided to jump off and go behind my rear cassette, sh*t was my 1st thought! I did panic a bit as the blighter wouldn't go back on and got jammed! Calm down baldy I said to myself! It went back on after some logical thinking! Right lets make up some time, I was angry and cheesed off, the fastest bit of the bike leg is coming up on the A47. No one told the farmer in his crop sprayer that there was a p*ssed off chunky triathlete biking down the road! Slow. Thats the only way I can describe the next 10 minutes. You see the rules state that you can not overtake or draft road vehicles. So there was I being good and going about 17mph!! ahhhhh. These unfortunate events must of cost me a good 5 minutes, shame as I had felt good.
I eventually got into T2, racked my bike and swapped tops for my Alzheimer's running top with 'Grandad' on the back. As I started the run I saw my family, so stopped to give the wife and daughter a sweaty salty kiss! ( the p.a. guys gave me a rollicking for stopping as I had a race to run! ha ha) My daughter was holding up her little good luck banner, which brought a lump to my throat.
Now the run is a run, not a walk, at no point was I going to walk. My plan worked well, taking on a few gels and plenty of fluids, as usual I got overtaken but kept telling myself to stick to the plan. Not to walk and not to use the portaloos! It was an out and back route, so you had to come back in near the finish line which was mentally tough! But having family and friends still there shouting at me, really helped.
I enjoyed the run in a funny way as it was good to see friends running and a few of us encouraged each other. My legs and body started to suffer on the 2nd lap but I just kept ticking off the miles and before I knew it I was heading to the finish line. The cheering by the crowds was fantastic and seeing friends and family cheering me on was great. The relief at the end and buzz is hard to describe. I think it was one of the proudest moments in my life as I had trained as best as I could with some random plan I had put together, which consisted of 2 runs, 2 swims and 2 bike rides a week and sometimes not even that.
After the race it was great to see my closest friends still there, and then to see my in laws and my girls come up and give me a hug was overwhelming. They all congratulated me and were just fantastic. Lets not beat about the bush here, this is a long race with an early start, so to have the support I had was amazing, people often forget that family and friends stand there in all weathers for a long time! So a huge thanks!
Afterwards it was time to celebrate, beer O'clock! We had been invited round to our good friends Stuart and Kim's for dinner and some light refreshments! A cracking night was had and hangovers followed!!!
Now I did this race for charity and am very pleased that I raised £715 for Alzheimer's Society. I'm sure my Grandad would of been proud and he was in my thoughts throughout the race, and the thought of him, and Chris Turner who is still suffering from mental illness kept me going! Oh by the way you can still sponsor me www.justgiving.com/Darren72
I didn't do this race all by myself, I had advice from friends Gary Cooper and bent Stuart Boyd's ear a few times on our bike rides, thanks to Jez Harrison for keeping this creaking body going and again listening to me!! But most importantly thanks to Jo and Gracie for being there and supporting me throughout this journey.
Would I do a half Ironman again, yeah I probably would, I certainly won't do a full as it's just not my bag!
So next up is a little Sprint Duathlon at Abbots Ripton at the end of September, which should be fun.
Oh just to let you know, the wife easily found a car parking spot!!!

thx for reading.
Dazza x

Swim 35.09 Bike 2.34 ish and run 1.41 ish so I got under 5 hours, not bad for a timecrunched fatboy ha ha
 
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