My First Olympic Distance Triathlon

Bewl water triathlon – 8 aug 2015IMG_0001the Summary

In the middle of no where. A foggy start. My first 1500m open water swim since ‘the episode’. A busy bike course. A hilly run. And one thankful Allison for having some amazing support on race day.

Total Time: 02:45:16
Gender Position: 9 / 51
Category Position: 4 /13

I was really nervous about this race – I felt confident that I could do the distance but I wasn’t sure how to pace an Olympic distance triathlon (Olympic distance triathlons are: 1500m swim, 40km bike and a 10km run).

It was also a bit weird racing without Dan there – another first for me! (Dan’s in Mallorca on a training camp this week getting prepared for 70.3 World Champs)

Here’s a look at the result of my first Olympic Distance Triathlon…

The swim – 00:33:02

When it comes to running and rowing, I’ve nailed the tactic of channelling nervous energy into positive energy at the start line of a race (more on that here). But when it comes to triathlon, I find it hard to get excited and stay positive; the start of an open water swim terrifies me…

First thing in the morning, there was a lot of fog out on the lake. It delayed the race slightly because it was so thick. As soon as it started to lift, we made our way to the start but I was really worried that the fog would make it difficult to sight out on the course. In my opinion, the fog hadn’t lifted enough to start the first few waves but by the time my wave got going, the fog had fully cleared up (thank goodness!!).

Once I get into the first 50m-100m of the swim, then I get excited. Before then… I’m a bag of nervs and the fog situation did not help…

In the end, I was really happy with my swim; I stayed calm and tried to keep a comfortable effort level.

At the moment, I’m happy to focus on enjoying the swim… It’s my biggest barrier with the sport so I figure the more positive experiences I have, the better. Once I have built up enough confidence in open water swimming, then I can start to play with my limits.


THE bike – 01:16:56

My goal for the bike was to give it all I had and see how the run would get impacted.

We were racing on open roads so there were a few instances were traffic and traffic lights impacted the pace but in between all that I just tried to keep a consistent cadence and an even amount of pressure throughout the forever undulating roads. I felt strong! I was passing people and challenging other athletes on the hills.

I didn’t wear a watch during the race so I had no idea what kind of pace I was pushing. I was really happy when I saw my bike time at the end of the race – I averaged 31km/h for 40km on what I felt was a pretty tough course!


The run – 00:49:27

See this nice hill I got to run down? Ya… we had to run up it too… 4 times. The run course was tough. There were a few killer hills and my legs didn’t have much left in them after the bike.

I’m not disappointed with my run, but I’m not happy with it either. It’s all good training!


THE event

The Bewl Water Triathlon is a bit difficult to get to… ie. you need a car (no if’s and’s or but’s). But other than that, it’s a well organised event in a beautiful part of Britain. It’s a nice size too, where it is competitive but not too busy or congested.

A big thanks to my photographer and my chauffeur for the day! You know who you are and I wouldn’t have been able to race without you. Thank-you!

6 responses to My First Olympic Distance Triathlon

  1. Moira

    Congratulations Allison, We are all so very proud of you back here in Ontario! The biggest reason I have not tried a triathlon is the open water swim fear….weird for someone who loves the water, swam competitively and put myself through University by lifeguarding. Pools are one thing….dark lakes a whole other story!


    • allisonloosley – Author

      Thank-you Moira! Open water swimming is a strange beast that’s for sure. Once you get going it’s OK but jumping into the dark lake to start with is a little terrifying. Happy to report it gets less an less scary the more you do it 🙂


  2. Anonymous

    Well done Allison – an inspiration as always and was so proud being part of it 🙂 x


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