The Monster Triathlon just isn’t my race. Two years in a row… Year 1 – DNS (did not start), Year 2 – DNF (did not finish)…
Last year I came down with the flu a few days before the race and was unable to compete. This year I planned on racing the Monster Triathlon as my main focus race and my last triathlon of the season… There’s nothing worse than dedicating time and effort in training and then ending up with a big fat DNF!
The last time I got a DNF was in rowing when I raced at the Royal Canadian Henley with Becca. We were in the under 25 women’s double final and the collar on my oar wasn’t fastened properly; it slipped right off at the 1250m mark leaving us unable to finish the race; equipment malfunctions are the worst!!
So what happened this time? Well here’s the very short race report and a few silver linings from the experience…
Bike/ Run: DNF
The Monster Triathlon is every August in Ely, Cambridgeshire. The race is located along a canal where the swim course is too. To get to the start of the swim, you have to walk the 1500m along the canal and then swim back towards transition area when the race starts.
On the morning of the race, it started pouring rain. I rode my bike down to registration at 5AM and got absolutely soaked. I had to put my wet suit on about an hour and a half before I raced just to keep warm!!
So the day was off to a rough start already and there race hadn’t even started. At 7:30AM, we got in the water and had a couple minutes to warm up before we got going. It was a mixed start wave (men and women), which usually makes it all more hectic then a women’s only start so I stayed towards the side and let all the thrashing happen away from me. When we started my main focus for the swim was to NOT PANIC and try drafting.
I was so happy when I came out of the water… I was able to draft for the first time ever in a race setting, I didn’t have a panic moment and I ended up with a personal best time for 1500m open water swim. Here I am thinking this is going to be my race!! I jumped on the bike and it was going well too. The course was flat and I was feeling strong and then 10km into the 44km bike… I got a puncture. Womp, womp.
I didn’t want to ruin anyone else’s race so I told all the nice people who offered me help that I was fine. I was hoping a race official would come around and get me sorted or get me back to transition at least, but 15 minutes past and the wind was chilling me to the bone. I was frozen! No race officials in sight at all. Thank goodness one of the spectators of the race who had been driving up and down the course noticed me standing there and stopped. She loaded my bike in her car, offered me her jumper, put on the heated seats and got be back to transition where first aid took care of the rest. Nothing a cuppa tea and a thermal blanket can’t fix!
Other than the literal silver foil survival blanket I had on after the race, there is a metaphorical silver lining to this experience too…
Not being able to finish this race helped snap me out of my ‘Who Cares?’ way of thinking and it also got me motivated to sign up for another race. It reminded me how great of a feeling it is to cross the finish line and how much of a drag it is to not.
If I can’t fit another triathlon in this year and my season ends this way… well I think I’ve found some instant winter motivation to keep training and look for a race in the Spring.