|Glynn-O'Donovan Triathlon Team|
Luckily the weather began to improve as the day went on and when I saw the under-age competitors (starting with the under 8 event) I began to gain in confidence. When the rest of the family team arrived along with a vocal group of supporters I even began to change my focus from competing the event towards achieving a good time. The wind also died down and the lake was quite calm.
When the swim started I hung back near the back of the group to avoid getting crowded. Unfortunately many of the swimmers at the back were doing breaststroke rather than crawl and hence were taking up more room and it seemed to be equally crowded. At one stage I decided to put my head down and swim hard, when I lifted my head to look around a canoe based marshal was shouting at me "turn right you are off course". Although this detour added to the distance I had to swim, it was probably a good move overall since I was then separated from the crowd and able to swim in peace from then on.
When I got out from the swim I got a big cheer from my extended family and so my spirits were lifted. I struggled getting out of my wet suit, but when I got on my bike I saw that it was only 24 minutes from the start so I was ahead of my schedule. I cycled steadily and I managed to complete the cycle leg in slightly over 40 minutes. I almost got a penalty as I went through the second transition because I thought I was allowed unclip my helmet immediately after dismounting - luckily the marshal knew that it was an honest mistake and so he let me off with a warning.
The began to fall towards the end of the cycle, but this didn't really interfere with my progress because it was only light and helped keep me cool. I struggled on the running phase, but just concentrated on keeping moving rather than trying to keep a fast pace. The full results are now available on-line and I have been credited with a time of one hour 35 minutes and 4 seconds which seems a respectable time for a beginner.
Overall I was delighted to have taken part and even began to discuss about possibly coming back again next year. My father told me that he ran his first marathon when he was about the same age as I am now. I think staying active has worked out well for him and I would be very happy if I am as healthy as him in the decades ahead.