MARSHMAN STANDARD TRI 14th May
I braved the world of The Standard Tri earlier this month. Having completed a handful of
Sprint Triathlons I was always going to up my game to a Standard Tri at some point but it
came sooner due to a ‘friend’ whose comment ‘well, it’s not a proper Tri, is it?’ every time Imentioned doing a Sprint Triathlon, was beginning to grate.
So I agreed to do the Marshman (yes I’d had a glass or two of wine!) on the basis that it
was flat; fast, I think is how the club promoted it. I never thought I’d be ‘fast’. My aim was
The lake swim was a daunting two laps and for most of it I was on my own at the back, I
even had my own personal support canoe! I exited the lake 10 mins after the person in
front of me, and into transition. Wetsuit came off easily (first time I’d worn one in a race)
but I then had a near meltdown when I realised my ankle brace (repaired ligament, still a
bit weak) wouldn’t fit over the electronic tag. Then I heard the voice of reason, that was
Ray Deacon, telling me to simply take the tag off and put it on the other ankle. Which I
did. Then off on the bike ride.
The route was well sign posted and the marshals were cheery. The unexpected headwind and icy rain made it a bit more of a challenge but then it was indeed flat. The only other cyclists I saw was one that had gone the wrong way doing the Sprint, and another that was out for a training ride, offering words of encouragement as he sailed past!
Nearing the end of the bike ride I could almost see the finish, just ahead and turn right I
thought, but there was a marshall directing me to turn left, go up to the roundabout and
back, surely not I thought, this was too much! I did as directed and was assured by the
marshals at the roundabout that this was the correct route for the Standard (clearly to
make up the distance, but that felt hard so close to the finish).
Smoothly into and out of transition (although I don’t think I actually ran up the steep slope onto the road) and off….. I had to keep my internal voice in check and insisted it repeat ‘Ifeel fresh, I feel fresh’ when it was screaming other things at me. I heard my mile bleeper sound on my Garmin and looked at my time… I couldn’t believe my eyes - under 10 mins for the first mile! Surely that can’t be, I thought, but it gave me a boost and I kept going.
Two drinks stations on the run but I didn’t need any. The route was two laps and it was
hard going past the finished; but there were still people there to encourage me ‘I can’t wait to see you again!’ I shouted to the marshall and indeed I couldn’t; head down, keeping focus as each mile passed, all but the last in under 10 mins.
My elation at actually finishing was amplified by the support I received from fellow Tri
Tempo club members who waited for me. I was delighted with the medal which actually
had ‘Marshman Standard Tri’ on it, rather than just a generic image that you’d later
struggle to recall what it was for.
I will affectionately call this ‘The Wilderness Tri’ as for most of it I was on my own with the
proverbial tumbleweed drifting by….. but I finished it, and finished strong, with a personal best on my 10k run! It wasn’t about the other competitors (it didn’t seem a ‘fun run’ type of event)….. it was just me and the clock. Will I do another Standard? Absolutely.