The day started brightly with my 4.30am alarm call from our little girl, Calista. When you see her smiling and laughing at that time in the morning, it does make you reassess your mood!
Plenty of time for us to have breakfast as the English National Aquathlon was luckily in Birmingham and registration did not close until 7.30am. Arriving there, we found out that wetsuits were optional due to the positively barmy weather we have been having. Optional for a shark may be. Mine was going on.
After his appearance at The Avenger a few weeks ago, Martyn Brunt of 220 Magazine turned up again. Seemingly a serial racer, he is also in an old gits category (one of the most competitive age groups, of course, though!).
We had time to kill and therefore chewed the fat on how all the youngsters seemingly could swing their legs back and forth to their ears, how everyone else there made us fine specimens look fat, and that Ian, the guy who beat us out of the water at The Avenger, missed the Ironman Bolton bike cut-off despite swimming 54 mins!!
At the swim start, I decided to self seed in the second row and it was a rubbish decision after getting caught on the wrong side of a couple of swimmers in the first hundred metres of so. Still, it cleared up and after catching Brunty, most of the swim was spent drafting again.
Just like Avenger although this time as we exited, I did not feel like puking so all was good.
Through transition and onto the run. Bit of a twisty one with a lot of 180 turns and a couple of bumps, you never really got too much of a rhythm. It was kind of lucky though as, like in Liverpool at the World’s qualifier, I struggle with my breathing on such a short 5k run. That said, second half was better and I came over the line thinking of my second breakfast of the day….mmmm…bacon butties.
So that’s where I headed. The bloke behind the counter also returned my wedding ring. Not for the first time, I had forgotten to take it off that morning and after a last minute dash to gift it to him before the race, he had kindly taken a vow not to sell it off.
With bacon buttie in hand, it was off to the timing chip van. My eyes lit up as I saw 3rd place in the old git, 40-44 age group. Chuffed with my bronze medal, there was just time to say a few goodbyes and thank the BRAT crew before heading home for a celebratory 19m run. Amsterdam marathon is getting closer.