Created On: 11 May 2011

Race report by Ray and Angela O'Grady - Chester Tri

Background: Ray runs his own telecommunications business, after a career in the army in the Household Cavalry and was often on duty attending the Queens birthday parade, State investitures, Horse Guards Parade etc. Ray is also a qualified pilot and PADI dive master. After a health scare 18 months ago, where a narrowing in one of his arteries was identified, he has been completely cleared of all problems and feels very lucky to be able to compete at all.

Angela retired in January 2011, after working in the NHS for 43 years. The last six years spent behind a desk in management, where she put on an extra stone and a half in weight. Having worked all her adult life, she was a bit concerned that she would be bored in retirement (there is only so much cleaning and shopping that you can do).

Having competed in triathlons previously with his son and daughter while Angela looked after the grand children, Ray decided to put her name down to compete in the East Coast Triathlon at Great Yarmouth.

Ray goes on to say:

In January, Angela couldn't swim, nor run very far! Riding a bike was something she had only done as a child, so she started training, enrolling at our local gym. A lot of training was required to say the least to make the start line. Swimming lessons, weight training, and learning how to run, took up most of her time, five days a week!

Great Yarmouth was a way to drive, so we decided to take a week away in a motor home, incorporating the triathlon at the same time. We arrived at Great Yarmouth caravan club site on Thursday the 28th April in time to watch the Royal Wedding.

Angela wanted to rest on Friday & Saturday, two days before 'D' day as she put it. Nerves where apparent on Saturday night, and sleeping was difficult.

Sunday morning, we both arrived at 5.30am, parking our motor home on Marine Parade, outside the venue for only £5.00 for the day - very reasonable! After registering, we set up our kit in the indoor transition area, with plenty of time to have a look around, and talk to other competitors. Everyone was very helpful and friendly, with the whole event being very well organised - this helped us both a great deal.

Before too long, Angela was in the pool and swimming her 10 lengths, out of the water with a short run to transition, (no time to feel the cold) kit on, and she was running out with her bike and plenty of encouragement from spectators. Outside she went into the sunshine and of course 'THE WIND'. With the bike course running up and down the sea front one of the major challenges of this triathlon is the wind. After completing the three laps that make up the 10 mile bike course it was back to the transition area along the "Broadway" passing the gentle moving horse and carriages ready to start the 3km run.

With her legs feeling like they were padded with lead weights! Angela's only thought was to keep going. The run was an out and back course along the sea front esplanade. A great feeling of relief was felt at the half way turn, when the wind was from behind pushing her to the finishing line.

Back at the Marina Centre - the crowds of people shouting, clapping and cheering competitors to the finish line helped a lot. Tired, Angela crossed the finish line in 1 hour 22 minutes. Not the best of times, but mission completed never the less! I completed in 57.19 minutes - not too bad for two 61 year olds!

At the presentation ceremony it was so nice to meet the Mayor of Great Yarmouth and his lovely wife. Thank you to them both for taking the time to present the trophies, we look forward to saying hello next year.

The whole event was put together, and organised superbly! A big well done to all who organised and marshalled and a big well done to everyone who had the bottle to enter.

After our achievements at the triathlon we then spent the rest of the week enjoying the wide range of attractions in Great Yarmouth. A really enjoyable week and we plan to be back next year.

Tags: news,beginners

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