Trying a Tri – by Stuart McConnachie

Montrose Sprint Triathlon – June 3rd 2018


750m swim

20k bike

5k Run.

So it seems the word sprint means different things in the triathlon world than it does in the running one.

So I’m a runner. And I find myself standing by a swimming pool with 30 others. Killing time and nervously chatting about our respective triathalon experiences. My swimming skills have previously been compared to that of a rock. However a few sessions with the Montrose Tri club coaches on a Monday evening has significantly improved my front crawl.

I’m in the second heat. As the first heat leave the pool one by one and my race start approaches I feel the nerves kick in. A couple of lengths to warm up and I’m starting to think if it’s bad form to puke in the pool. Fortunately before that happened the race was off and I’m too busy concentrating on how to breathe. 28 lengths later and the volunteer dunts me on the head to tell me I’ve 2 lengths to go. That was most welcome. I’m sure I’ve read somewhere that you should go for it at the end of the swim to get the legs ready for the bike so I did. Then clamber out the pool fling my swim cap in the box and head for my bike.

Transition 1 (or T1) is a bit of a blur, my shoes are a bit tricky to get into with my wet feet, and then I’m cycling. You have to either maintain a distance of 10metres from the rider in front or complete an overtake quite quickly in this type of event. The chap in front of me is messing around with his bottle and I quickly get past. The only other multi-sport event I’ve done was the Knockburn duathalon and I seemed to spend the whole cycle going backwards through the field. I am determined not to let that happen this time. This route has 2 loops of “the hill” at Ferryden. The first Loop feels quite nice and I manage a few overtakes. See one poor rider with a puncture. Then the second loop feels much tougher. Though Stava tells me I was only 5 seconds slower on that one. Then a headwind for the last mile or so back into Montrose. It was time to grit the teeth and try to keep the legs spinning. The road surface had been excellent the whole way and a big thank you to the army of volunteers who swept the corners. The only bit that is a bit bumpy is not going to be fixed by any amount of sweeping.


Then T2. This is smooth again. Great job from all the marshals keeping us right. Change shoes ditch the bike (carefully – it is my pride and joy) and the helmet and I’m off and running in no time. Now I’ve heard it said that the legs feels like jelly after the cycle. I feel great, and fly out of transition and probably do the first few hundred meters faster than I intended. I reign myself in for a mile or so. Then I get thinking if this was a Parkrun I’d expect to be breathing hard the whole way to get a good time. I realise I’m cruising rather than pushing, have a word with myself and push for the second lap. Breathing really hard in the home straight so I’ve maybe judged it just about right.

Overall a hugely well organised event. Nice facilities and parking nearby. Beginner friendly and well marshalled. There was no danger of taking a wrong turn and lots of friendly faces with words of advice. I thoroughly recommend this to anyone considering it. Next year’s date is already in my calendar… the 2nd of June.

A great goody bag containing much needed refueling items and a lovely medal.

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  1. […] is between those board game and running enthusiasts: so far it seems to largely be myself and Stuart, at least in terms of the people I know)) seemed like the perfect opportunity for a bit of Parkrun […]

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