My other bike is a carbon TT racer, it just had a puncture so I had to make do with this one on the day of the Norwich Triathlon…..

Fiona_Bike

No really, the yellow bike in the picture with the child seat on the back is my one and only bike. It’s a 17 year old bespoke Chas Roberts and whilst I love bikes and do not own a car, I believe one bike is enough.  As you can see from my grimace, cycle racing is not my strong point and I think the only time I smiled throughout the ride was when a member of the crowd joked with me, asking: “where’s your baby?”. I’d rather cycle to the Wilderbeest and stop off there than go steaming past it. Many thanks to the marshal who let me keep the seat on the back of the bike when I explained I would be going straight back into mummy mode with two young children at the end of the event, as I don’t think child seats are in the rather extensive rule book.

 

Me: I’m a crazy busy working mum who’s not set foot in a gym for years, in my mid-forties and I enjoy gentle open water swimming which is why I joined Tri-Anglia 3 years ago. So what made me enter a race with so many awesome world class athletes? It was a chance conversation with a woman at Wells theatre who explained that the Wells triathlon had a great carnival atmosphere and a crowd that swept you along. She was not the athletic type but was pleased to have taken part in a “fun” event and completed (in just over 5 hours).  This inspired me to go to more Tri-Anglia training sessions and social events. I was reassured by the fact that there was a good balance of both genders and people of all ages, shapes and sizes who just wanted to do their personal best, support each other and have fun along the way.

 

The marshals, crowd and fellow participants at the Norwich event were all inspirational and high standards of sporting behaviour were maintained at all times. At no time was I ridiculed, made to feel I was in the way or that I shouldn’t be there (and that has happened to me before at sporting events). All I got was smiles, cheers and words of encouragement from everyone. Thanks in particular to the marshal who cycled with me for the last half of the ride as I was the “tail end sprint”, as he rather tactfully described me.

 

Having completed my first triathlon on Sunday I do feel a tremendous sense of gratitude and respect for Tri-Anglia (and my parents for all the baby sitting – thanks mum and dad!). It is a friendly, inclusive group that achieves a complex balance of supporting everyone from finely tuned athletes who want to compete to those like myself who enjoy the sport and want to participate to complete.

 

Fiona Dawe – Triathlete

Photo credit : Diss Event Photography