I joined the club last century.
My wife Kate decided to try triathlon on the basis that nobody we knew did triathlon, and she joined the club first. I needed to be in a registered club to increase my chances of getting a London marathon place so joined as a family member.
Eventually I tried a pool based triathlon. Self-taught, I managed to swim half a length before stopping to get my breath back, then moved to side-stroke. The bike wasn’t much better. I rode out of T1 on my pub bike to laughter. My helmet was on back-to-front.
A turning point was Llanberis Half-Ironman UK 2002 which I crewed while Kate raced. I was more broken than Kate so when HIMUK moved to Sherborne in 2003 I asked for a less physical job – and spent a day guarding bananas. I surmised it would be easier to race than crew so completed the final HIMUK in Sherborne in 2004, and the world’s first ever IM70.3 in Longleat in 2005.
In 2006 I did the first Wimbleball and qualified for the inaugural IM70.3 World Championships later that year. I spent the months in between completing my first two full IMs – Klagenfurt and Sherborne.
That necessitated a lot of expensive swim-coaching in London so when the club committee was discussing coaching provision I volunteered to train up and specialise in coaching people like me and Kate: “newbies of a certain age”.
I’ve experienced various issues over the years (DVT, heart attack, gout, arthritis,…) but still persevere with my own training which informs my coaching.
Despite some odd claims to tri fame like being a Wimbleball “Repeat Offender” I still prefer jogging, and have completed nearly 70 marathons/ultras. That does include ten full IMs which sounds a lot but Kate has already completed nearly 30 IMs, including Kona three times!
I remain resolutely slow, but I’m only in it for the giggle; the bling and the giggle. And trundling along at the back gives me something to do while Kate races!