Set your mind to anything and you will achieve with RFS, sometimes its not all about been fast sometimes its all about the “because you can”. Here is Pauls race report in his own words.

I had registered for the Shropshire Olympic Triathlon at the beginning of the year, but major surgery in March cost me a couple of months of serious training.  With encouragement from Gary to still go for my first ever Olympic distance race, I was soon back into regular training.  A long (for me) cycle ride with Gary a few weeks before the race, convinced me that I could complete the race (I aim to complete rather than to compete!).

The Shropshire Olympic Triathlon took place on Sunday 16 September, at Ellesmere Lake.  On the day it was windy and raining, but there were still 234 of us at the start.  I was confident about the 1500m swim, but I had troubles with my goggles, which were letting in water.  I stopped several times to adjust them, and swallowed quite a lot of water in the choppy lake.  Although I completed the swim in the expected time of around 40 minutes, it was my worst ever swim. 

T1 took the customary 8 minutes (an event record?) – perhaps I should try to manage without putting on compression socks?   The bike ride seemed to be into the strong wind the whole way around the course, and it rained for the first hour.   My time of 1:44 was good for me considering the conditions, but I was still looking forward to a rest on the run, which I thought would be a flat one around the lake

I flashed through T2 in 4 minutes (!), only to find that the run went straight up hill for the first 2km, and we had to do two laps.  In the end I finished in 4 hours 10 seconds – only ten seconds slower than predicted!  I finished near the back of the field, but I did beat the guy who had two punctures, and the 82-year old former Ironman World Championship finalist (he beat me in the swim and on the bike, but he can hardly run now!).

I was pleased to have completed my first Olympic distance triathlon only six months after my surgery.  I was cycling and running with the Half Ironman guys (who kept overtaking me!), so a middle distance triathlon now seems a possibility.  I hope it is, because I have already registered for the 2019 middle distance race…..

Paul Harding