Somehow, friends, I did it. 13km of open sea kayaking, 22km of mountain biking and 12km of trail running in the midday Australian summer heat.
It was horrendously hard…but not for the reasons I expected.
I expected the kayaking to be the killer. I’d never tried it before and I was certain I’d just capsize and never get back in. However, although I capsized the very moment the race started, I managed to get back in and – somehow – stay afloat.
In the end, the kayaking leg only took me an hour and a half, which was actually a little faster than quite a few of the other competitors.
That’s not to say it was easy; it ripped my hands to shreds and obliterated every muscle in my body, but I was fresh and far too concerned with falling into the sea to worry about the exhaustion.
The real killer of the course was the mountain bike element. Basically, I can’t mountain bike. I could cycle on the road but, as soon as I hit the mountainous parts of the course, I’d simply hit a rock and fall off the bike. In the end, I had no other option (for the sake of my bones) than to carry the bike for the best part of 22km, which took me 2 hours and 41 minutes.
Then it was time for the run and, by that point, I was cooked. The sun had baked me in my long sleeved black running shirt (what was I thinking?!) and, before I’d covered 1/4 of the distance, I collapsed into the mud and could not get back on my feet…
Eventually, I stripped off, cooled down and managed to get moving again. By the time I crossed the finish line, however, it had taken me 3 hours to run 12km, which is a new low – even when you consider I got lost in the bush for the best part of an hour.
Here, for your amusement, is a local news video of my performance…in all its comedy glory.