I (Mark) turned 40 this month and indeed I made the most of it, with 3 parties and 2 events and a Spanish climbing hol on the horizon. Newbiggin Triathlon was my first open water Tri and we had the tail end of a hurricane in america blowing up our coast! I couldn’t complain though as I came out of the water in a decent enough time given the conditions. Swimming out was like having your head battered with a wet towel, and swimming in was like falling down a river. Transition 1 was awful, I tried to put a jacket on fearing the wind, numb fingers ensured I wasted about 50 seconds on a zip and ditched the idea! Cant say I was ever cold on the ride either, so I learned from that. The ride went well and I managed to strike up a rapport with another athlete as we passed each other many times. I couldn’t stay with him on the final lap but felt like it had paced me well. T2 wasn’t so bad, a quick change of shoes and I was into the run. A 2 lap course meant I saw the faster athletes in my group and some were doing really well, Michael Doyle was in quick and Mick Rich was a good few minutes ahead of me. On the last stretch I caught sight of the man who left me on the bike, and gave it a blast going past him in the last 200m – I was well happy.
Other things to note were: how quick the first females were to pass me after they started 15 mins after our group. After a good event, how blue Mark Head’s lips went. How despite the wind, all the people id met in preparing for the race had put a good time in.
We partied into the night and from the 11th to the 12th (My birthday) dancing as the clock struck 12!!
The following weekend was the Great North Run, and after 3 pisses near the start line, Myself and Dave set off to the inane ramblings of Alan Robson. Now we had put our times in as 2hrs, so therefore started with the 2hr pace runners. By the tyne bridge people were packing in, slowing down and walking! The rest of the race was like trying to get to the front of a gig! If I ever do it again, im putting in 1:30. I came in at 1:47 having lost Dave in the rain somehow. We all met at the end, Dave, Julie, Charlie, Julie n Ken and myself – a fantastic moment that I had only enjoyed once some 25 years ago.
Overall, turning 40 was great. I was happy with my times and felt fitter than ever. Apart from the actual 12th when I was at work for 10am, a little errr tired?
We did get a little climbing done in preparation for Spain next month…..