Race Report: Kerri Valley Triathlon - Sophie Pomlett

I decided to do a triathlon because I wanted more of a challenge than just going to the gym. I wanted something specific to work towards that would give me the satisfaction you feel when all your hard work pays off and you've crossed the finish line. Although this was a great idea in my head, I had absolutely no idea where to start and I had no experience in any of the three sports- I didn't even own a bike.

One day I found TriChicks and instantly felt relieved, everything I needed to know about triathlon all in one place. I completed the online 8-week Beginner Triathlon Course to prepare me for my first triathlon and that was definitely the best decision I ever made.

The day of my first tri came around very quickly and I was super nervous (all athletes get nervous). There were so many things running through my head- have I done enough? Am I going to finish? That person has a fancy tri bike and I don't! I can happily say that the minute you start the swim all of these things leave your mind and the fun starts. For me, the swim was definitely the hardest leg. Before TriChicks, I couldn't swim 50m without feeling like I was going to pass out. I live in a town where open water swimming is not possible so the thought of not having a black line on the floor to follow was a little scary. I told myself before the start that I was here to finish and it doesn't matter how fast/slow I was. What got me through was continuously telling myself how far I've come and how amazing it is going to feel when I finish each leg and I'm that bit closer to what I came for... that finish line feeling with my family cheering for me. I'm not going to lie, I did have to stop and doggy paddle a few sections of the swim to catch my breath in a tight wetsuit but that's ok, I got through it and you bet I had the best doggy paddle technique ever.

Onto to bike transition, definitely my easiest and funniest leg. There were lots of hills but what goes up must come down and it was so much fun to be flying down those hills. After a 500m swim and 20km ride my legs were not happy, they were jelly but I was also there- 1 more leg to go! Bike shoes off, running shoes on and off I go up a hill to start the run.

The run leg was more of a trail run which was a little bit more difficult with the uneven ground but all part of the experience. By this point I was tired and my lungs hurt but I kept telling myself I was not giving up and I was closer to the finish line than the start by now. Back over the hill and there it was... the finish line! Everyone was cheering, I could see my family and suddenly my legs were moving faster than they ever had before (I just needed to make sure I didn't stack it in front of everyone).

I was so happy, I had actually finished a triathlon! All that hard work I had put in to training was all so worth it and I had won the battle against my brain wanting to take the easy way out. I can not thank Amy and Liv for all the support and providing me with everything I needed to know. I can't wait for my next triathlon :)

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