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 Inspirational Races in Beautiful Places 
 
 
Wensleydale Tri 2012
Tue Oct 23, 2012 1:18 pm la marquise
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This is out of calendar order as Wensleydale Tri was before our holiday.

No matter.

Back in the times before the internet was so much as a twinkle in Tim Berners-Lee’s eye, our colleague, Nobby, asked Spike to join him in a triathlon in the Yorkshire Dales. Fortunately, Spike said ‘no’, as he physically couldn’t swim the required 1000 yards, but he happily agreed to spend the weekend in the Yorkshire Dales drinking beer and hollering support. Spike watched Nobby complete the GRUELLING (natch) ordeal of a swim in a freezing cold lake, ride 42 miles up some seriously steep hills, and run 13 miles up and down Pen-y-Gent.

And thus a dream was born…

A few years later Spike did a couple of local sprint tri’s and decided that the time was ripe to try something a bit longer. He applied to enter Cambridge Olympic Triathlon, and then realised that he’d need a wetsuit.

Now, I know that Spike is the epitome of manliness and handsomeness, but his wrists have the circumference to match that of a small child. In order for a wetsuit not to drape around his arms, Spike ordered a made to measure suit. I got to do a lot of amusing measuring Wink The makers still called back to double check the wrist measurement. A package of neoprene arrived. Hurrah. A letter from Cambridge Tri also arrived, saying that the race was full. Boo.

So we now had a Spike with a new wetsuit and nowhere to play in it.

Aha! The much dreamt of Yorkshire Dales Triathlon was the very same weekend as Cambridge. It was fate. Spike entered and then rang the first B&B listed in Hawes in yell.com.

And the dream became legend.

We arrived in Hawes, at the wonderful Brandymires B&B (well behaved dogs welcome, leave the kids at home, no telly) who provided us with a gorgeous room and a fantastic evening meal, with extra carbs for those who race the next day.

Spike completed the course: swim 1500m in Semer Water, ride 42 miles up and down the steepest roads Yorkshire can provide finishing at Helwith Bridge, and then a trot up and down Pen y Gent. He sported a very fetching short tri vest and speedos. Mmmmm. At the end Spike was exhausted, and so was I.

Also Spike was hooked.

Finishing the race at about 3pm, we thought we were fine for sharing the driving home, but after an hour Spike realised that he was losing concentration, so I had to drive the rest of the journey back to Ipswich, tanked up on coffee.

That was when we learnt that triathlon is a much more enjoyable experience, if you are able to take Monday off work, to stay and celebrate the prize-giving and relax with a well-deserved beer and a good meal. The next day you can drive home with no time stress.

The Yorkshire Dales Triathlon instantly became the focus of Spike’s racing year. Everything about it was just right:
* stunningly beautiful location,
* super-tough challenging course,
* grass roots atmosphere (no racking – lean your bike against a bush),
* friendly and inclusive.

Each year the same tri-widows would spend the day chatting, often arriving with additional offspring since last year. Every year we would stay at Brandymires.

Spike has missed the race in a few of the intervening years (clashing with Norseman). In Foot and Mouth year it was changed to a duathlon.

We saw its name changed to Wensleydale Triathlon, with the bike section finishing in Hawes and the run route moved to up and down Great Shunner Fell. And still the familiar faces pop up. Now we can see the finish line from our bedroom at Brandymires!

This year was as good as ever. Double-porridge for breakfast, drop the run kit at T2 and drive up to Semer Water.


Race start was delayed a couple of minutes as we all waited for a latecomer to clear transition.

Who could possibly rock up to an event this tough at 5 to kick-off?

Oh yes, of course, our very own lycra denim boy Toyota Crown.

What a numpT.



The lake was clear and still, but I couldn’t help noticing that it didn’t have the Norwegian mountains towering out of the banks.



Spike ran out the water and was immediately stripping off his wetsuit



Get on with it



TC appeared to have huge bogeys hanging out his nose



TC is evidently several months pregnant



I gave Earthling a shout as he rode off.



I also asked a number of women if they responded to WAG1 (Mrs Earthling’s TriTalk moniker). They looked at me strangely.

I returned to Hawes, eventually met up with the lovely Wag1 and a friend who lives in Harrogate. We had cups of tea, ate bacon butties and ate cake.

A bit later some athletes arrived.



TC looked shifty as he trotted out of T2, and was called back by the referee



His baggy shorts (which would be tight fitting on any normal adult) were checked for all the mandatory safety equipment.

As Spike returns into Hawes he resists the urge to turn into the B&B for a rest and a cuppa 50m before the finish line.



Spike makes it to the finish line.



They were hot and sweaty, but on the whole, pretty happy. TC kept moaning about taking too long to fix a puncture. What a numpT. They also drank tea and ate cake.

We loved the guy who came in last, absolutely ecstatic about the whole experience, dedicating his effort to the memory of his Dad.

And this is what you win if you’re the Big Cheese



Another good job done by MyTriClub Very Happy
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~   Last edited by la marquise on Tue Oct 23, 2012 3:13 pm; edited 2 times in total
Tue Oct 23, 2012 1:54 pm Toyota_Crown
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I thought you were going to be a PA to a star not Spikey Wink

No wait.. Laughing

Fabulous report incl the build up, great pics reminded me of a great day, cheers LaM. Thumbs Up Worship

and for the record it took me 1h05mins to fix a puncture Mad Luckily I charmed a young lady into giving me her spare tube else I'd have been stuffed. I'm good like that Very Happy
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