Rye’s septuagenarian hero triathlete, Bob Sharp, was in action again this last weekend, this time in Liverpool for the National Triathlon Championships. Here is his story:
“Liverpool is a wonderful venue. Historic buildings, the grandeur of the old docks, but above all the warm welcoming and humorous people. My day started at around 6:00 am, having driven up to Liverpool the previous day and racked the bike in transition at the Echo Arena.
“I downed three Weetabix, donned my wetsuit and walked to the swim start in Kings Dock, just 5 minutes from my hotel. There were about 100 of us 55 years and older lumped together for a 7:40am race start. The briefing guy kept us amused while waiting and a television crew arrived enquiring who might be the oldest competitor. I kept quiet.
“Then into the water, a nervous minute before the horn blast and we’re off. The water was salty, warm,and full of small but friendly jelly fish. The swim went well, 1.5km and under two bridges. That took 30 minutes, everything going to plan – so far.
“A long run into the transition area to collect the bike and a long run out with it before I reached the mount up line. The weather was now cold, cloudy and a strong SW wind was blowing to slow the pace and increase the effort. Coming into the fourth and final lap of the bike course my legs were beginning to tire and my average speed was slipping.
“Running is my worst discipline at any time but today, whether it was the arduous journey coming up yesterday in holiday traffic, a restless night or not fuelling properly, my legs were leaden. A lot of factors can affect performance on the day, and my running let me down. One hour and fourteen minutes to cover the 10 km course. Fifteen minutes too long, so what a surprise when crossing the line I was announced age group winner.”
Photo: Bob Sharp