Since the age of 6, I’ve loved swimming. Starting out with local league galas for Boston swimming club and eventually making the county team and getting a few national times. 26 years later and I still love it, especially open water, which I only started doing last year. I really don’t know why I left it so long.
Apart from a bit of cross country with school, I wasn’t much of a runner until I started working as a teacher and was invited to run the Sea Bank Marathon for charity. Thinking the fitness from swimming would get me through, I turned up on the start line completely oblivious to the torture that was to follow. Having only had a banana for breakfast and never run further than 10K before, it wasn’t long before I realised just how hard a marathon is. For anyone who’s seen Run Fat Boy Run, my face looked just like Simon Pegg’s when I’d stretched off the latest bout of cramp and was told there was still 9 miles to go! I finished, it wasn’t pretty, but strangely I enjoyed it and had soon signed up for another one. I don’t know why, but running is addictive!
In the summer of 2011, I was told by my wife to be that I had to look my best for the wedding photos and not a sunburnt limping mess. So that year I didn’t enter the marathon and after the honeymoon the wine and all the food I wouldn’t have touched when I was running and swimming were just too tempting. I swam less and less, stopped running completely, let work stress get the better of me and started to pile the weight on. A few weeks might have been harmless, but 3 years later I still hadn’t been running!
A shocking holiday snap finally got me off my backside and I set myself a target of running a marathon again. In my newly purchased large (I used to be small) running kit, I went out running and found myself walking after less than 2 miles. It took nearly a year, but I lost 3 and a half stone and and got myself over the line, cheered on by friends and family. My wife and a few other friends and family members have joined me in other running events since then. I haven’t quite convinced them to try a triathlon but I’ll keep trying.
Boston Tri Club was founded not long after this. I’d wanted to try a triathlon for a while but had never been a serious cyclist. I really enjoyed my first triathlon at Woodhall last year, despite a puncture due to my blindness for potholes. Group rides with the club have given me the confidence to try bigger distances and I’m looking forward to Holkham 70.3 next month.
It’s amazing that the club has grown from nothing to over 80 adult and junior members in just over a year. I hope that it will grow even more next year as our brilliant red kit gets noticed. Everyone seems to have one part of triathlon that puts them off giving it a go. For me it was the bike, I know for many it’s the swim, but the coaches, ride leads and club members are all so friendly and helpful that I’m sure anyone who wants to get in to triathlon can do it with the help of our club and have fun while they are doing it.