My 1 Hour 34 Minutes of The St Helens Triathlon

It was a surprisingly early start for me after a long but busy summer holiday. Adrenaline, excitement, nerves, anticipation of what to come was racing through my mind and body. Yet, nothing was going to stop me from conquering the St Helens Triathlon.

My event was the sprint distance (750m swim, 20km bike and 5km run). Despite the tingling sensation of a rather nippy September morning, there was a warm and cosy atmosphere at Eccleston Mere for the start of the swim. This was only my third triathlon and my first open water triathlon so I watched on as the standard distance competitors began the start of their swim. Before long, it was my turn. My stomach was turning with excitement and I was more than ready to concur what was to come.

The hardest part of the race was to come next… the battle of the wetsuit! After a quickish transition, I was racing towards the mount line with my bike to begin the bike leg. This inevitably wasn’t going to be a flat and easy bike course but it wasn’t going to set me back- it was only Shaley Brow?! After seeing the 14% incline sign, I changed gears and my eyes where fixed to just above my front wheel (until I reached the top). There was nothing stopping me from reaching the top without a fight, especially with the support of the marshals! The rest of the bike was surprisingly easier even with 3 more shorter hills. As I approached the last leg of the ride, I could feel the smile on my face getting bigger and bigger.

My rapid transition from bike to run meant I started the run feeling extremely comfortable. Yet again, the support of the marshals was extraordinary and instead of feeling slower, I felt faster! I was comfortably overtaking a few runners and I had my mind on the finish line. As I entered Rainford High school, I picked the pace up and a sprint finish over the finish line meant I completed the triathlon in 1:34:08, 1st junior and 4th female overall… a result I was more than pleased with!

Emma Austin