Louise Minchin on why she loves triathlons
PUBLISHED: 00:00 08 August 2017
Chester-based BBC presenter Louise is a strong woman - literally - thanks to her passion for triathlons. She’s determined to recruit some new enthusiasts from her Cheshire Life following...
I am on what can only be described as a post-triathlon high! While I’m writing this I am bursting full of endorphins and energy, my whole body buzzing with the excitement and the sapping exhaustion.
Over the weekend I raced twice, and both races reminded me why I love triathlon, and why I want to encourage others to take part, to join in and dare to try it.
The Llandudno Sea Triathlon was a fantastic, exhilarating and challenging race. I loved swimming in the mountainous waves of the Irish Sea and struggling up the steep inclines of the Great Orme on my bike. After all the effort, I managed to come fifth in my age-group, which is a great result for me.
But my favourite race took place in the stunning grounds of Cholmondeley Castle, swimming in the Deer Park Mere, cycling around the park and running beneath the Norman castle walls.
It was a mixed-relay super-sprint which is fast and furious. I love mixed-relay particularly because it is one of only a few sports where men and women compete together. Excitingly, it has recently been added to the list of Olympic disciplines and will feature in Tokyo 2020.
There are two men and two women in every team; each person must complete a swim, a bike and a run and when they have finished, pass the timing chip to the person next in line.
The camaraderie in triathlon is unequalled and there is never a heavier dose of amiable support tinged with a healthy competition, than in a relay.
Within minutes of the start, the transition area, where all the competitors’ triathlon kit is stored, resembles a teenager’s bedroom with cycles, wetsuits, goggles, trainers strewn everywhere. It is a study in motion, with triathletes jumping into the water, leaping on their bikes and sprinting for the finish and everyone cheering.
It is very difficult to tell how you are doing in the race, but I had some incredibly fast team-mates from Total Tri Training, Lindsay Griffiths, Dave Morgan, and Bradley Pollitt.
I was volunteered to start for our team and came out of the swim in fourth position, but left them work to do after my bike and run, leaving us in about ninth. Between them they caught up all those places, and by the time Brad stormed over the finish line, we were back in fourth.
We didn’t win a medal, but we felt like winners and went home happy as we were beaten only by teams from the North-West Triathlon Academy, who were less than half our age.
What a fabulous day out, and in my biased triathlon view, there is no better way to have fun and see the countryside. I would love to see some of you try it next year!