Louise Minchin on her challenging New Year’s resolution
PUBLISHED: 00:00 30 December 2018
I don’t make New Year resolutions, writes the popular Chester-based BBC journalist, but last year it happened by chance
I don’t normally make New Year’s resolutions but last year I did, by accident really, when I signed up for an extreme triathlon in Chile, called Patagonman.
I knew when I decided to do it, that it would dominate much of my thoughts and spare time during 2018, and I spent the year training to make sure I was prepared for the end goal, race-day. The race, is a truly daunting task, it starts with a leap off a ferry into an icy fjord, followed by a swim of nearly two-and-a-half miles, a 112 mile bike ride into the Andes, and then an off-road marathon beside a glacial lake. Looking back on the last year, I have realised that while the race is important the preparation for it, has been its own fantastic adventure. It has forced me into the great outdoors of Cheshire and North Wales in ways that I didn’t expect, and created some unforgettable memories. From running in Delamere Forest in autumn, on footpaths bordered by deep piles of burnished leaves, with the two dogs cantering ahead of me, trying to keep up with my family who were riding a jumble of assorted bikes. Joining dozens of other cyclists at dawn in Holyhead to set off on a stunning but exhaustingly hilly 70 mile bike ride round Anglesey, in Tour de Mon, and racing like a woman possessed in the legendary flying mile on the runway of RAF Mona. Arriving late for an Aquathon (a swim and a run) in Chester and taking a flying leap into the River Dee as the sun set on the water, to try and catch up with everyone else. And finally, my most favourite memory of all, the scrumptious sausage roll, baked beans and cup of tea that I celebrated with, in the Ponderosa Cafe in Llangollen, every time I managed to cycle to the top of Horseshoe pass.
It is moments like those that I will draw on during the tough times there will inevitably be during the 16 hours of racing Patagonia, and will hopefully remind me, that whatever happens on the day, it’s not all about the end goal, but also how I got there. Having never been a big fan of New Year’s resolutions, I have loved the one I made for 2018.