It requires a lot of stuff.
The whole – ‘three sporting activities’ part of it.
And, something for the supporters.
We had to take the bike down to the race course, so we walked through town together. It was a beautiful day. The previous week had been very rainy, so we were absolutely delighted to see how the weather had turned. A thunderstorm was forecasted for the afternoon – but luckily, we seemed to have missed it. It was a lovely sunny day, all day.
Rotterdam’s central station – I love the design. Everything about Rotterdam seems so precise, and useful. I find it quite a practical city, whilst simultaneously finding time for incredible whimsy (see, cube houses).
We were able to tell when we were getting close to the course. There were so many people – USA was very well represented, as was UK and Mexico. Surprisingly there weren’t that many from the Netherlands – and only one from Spain. It was a great vibe; everyone was excited and laughing, and people were helping out with each other’s bikes and trading war stories. There was music on the loudspeakers, and people wandering around wearing flags. It just felt happy.
The bridge – part of the cycle route.
First part of a triathlon is the swim. There were a lot more competing in this heat than the others; of the age-group races that started before, this was the only one that filled the entire platform.
After, Mum said that the water was actually quite nice. Very clean, and not too cold. She also said that there was a lot of people swimming over each other – and that at one point, she’d hooked her arm under someone’s leg because they were swimming right in front of her in completely the wrong direction. Thankfully, open water swimming in very close quarters was something that she’d practiced a lot with her trainer – so no problem here.
Again – such a beautiful day.
Second part: cycle. I saw her coming up…
…and then whoosh, gone. She’s fast.
And finally – run. Crossing the blue carpet to the finish line.
So damn proud.
Training for triathlons has never really been about the competition for my mother – she’s far more interested in the training element itself, and uses races as a way to keep motivated, set goals and go somewhere interesting every now and again. Because of this, she didn’t check her results until late that evening – more as a curiosity.
She did so well. My amazing mother came 7th out the 24 contestants in her age group; and was the 3rd fastest cyclist. Based on her score, she’s qualified for next year’s championships. I really am just crazy proud.
To celebrate, I’d made a reservation at a restaurant at Euromast – a tall (but decidedly ugly) building with incredible views across Rotterdam. The food was mediocre, but the views – they were something special.
Clogs – Netherlands etc.
Amazing mini-break – Mum, congratulations. You’re phenomenal.