I have a lot to learn about triathlons. One of those things is that the level of Weather needed to cancel a triathlon is a lot lower than that needed to cancel a run, presumably because however weathery the weather gets runners are generally not in danger of drowning, and while race organisers don’t care if their runners end up shivering, soaked and miserable they draw the line at them ending up dead.
And so it was that today I received an email telling me that due to gale force winds forecast for Saturday morning it was highly unlikely that the swim part of the South Coast Triathlon would go ahead – instead it will be replaced with an extra run. Now, I love running and everything but it’s not a triathlon without a swim, and also I have done fifty-nine million running races and was so looking forward to the sea swim. It’s the only bit I am any good at (by which I mean I would only just be the slowest as opposed the the bike section where I fully anticipated being at least twenty minutes slower than the second slowest person). And I can’t help thinking that it if it too windy to swim safely, it is too windy to cycle safely as well. I’m on the verge of fucking the whole thing off and finding the nearest parkrun that isn’t cancelled. (Seaford Beach, which I was going to volunteer at, has been cancelled because the extra run section will use their course).
I haven’t felt this gutted since the day I limped home from an abortive attempt at a long run and cancelled my trip to the Barcelona Half. In a way I might even be more gutted than that day, because I know I am on top form. I got a 10k PB yesterday (1:10:54), knocking ninety-three seconds off my previous time which was set on a much colder day in May. I have just about mastered front crawl and even The Contraption doesn’t scare me any more. When I think of the amount of work I have put in – brain freeze in 10c winter lidos, struggling in and out of wetsuits, getting up at 4:30am for Swim Doctor after finishing work at 11pm the previous evening, riding the Contraption round and round the marshes, falling off, getting on again, traipsing miles to the bike shop with a puncture, nearly coming to blows with idiot pedestrians and drivers, and sacrificing my long weekly run (and indeed my social life and much of my sanity) in order to do the best I can… And now it is not going to happen. Because of something as stupid and trivial and yet unbendingly critical as the fucking weather. I actually want to cry. It is yet another example of the 2014 League One Play Off Final. Just when you think you’ve got it in the bag… it jumps out of the bag and cycles off down the road, never to be seen again. I should have known it was all going far too well.