My first 70.3 race experience

On Sunday, 10th June I took part in my first 70.3 race, the 113 Events, Cotswold113. I had no expectations, I wanted to finish with a smile but deep down my goal was to finish under 7.30 hours. I was absolutely thrilled to cross the line in 6.40 hours!

The decision to take on this challenge was made in September last year when I felt the need to do something special celebrating turning 55. With the support of family and friends the search for an event began. I set my parameters: it had to be in my birthday month, June, a lake swim was preferable and I didn’t want it too hilly; the Cotswold113 ticked all the boxes.

Cycle courseHaving only ever competed in sprint triathlons it was a big step up to 70.3 distances! Giving myself 9 months to train my half-ironman journey had begun. My weakest discipline was the bike so I needed expert help, call in Marsha! We started riding every Friday morning going out to Esher initially, then almost Box Hill, Box Hill and eventually Windsor. I also took part in the RG Active group rides which went out once a month on Sundays. I’m not going to lie, there were many tears along the way as I physically and mentally had to embrace long distance and those bloody hills. I was determined to do this and with all the support, encouragement, advice (and some days ‘tough love’) I got from Marsha and my RG Active ‘family,’ I started to believe I could really do it.

Training during winter was tough but rain, sleet, snow, freezing temperatures didn’t stop me: winter miles = summer smiles they say. I knew I had to put in the effort swimming and riding as my running was my strongest of the disciplines. This really took me out of my comfort zone but was to be essential for race day success.

Marsha set me the perfect training plan and I had complete trust in her! All her training and advice in the past has helped me achieve everything I’ve done so far so I knew I was in good hands. By the way she was the one with the tough love.

Race day arrived with a 1.5 hour start delay due to thick fog over the lake but thankfully it cleared and we were off. I had a fast swim in clear water, a fantastic ride without a puncture (my biggest fear and I spent hours practising but thankfully didn’t need it!) and I enjoyed the run. Crossing the finish line was absolutely awesome – I had done it!

The friendliness and organisation of the race (pre, during and post) by 113 Events was impeccable and I wouldn’t hesitate to enter another of their events or recommend them.

Finish lineIt was fantastic having my daughter, Amelia, and my good friend Laura there cheering me on. Hearing them both shout out along the way, especially my daughter saying how proud she was of me was very special, and you know what, I’m proud of myself too.

Christine Fleming
RG Active – Operations Manager

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