*** many thanks to Robin Colgan for this race report ***

Following my first Olympic triathlon I’d like to show real courage and confess my mistakes. Hopefully this will provide practical and moral support to anybody considering a triathlon without any preparation whatsoever.

I have included my best estimate of the time penalty imposed by my own incompetence for your reference.

1.  Trained for the event, during the event (busy travel schedule). Penalty: 10 min

2.  No swim cap. Thought it was sponsor give away and very proud of magnificent head of hair. Penalty: Instant disqualification 

3.  Did not learn to swim in my youth. By which I mean real swimming (crawl). Breaststroke all the way. Penalty: 3 min

Robin's stroke of choice when racing...

4.  Borrowed Daughter’s goggles. Leaked and fogged so badly I was required to pitch head back and to side violently while trying to swim in order to see out of tiny remaining clear space. Penalty: 2 min

5.  Swam with race number on. Penalty: Instant disqualification if lost during swim

6.  Wore gloves. Forcing tight cycling gloves over cold wet hands. Penalty: 2 min

7.  Wore socks. Forcing tight ankle length socks over cold wet feet. Penalty: 2 min

8.  Literally crippled by embarrassment at wearing 1-piece Lycra bodysuit mankini in public for first time. My tip here is to get comfortable with new look prior to race day. Try socialising it at a BBQ with trusted mates that won’t scream with laughter and try to goose you. Another solution is to go find some big fat guys wearing theirs and stand beside them. This works particularly if they’ve gone 2-piece and their guts have spilled out the middle like Britney Spears when she went off the rails and started eating cheeseburgers. Penalty: 2 min

9.  Unclear 20 mins before race if new tri-suit should have zip at front or back. Everybody else’s at front. Mine at back. Changed twice. Stared intently in mirror. Exhausted and broke sweat before start. Penalty: 2 min

10.  Over-hydrated and needed to pee during run. Penalty: 6 min 15 secs calculated as follows:

  • Didn’t practise dropping 1-piece Lycra bodysuit with zip-at-back quickly to pee. Penalty: 3 min
  • Didn’t practise lowering race belt below waist line prior to dropping 1-piece Lycra bodysuit quickly to pee. Penalty: 3 min
  • Peeing. Penalty: 15 secs

My actual time was 2hr 49. Based on the above calculations, my corrected time would be 2hr 19min. I am feeling pretty confident about the next event.

All of the above is entirely factual. I want to take this opportunity to thank the big Aussie steward that didn’t disqualify me for not wearing a swim cap and the splendid big fat guy whose spectacular display of midriff made me feel momentarily like an Olympian.

I loved the event and haven’t felt so happy about achieving something since I passed my UK motorbike license in 2007 (2nd attempt).