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Last weekend, I completed my first ever triathlon.

I’m not sure if you know, but I’ve been preparing for an Iron Man for about nine months now. An Iron Man is the longest triathlon you can do – a 3.8km swim, a 180km bike ride and a 42km run (by the way, that’s a full marathon distance).

And since I hadn’t done a tri before I figured I should give one a shot before I blow my wad on the Iron Man itself! So I signed up for Challenge Forster, a half Iron Man (so the same elements of an Iron Man but with the distances halved – 1.9km swim, 90km bike ride, 21km run).

To say I was nervous would be an understatement. The weather was atrocious, with rain coming down horizontally. I threw up a few times with nerves.

But – I just kept telling myself, before you know it today will be over. And I had an amazing team with me. I had my coaches, Bruce and Chris, and my wonderful Michael by my side.

The gun fired. I took off. I probably caught up with the flurry and the nerves and adrenaline kicked in, so I went too hard, too early. About 1 km into the swim I settled down and found my rhythm. I exited the water and Michael was there to help me with my wetsuit (these things are downright nasty to take off!).

On the bike… 10ks into it I reached down into my bento box and realised that I’d forgotten most of my nutrition. Oops. Rookie error. Only 80ks to go…

On the run… Finally the one I was most looking forward to. I averaged ~ 10ks an hour. I smashed the first half on the run and was overtaking people everywhere but I died in the second half of the run. The last ten kilometres were the hardest of the whole day and I just started to neg out. My head was full of “This is shit. I’m over this. I hate running”. My body was screaming at me to stop.

And that’s when I remembered why I was doing this in the first place. To stretch myself, to be uncomfortable, to connect with amazing people who are also looking to grow. I was overcome with this enormous sense of gratitude to every single person who had helped me on me journey.

“No one achieves anything alone.”

Anyone who is successful has an A Team behind them. And having a team, being a team player, creating your own team (even if it’s a team of two) well, that’s going to get you to your finish line… no matter what your goal.

As I crossed the finish line a tear rolled down my cheek. I was stoked. I hugged my coaches. I hugged Michael. And then, the icing on the cake. … I’d come fourth in my age group.

Right, I’m off to have a dozen donuts!

Turia xx

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