Recently we told you about 60-year-old Hellesdon mum of six Kath Kendrick, who won an unusual competition to be trained and kitted out to take part in the Pinewood Leisure Triathlon on October 6.
With several hours of training behind her, £400 worth of triathlon gear from Pilch Sports, as well as a road bike supplied by CyclesUK, based at Pilch Sport, Kath was ready for the challenge.
“They couldn’t have ordered a more perfect day for the triathlon if they’d tried – a beautiful, warm, sunny day and just a gentle breeze blowing in exactly the right direction for the return on the cycle rides,” she said.
“As one of the first ones in the pool, I admit I had the slowest time, but as I honestly couldn’t manage more than half a length when I started in the middle of July, I was delighted to finish the 300m – I knew if I could complete the swim, I could finish the triathlon!”
“Dashing outside, I struggled to pull socks onto damp feet, fastened cycling shoes and my helmet, grabbed the bike and ran to the mount line.
“What a fabulous day to be riding along the North Norfolk coast. I’d cycled round the course three times before, but this was my best time. I’d reconciled myself to the fact that I’d have to get off and run with my bike for a short distance up Holgate Hill – but I didn’t feel bad as so were lots of others.
“And a bonus – my clip-in shoes and pedal combo didn’t give me any trouble and I didn’t fall off once.
“Back at the second transition, there was a quick change into running shoes and off for a two-mile run.
“My legs behaved for about three quarters of a mile, then I had to slow to a walking pace. Seeing the halfway marker in the woods, I knew I’d almost made it.
“Returning through the caravan site, I picked up speed and raced for the finish line, feeling absolutely elated that I’d managed to complete my first triathlon.
“I’ve never been a sporty person, so having a competitors medal around my neck was unreal – I didn’t take it off until bedtime!
“The support I received was overwhelming, so many thanks to everyone who helped and encouraged me and to those who came along on the day.
“Triathlons are for everyone – if I can do this, really anyone can. I wasn’t the fastest and I wasn’t the last, but I gave it a go. Would I do it again? Yes… but not this week!”
The prize also included three months initial membership and training at Pinewoods Park Leisure complex in Upper Sheringham, where Kath received coaching from Steve Dickenson, head personal trainer, as well as specialised swim coaching from Guy Metcalf and cycling from Karl Read, both of Positive Sport – triathlon training specialists and organisers of the event.
Kath’s trainers were very pleased with her achievements in completing the triathlon, as well as several others who were completing triathlons for the first time.
“The event has been hailed a huge success from all competitors, both beginners and seasoned athletes,” said Guy. “Just over 60% of competitors were first-timers, which is exactly what we wanted.
“Following the success of TeamGB at the London Olympics Triathlon event, we want to get more people involved in the sport and realise that you don’t have to have all the expensive equipment to take part. All you need to do is be able to swim a few lengths, have a safe bike to ride, and be able to complete the run discipline, whether that’s by walking, jogging or running.”
Once Kath Kendrick completed the swim – the most challenging part of the race for her – she knew she could finish the triathlon.