Colchester is where I got my start in triathlon, in 2018. I made lots of mistakes. I wore gloves, socks, a mirror; I had never raced in open water before, I got a pinch flat and running the 3 miles in less than 30 minutes was an accomplishment. I was hooked.
I planned to return in 2020. We all know how that goes. By the time the opportunity came around again, it had suddenly been four years. As it turned out, it would be the last chance. This year was its final edition, it was announced.

🏊🏻‍♂️: I seeded myself at the front, in the middle. Perhaps the most nerve wracking part of the whole day, that. I’m not usually one to toe the front of a mass start pack. But I knew that position was key in this race. I couldn’t afford to waste time crawling through the crowd. So it was go with the big dogs. I went. And was immediately hypoxic. It was a thrash pit, lots of contact and no space given. Despite feeling like I was going to die constantly, I held the fast feet reasonably well and emerged 13th out of the water. 9ish minutes of hell behind me.
T1: I mostly walked it because it’s a giant stupid hill. But the kiddie pool for rinsing your feet was clutch.
🚴🏻‍♂️: Time to rip. Catch and drop, don’t look back. I overtook 7 of the 12 ahead of me, moving into 5th. The top 4 were nowhere to be seen though. I kept it hard and steady but still in control, averaging about 24 mph. 3rd fastest bike split overall. My best execution on the day for sure.
T2: I am always slow in T2. I have to tie my shoes right. Sue me.

🏃‍♂️: I had no idea where I stood at this point. I was totally alone, no one ahead or behind that I could see. I was hoping to hold 7:30’s but had been dealing with inflammation in my toe so I knew it might not happen. Hopefully my bike split would hold off the field behind me. Just three miles to go, as hard as I could. I saw nobody until just inside the last mile, when one guy caught me. No chance of going with him; I just pushed with what I had to the finish. The next guy was only six seconds back at the line, but ran out of real estate.
6th overall, 3rd in age group. A far sight better than 2018. And a fond farewell to my first event.

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