I didn’t realise it at first, but I made a small mistake when I first signed up for the baby triathlon at Bribie. No, I don’t mean signing up for it in the first place! But… I may have lied to the event organisers. Oops.
In my defence, the website for the Bribie Tri Series is a bit confusing for the untrained eye, and my eye was certainly untrained. I had literally just decided to do a triathlon 5 minutes before stumbling across the website, so I had no idea what I was doing.
Initially I was drawn to an event they have on the Saturday of ‘race weekend’ called ‘Active First-Timers’ which, as the name suggests is for first timers, probably like me. Except it is un-timed, which isn’t a huge issue because I know I wont be fast, but I think it might be interesting to have an idea of just how bad I am. Furthermore, my impression of this event was that it’s basically for people who are taking part in an event for the first and possibly ONLY time, which I am hoping is not the case for me. Plus, I feel that I need to witness a proper triathlon unfolding in front of my eyes in order to get a taste and feel for whether I like it.
And who knows, being among the real thing, I might even be able to soak up some of the talent from the other competitors when they kick me in the head in the swim, or land on top of me as I lay sprawled in the middle of the road after falling off my bike.
So I decided to give Saturday a miss and take part in the much more intimidating event on the Sunday. I could still choose between a short or long course, although the distances for these were not explained very well. For instance, the website helpfully states that the run for the long course is 2 laps, and the short course is 1 lap. Hmmm…
When I thought I’d found enough information to confirm that I was looking at a 300m swim, 6km bike and 3km run, I decided to simply bite the bullet. I clicked on the Entry Info section and things started to get extra complicated:
I was confused enough to Google whether I would be licenced or unlicenced. Turns out that for a few hundred bucks you can join the Triathlon Australia organisation and become an officially licenced triathlete. You don’t have to sit a test like for your driving licence so I may one day splurge on this, but until I know for sure that I can complete a triathlon I’ll keep spending my dollars on everything else I need.
I clicked the button for Short Course Unlicenced – Race 3. How exciting! Until the next page loaded, and I had to select from an even more complicated list. And this is where I messed up.
I narrowed down the options that might apply, so that I was left with the following list:
Unlicenced Elite Short Course
Unlicenced Age Groups Short Course
Unlicenced Clydesdale 90kg+ Short Course
Unlicenced Athena 70kg+ Short Course
Unlicenced Friends Short Course
So I selected the top one, thinking that they probably put the most common selection at the top. Also, I don’t have any friends in triathlon, I don’t weight more than 70kg and I am not interested in trying to beat a heap of other 30+ something girls in a competition. I just want to do my own thing. I clicked, I paid, I quickly left the site and made a coffee to calm my nerves.
It wasn’t until days later as I read more and more about triathlons, that I came across more and more mentions of ‘age group’ and I realised what I’d done. Every second blog I found was talking about ‘all the other people in my age group lined up at the front…’ or ‘there were only 150 other people in my age group, so….’ or even ‘this year I am entering a different age group for the first time!’
Bugger. It slowly dawned on me that I had signed up to race in a group of elite people. IN A GROUP OF PROFESSIONALS. How could I be so foolish? I decided to do what I do best, and ignore the issue for as long as possible.
I had a few beers.
I told myself that no-one would notice if I just found the others in my age group and raced with them instead.
I even considered just making sure that I trained enough to ensure I could win the damn thing.
Anything but admit that I am an idiot.
Finally, the nonsense had gone on too long. I went back to the website and saw that the ‘Elite’ section had sold out, which made me feel ultra guilty that I might be taking up a spot that was needed for a real triathlete.
I phoned the lovely team at The Run Inn, who organise the event, and they didn’t blink an eyelid about my stupid mistake. My weeks of worrying were for nothing.
So in case you’re wondering, I’ll be racing in the 30-39 age group!