Thursday, 7 May 2009

I don't want to leave myself exposed in London Triathlon

I suppose it is vital not to get caught up in the moment.
So far, in the Mansfield and Lincoln Sprint triathlons, there have been a few spectators out to offer their support.

Mainly friends and family all packed close to the transition zone so when out on the open road and running, you only get the odd supporter at the end of their drive offering a clap, a cheer or a few words of encouragement in your moment of need.

But the full London Triathlon will be a different beast altogether.
Out around the ExCel Arena in London’s Docklands, thousands will gather and on the streets there will be hundreds more offering support.

It should make for a carnival atmosphere, one to saviour. If anything, it will fuel the adrenaline and when flagging, give you that extra boost to find that little bit extra.

I have plenty of family and friends coming down to make a weekend of it. I think they need to see it to believe it when I say I am taking part.

But I cannot afford to get carried away, especially after reading up on a funny, if not rather embarrassing and painful story from a triathlon in Germany a few years ago.

As one enthusiastic athlete came down a steep descent at speed, the crowd were shouting to him.

He hadn't a clue what they were saying, simply taking it all in. But he soon found out....they were warning him of the hairpin up ahead.

Sure enough, he didn't make it round. He hit the crash barrier where his tri-shorts caught up on a bolt on the barrier and his bike went over the edge, but caught in bushes rather than going down the banking.

This bloke had a few cuts but, thankfully, nothing serious and with a little help from the crowd, he retrieved his bike and was on his way again.

When he came to the last 200m of the run, the crowd were cheering like mad as each competitor crossed line.

This bloke, caught up in the moment, raised his hands and was clapping and waving as he finished his run.

Slowly the crowd fell silent, then there were a few titters...he glanced down to his horror to see himself being partly exposed from his shorts, a result of where the bolt had ripped them in the earlier crash. Now that is embarrassing. And true.

The race will be tough, not at times, but at all times and a lapse in concentration could prove dangerous.

This German tale was a gentle reminder for me not to get too excited - or I could be left more than just a little red faced.

To follow Stevie's progress on Twitter, click here

For the full story behind Stevie taking up the London Triathlon challenge, click here Visit www.justgiving.com/stevieroden to sponsor Stevie.

American-based sports giant Under Armour have backed Stevie in his quest to complete the London Triathlon and raise cash for When You Wish Upon A Star by agreeing to become his official sponsor.They have provided him with a whole range of their latest hi-tech training gear to help in all weathers, and a new tri-suit for the race itself. For more information visit http://www.underarmour.com/

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