So it’s been a pretty exciting month…. Never in my dreams did I imagine that I would come back from an event as a fully-fledged European Duathlon Champion!
The event itself was held in the strangest place, put out of your mind the glamour and glitz associated with many sporting events, it was a nuclear powerplant that had never been commissioned and had been turned in to a theme park, named Wunderland. I’m not sure the name was particularly fitting, the location was more apt for a 1970s horror film we all joked!
In the lead up to the event I was probably the most nervous I have ever been, except perhaps prior to having my c-section, but at least then I knew I’d be getting a baby at the end of it, in Germany I had no idea I would get anything!
All my preparation was done, my bike racked in the transition area and we had all lined up under the start line for the hooter to go. Then that was it, one long blast signalled the race had started and we all dashed down the first section and started to run around the theme park (like I said it was very surreal).
Half way through the run I realised that things were going rather well and I had overtaken the lady in 2nd place overall and was first in my age group. Half way through the bike, the girl in 3rdplace overtook me so I kept her in my sights.
I went off on the run with the girl in overall 2nd place still in my sights and decided I would try to stay with her, but not push too hard as I didn’t want to slip over or do anything silly to jeopardise my place in my age group.
Coming round the final bend I spotted a couple of my Sheffield team mates shouting ‘c’mon Kesteven give us a smile’. I then dashed round the final bend and grabbed a GB flag to run down the blue carpet and finished with a big smile on my face in complete disbelief that I was going to be awarded a gold medal!
So what have I learnt from this experience?
I guess I’ve learnt that I’m better at this than I thought I was! My training went to plan, all the hours I have spent away from my family have been worth it and now I just need to get some confidence in myself to help me realise what I can achieve.
Like I said things have been pretty hectic. I seem to dash from one place to another with a cycle of training-drop kids off-work-pick kids up-training whilst trying to squeeze time in for some food and having a bit of time to relax with my children and partner.
I am writing this sat in the departure lounge at Luton airport ready for my next adventure, Age Group European Triathlon Championships in Lisbon! It hasn’t just been me to pack for this time either; my family are coming out too, so I’ve been packing Union Jack deeley boppers for my 3-year-old daughter and Union Jack flags for my 5-year-old son!
I can’t promise to bring home a medal at this one. I’ve worked really hard on my swimming for the past six months but it is still my nemesis. I am confident once I get out on my bike and then run, however the swim, which is at the start, is always the most nerve racking part!
I’ll keep you posted – maybe follow me on twitter @f_kesteven and find out how I’m getting on!