Setting off at 7.50am Sunday morning, the drive down to Cringle reservoir was one dread and regret as the rain splattered against the windscreen and a thick grey cloud hung overhead. Despite the poor weather conditions, the two Capital teams ‘C’mon Trileen’ (Rob Sheen, Lyndon Powell and Charlotte Looker) and ‘Capital Triceratops’ (Sue Powell, John Venables and Peter Fisher) gathered at the registration tent with smiles on their faces excited for the challenge ahead.
The first part of the event was a 400m (16 lengths) swim between three buoys in the reservoir. Donning his new, neon-orange wetsuit and with a streamline, freshly shaven head Rob bravely plunged into the reservoir with Powerhouse Powell (Sue), following closely behind. With a water temperature of just 10 degrees, the wetsuit-clad swimmers shivered in unison like a huddle of penguins in a blizzard. After being in the water for just a few seconds and with little time to acclimatize, the claxon suddenly sounded and the swimmers jetted off towards the first buoy. Both Sue and Rob started strongly and made good ground for their teams. Mr Sheen however had ‘polished’ off a banana beforehand and so sped into the lead. After just under 7 minutes Rob emerged from the cold depths in 8th position and Sue just a minute later in 10th .
Dazed and panting heavily, the transition proved difficult as the swimmers had to waddle up a grassy bank, remove the timing device from their wrists with frozen fingers and hand it to the mountain bikers. Despite Sue finishing slightly behind rapid Rob, her and John’s transition was silky smooth, and they managed to gain back some vital seconds.
The mountain bike course followed a tricky 10km route through the trees including wide fire-track as well as technical single-track sections. Over the two-lap course, Lyndon was quick and gained a few places but was overtaken by valiant Venables in the first lap. Despite falling off twice, John managed to maintain his lead in the second lap finishing strongly as 3rd fastest with Lyndon close behind as 7th fastest in the team competition.
Then came the final leg of the event – the run. Marathon man, Peter Fisher was first to set off after receiving his timing chip from teammate John. For a roadrunner, the 5km course provides quite the challenge with many steep sections, slippery terrain and obstacles to dodge. Despite having mountain biked from Douglas to Cringle in the rain that morning, Fisher finished in an impressive time of 27.14, with the fastest female, Charlotte Looker just one place behind.
There was a definite sense of relief at the finish line as the sun finally appeared from behind the clouds. Everybody thanked Paul Moran for holding the coats and we warmed up with some tea. Both teams performed fantastically in the event; C’mon Trileen finished third in the mixed team event but were topped by Capital Triceratops’s incredible 1st place finish in the same competition. Sue, John and Pete were later presented with a handmade trophy for their efforts and both teams went home elated with what they had achieved.
Disclaimer: The views thoughts and opinions expressed within this article are those of the author, and not those of any company within the Capital International Group (CIG) and as such are neither given nor endorsed by CIG. Information in this article does not constitute investment advice or an offer or an invitation by or on behalf of any company within the Capital International Group of companies to buy or sell any product or security.