It was your standard crazy Friday night, lying under a giant blanket eating Mars Bar ice creams and watching Modern Family, when I received a DM saying I had won two grandstand tickets (courtesy of @bonktriathlon) to watch the elite women compete in Hyde Park the next morning. CUE MASS EXCITEMENT.
Being a total nerd for anything that involves running and/or bikes this was the best news ever, and Rachael (my housemate) keen to know what all the fuss was about agreed to come along, despite it involving a 7am start on a Saturday morning.
We were due to pick up the tickets at 8am and after some minor delays (looking at you Gartside) we were out the tube at ten past. Sensing my growing panic Rach asked if I wanted to run. Silly question. To the amusement of the Marshals along the course we ran all the way from Hyde Park corner to the grandstand along the actual triathlon course and arrived a bit sweaty but only marginally late.
After picking up the tickets from the lovely guy at the Bonk stand (who explained they were actually his mum’s tickets who could no longer attend, thanks Mr Bonks mum!) we headed into the stands overlooking transition and took our seats.
It was incredibly cool watching the race unfold close-up and the nature of the course meant we got to see the athlete’s multiple times in each discipline. Being right by transition was a real eye-opener, the elite women flew through T1 and T2 (what the hell was I doing for 3 minutes at the London Duathlon??) but I guess that comes with practice and I loved seeing how it should be done.
Following an incredible season and three World Triathlon series wins it was heart breaking to watch American Gwen Jorgensen pull out following a nasty crash on the bike.
The big story however was Non Stanford. What a rock star. She totally dominated the run, and despite incurring a 15 second time penalty for not getting her wetsuit fully in the box at transition went on to confidently win the World Championship title. As the guy commentating kept saying ‘a classy classy performance’.
A big thanks to Bonk Triathlon for the tickets!