Me and Husky Long Course – where do I begin…. Two years I turned up at the ten year anniversary not sure what to expect having never been to a triathlon weekend before. I swam the 2km in a Long Course team, it was sunny, the crowd went wild – I got a fancy medal, an awesome hoody and a pretty towel and thus the love affair began. Inspired by that weekend it has always been a goal of mine to complete the long course myself. Having swam in a team again in 2016, I hoped 2017 would be the year of the full. Those who know me, know I will talk myself out of something as many times as I talk myself into it. “I can’t do it”, “I can do it”, “let’s give it a go”, “nah, let’s just have coffee instead”… And so it goes.

I am not a fast person nor a natural triathlete. I like to think I maximise the price of the entry. My goal for Husky was to finish before the cut off time, my stretch goal is to finish with a smile on my face wanting to do another triathlon. So after talking myself out of doing the long course again half way round the 750m swim in a sprint team, I found myself racking my bike ready for the next day. Racking my bike doesn’t mean anything right?! Finding myself up at 4.30am the next day, pumping up my tyres, pulling on my wetsuit, listening to the race brief, heading to the waters edge… Still time to back out right?! The gun goes off, I get a good inspirational song in my head (Rudimental – Not giving in) on repeat to pace too and I’m doing it. I can’t believe I’m really doing it! This feeling continues for the cycle and the ‘run’ (read:shuffle) – seeing your friends along the way (thanks PomPom alley and Balance tent!), the cheers, reading people’s handmade signs, thanking the volunteers, the photo ops, the general atmosphere – all these parts to the event really lift and carry me along. I got to the finish chute – holy moly – I did it! Cue tears… Nah.. Must be too dehydrated, oops!

I’ve done five triathlons now – an enticer, sprint, club champs, Western Sydney 70.3 and Husky. The last two have been by far my favourites. I guess the point of this piece is that if I can do it, I truly believe anyone can. Yes it can be scary but with a great group of friends (thanks Balance!) and the atmosphere of an event like this, it is possible!

Notes from a Husky first timer:

  • Never underestimate how much paw paw you’ll need on your neck – those wetsuits will chew you up and spit you out if you’re not careful.
  • Did I mention paw paw – go to town with it…..Everywhere!
  • Sun screen – there is no such thing as a safe tan (thanks Krissy!) just don’t get it in your eyes and blind yourself.
  • Learn to drink and eat on the bike (thanks Leighton) – no one likes to bonk* on the bike or run. *snigger – that a funny word for us English folk – can’t imagine doing that on a bike or run!
  • Get a good song going in your head for the swim – helps me focus on breathing and technique when the world is going crazy around me – swim your own race.
  • If you want a cup of tea or to talc between your toes in transition – do it! Just remember a bottle of water to wash the sand off your feet before you put your shoes on – and dry them before talcing – no one likes paper mache feet.

One more thing – lets start a petition to get the husky hoody back – event Merch is very important!