Henley Half Middle Distance Triathlon

I've been doing triathlon for about 18 months and this was my first half iron-distance race. Simon's been doing triathlon for about as many years but we both thoroughly enjoyed the day and thought the organisation, marshalling and course were first class.

 
We arrived at the swim start at 6:45 am to find it covered in mist and we could only just make out the other side of the river even with a floodlight! It was also freezing. Well not quite, but it was under 10 degrees which was a bit of shock after the week's mid 20 degree highs. However the water was a balmy 16.5 degrees so it was almost a relief getting in. I was really relaxed and felt strong throughout the swim even though at times I could barely see the next massive buoy and had to rely on the others ahead of me knowing the way. Was all that sighting practice in vain?
Soon I was out of T1 and onto the bike. I was so relieved I had packed my arm warmers as I kept them on for all of the bike as the wind was quite chilly. It was a really scenic bike course and luckily by that point the mist had lifted and we got quite a bit of sunshine. I still felt strong and managed to pace pretty well. We agreed later we were both really glad we'd done a course recce as Howe Hill, the only hardish hill (in Kent terms), didn't seem half as hard this time round. We both found the bike route relatively easy; I finished it 15 minutes quicker than I'd expected and Simon decided to save his beans for the run but still clocked a great time. After quite an emotional T2 for me - part surprise at my time at this point and part relief I'd got this far without anything going wrong, I pulled on my Beating Bowel Cancer vest and I was out on the run. The run started well and the support through the town centre and over Henley bridge, as well as spotting my family, was a big boost. The first 5 km were alright but it slowly dawned on me that my stomach was pretty unhappy with all the gels and gunk I'd taken on. This, rather than my ITB which had been the source of much pre-race worry, was what slowed down my run. Despite this I was pleased with  just over 2 hours. I was elated and a bit tearful coming through the finish. Simon wishes he’d done more than some "half-hearted jogging" in preparation (his words not mine) but for me it was a fantastic first half iron distance and I'd thoroughly recommend it.
Many thanks to those of you that sponsored me after last week’s appeal, so far I’ve raised almost £3500 to help Beat Bowel Cancer. 
Race results
Simon Truett 93/621  5.19.42
Sarah Jones  468/621  6.30.32
(Sarah Jones)