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A Dark Tale of Sibling Rivalry in the Mud of Aldershot

February 24, 2016

 

 

Setting the Scene

I have been competing in Triathlons for 10 years. My sister, Tessa, is 16 months younger than me and I thought she went to the gym and did a bit of Zumba and Body Pump and went for the occasional run. She challenged me to compete in the GRIM (one of those muddy run things – 8 miles) which is near where she lives in Farnborough. No worries, I thought – I can handle this.

 

The Warm Up Event

We spent Christmas Day with Tessa and we decided that a Boxing Day Park Run was a good plan. My nephews are 8 and 10, and other family members bagged a child each to run with, leaving Tessa and I free to size each other up. I set a cracking pace defying the Christmas dinner and alcohol I had consumed that day before and thought I had dropped her. Lap 2 though, when things thinned out - there she was on my shoulder! In the final straight, she powered past me and took me out on the sprint.

… so the race was on for the Grim in February!

 

The Training

I decided I had better put some effort into this. The remaining days off over the New Year had me doing hill reps and longer runs. I cycled back from work in the dark to attend the club track sessions and skipped some Saturday morning swims to do Park Run. Then Jo asked me to do the Hampton Court Half and I thought I might as well make the most of the training and added in some runs of over 10 miles on Sundays. I had no alcohol from January to Feb 7th! All in all by the Grim I was feeling pretty well-prepared.

The Event – The GRIM

It was a cold but sunny day and not actually icy – so quite good fo

r a winter run. Tessa started telling me about training tips from her run coach and the HIT sessions she goes to at the gym while waiting for the start so the alarm bells were starting to ring! The GRIM has a lot of sandy tracks but also a lot of thigh deep puddles and few small hills. Tessa powered up the first hill and disappeared slowly into the distance and there wasn’t a lot I could do about it. It was quite a fun course and the puddles weren’t too bad going in. The numb feet coming out were a bit of a problem. Anyway, I finished in 1h14, 3 minutes behind Tessa. She was 19th lady – so no slouch! Martin, Tessa’s husband knocked 12 minutes off his PB so was well chuffed.

 

The Aftermath

I’ve got over being beaten by my little sister ... It was good to do a block of run training and think of all the alcohol I haven't drunk. I’ve just done the Hampton Court Half and am really pleased with my time. Tessa decided a Half was too much for her aches and pains but I think I have persuaded her to do a rematch at the Morden Aquathlon. I’m not sure that the swim is long enough for me to get enough advantage to beat her but I’m going to sign her up to the club so that WTC gets her points for the London League. It you can’t beat her, join her!

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