Dave Mahon

before raceAutumn 2014: Living in Tunbridge Well, I had been a climber for 12 years. Suddenly, that pastime became incompatible with family life. Bummer! I had become a taxi driver, taking my three kids to swimming, guides and cubs! I had to find something else to do. Novice cyclist and runner but I knew how to swim – although only 2 years before I hadn’t swum for over 20 years. Felt like I needed to commit to something and see how far I could take it. Running? Cycling? Swimming? The single sport clubs looked focussed and serious. Triathlon was a good fit but I didn’t do anything about it. Procrastination is our worst enemy!hever swim 27.9.15 edit

 One Friday evening I watched one of my sons swim at St John’s while the local tri club did their stuff. I may as well be in the pool having a go! I made my decision and next week I was in the pool, holding my own with a bunch of triathletes! I could fit the tri disciplines into my schedule, yippee! Everything changed and what a difference it made. Instead of plodding up and down for 150 lengths I now followed a programme. The inspirational Eric Perrier pointed out a few stroke errors and I worked on my speed. On Sunday mornings there were people to race up the hills with, coffee at Velo becoming a regular treat. I started running with a sense of purpose, I entered 7Oaks and got Strava.

 7Oaks race day nerves. Register, rack the bike and faff around with kit. Chilly: coat? gloves? Will I make it round? Will I be any good? I’m off! Last wave, the rest have GBR on their tops. Hammer it, leap out and run. Wobbly, hitting things, find bike. No time for coats. Helmet on and I’m off. Frantic, eye balls out, pushing it, heart pumping. Cramp! Back off a bit. T2: cold hands, can’t get shoes on. Frustration. Start the run – why am I doing this – solid legs, slow. Half way, feels like it’s in the bag, keep going! Steep finish, breathless. TWTC cheering me in, feel like a champion. THE FINISH! Medal, photos, swapping stories, comparing splits. Must do better here, not bad there. Debrief at Kelly Holmes’s. Relax. Satisfaction. What’s everyone doing next?

 The TWTC has a real team spirit and its members are sociable, respectful and fun to be with. There is a wide range of ability, from age group elites to those that are just happy to complete a sprint. Women and men, young and old. It’s a growing club which has an increasing amount to offer.  Finally it’s a great way of meeting like minded people and staying fit.

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