When you get woke up at 3am by the howling wind, then realise it’s race day and you’re in hostel half way up Helvellyn, the place you’ll be running up and down that day, you do wonder why the hell you’re doing this again. I mean this year has been tough enough already having run from one side of England to the other in 7 days at around 30 miles a day covering over 196 miles, plus throwing in a couple of trail marathons just for good measure on top of the miles and miles of off road running in preparation. So to pick a triathlon like Helvellyn which is ranked in the top 10 toughest triathlons out there, I guess you’ve got to be, well, a bit mad.

Normally by this point my training for a race like this would have consisted of miles on the bike and open water swimming at every opportunity and as such would have been well prepared, however having spent most of my time running this year, I had only managed to get a couple of rides in and swam in Salford Quays twice, which is not ideal preparation. It’s not so much the distances, 1 mile swim, 39 mile bike and then a 9 mile fell run, it’s the severity, and with the wind howling on the day as it was, it was never going to be a day for getting any PB’s. Kirkstone Pass or the Struggle as it’s known was going to be a killer this time as the headwind on the bike was more or less guaranteed to be with you for at least 30 of the 39 miles. I then found out they had to cut the run short by two miles as it was too dangerous to attempt to reach the summit, a lot of people were pleased at this thought after putting so much in on the bike but I have to admit I was a bit gutted, I had been so looking forward to the run as this is where i was sure I’d make up any lost time from the swim and bike. We still had to run, walk, climb up to Red Tarn though before then running down Helvellyn, which is a lot harder than it sounds, anyway glad to say I smashed the run and actually enjoyed every minute of the triathlon, even though out of the 4 times I’ve done it, this year had been the toughest one yet.

Inspired? Visit the website for more info http://www.trihard.co.uk/events/helvellyn-triathlon/