Virgin Active London Triathlon 2011

“TRY-my-patience”, chortled my husband Robin, when I told him I had joined a team of wannabe TRI-athletes. In typical fashion, I seized an opportunity to join team “TT Rookies” without a second’s hesitation. Though no slouch, completing the Olympic distance London Triathlon on 31st July 2011 is a daunting challenge for me. Along with the other 30 wannabe triathletes from Edinburgh, we are all novices at triathlon and have no real idea of how (or if!!) our bodies will cope! The individual distances don’t seem too bad at first glance; 1500m swim, 40km cycle, 10km run. But I have never attempted these one after the other, and certainly not in a race which engenders a whole new level of stress. More worryingly for me, I have never done an openwater swim in a wetsuit. The word “panic” springs to mind when I see triathlon images of thousands of swimmers thrashing and splashing in close proximity. I also thought swimming in the River Thames was extremely inadvisable due to the rats’ pee disease….Weil’s Disease. My inspirational swimming coach has already given me a few “how not to drown lessons” in the deep end of the swimming pool. I understand that the buoyancy of my wetsuit WILL keep me afloat! We’ll see!!!

I’ve had a few attempts at open water swimming in our local reservoir. There are now only two weeks left to get to grips with this one. The first swim was so cold I could hardly breathe let alone swim. I was last out of the water – but only because I couldn’t swim fast enough to get out. The second time was windy and there were waves that kept crashing down, and up my nose each time I tried to breathe. And the one time the water was flat calm – the midges were out in force…………

I consider myself very fortunate that I am fit and healthy enough to even contemplate an event like this. I had a brush with A&E in April (a kidney stone, ouch!!!) that left me bed-ridden for a week (kidney infection, yuk!!) and poised for a comeback. The silver lining was that I lost a few kg without even trying, and had a week off work to contemplate life, and hatch a few plans. All in all, not a bad experience….. Thousands of women we know and love are not so lucky with their health – which is why I am thrilled to take part in this reckless challenge to raise funds for Breakthrough Breast Cancer.

The funds we raise will be used for breast cancer research, campaigning and education. For example: a donation of £10 could buy 4 flasks used by scientists to grow breast cancer cells in the laboratory, or a donation of £20 could buy 30 microscope slides needed to look at cells under a microscope. £100 buys enough nutrient broth to keep cells alive in the lab for 6 months. These cells can be used to discover how breast cancer develops and design new treatments. As well as enabling scientists to develop new life-saving breast cancer treatments – your donations will keep me going while I attempt to NOT panic and jump into the rescue boat after 100 metres………..

I am raising money through JustGiving at www.justgiving.com/Anna-Henly0

(All your money goes direct to Breakthrough Breast Cancer. It is not used to pay my entry fee to Virgin Active’s London Triathlon 2011). This event is a very daunting challenge for me – and your support is very important to me. Please donate a few pennies or pounds to help the TT Rookies meet our team objective of £20,000. Thank you!!

Categories: Charity fundraising, General and Sport.