Friday, 17 January 2014

Operation Crazy Eve

So! It’s been a little while since I did any crazy challenges so this needs fixing stat! LOL. This is one challenge I’ve had planned for a long time; you may recall my Week 10 goal which I named “C.R.A.Z.Y.” – or, “Operation Crazy”. 

Tri #3
Tomorrow I’m attempting to do 3 events: a 5km fun run, then two triathlons (mini tris)….all before lunch. Crazy much? I’ve got it all worked out and believe I can do this. It’s going to be exhausting but I want to try it. In saying that, it's now the night before and I'm getting highly nervous.  I'm starting to doubt myself and wonder what I've gotten myself into.

I'm supposed to be packing my bags and car as to do a run, swim, cycle, run, swim, cycle, run (!!!) will need military precision packing organisation skills to successfully execute!  But I'm feeling a bit anxious so I told myself I can blog for 45min. and then get back into it.

The coolest thing happened yesterday which has made tomorrow even more significant and special. Tomorrow will mark my 6th and 7th triathlons. Out of my previous 5, four have been done through Triathlon Pink. It’s a fantastic event run right around Australia and I can’t encourage people to do them enough. Anyway….long term readers will know some of my stories surrounding my previous tris…some of them can be found here:
Triathlon 1
Triathlon 2
Triathlon 3
Triathlon 4
Triathlon 5 - oh - apparently I haven't reported on that yet!  Oh well.

Tri #1, #2 & #3
So if you're super bored, you can read my accounts at the links above.  In summary though, apart from the last one, I have come through the finish line absolutely last at each event.  Triathlon 1 I even had a whole triathon start after me, and I still finished last - as in, the entire event overtook me.

Anyway. :)

Tri #1
That's all fine, but I've struggled to deal with most of them because of two things...when I've been doing the run leg (which is the last leg that you do before finishing), the volunteers that have been manning the area, have started packing up before I've finished.  It's so upsetting to be very last in an event, but when things are being packed up around you as you do so, well....disheartening is an understatement.

Then, most times I've gotten to the finish line, the MC has announced to the crowd that I'm the last
person to finish.  I know it's true - I am the last...but to announce it to the crowd no matter how innocent the intentions, it's really, really embarrassing.


Each time this happens, I tell myself that I should contact the organisers to let them know and to request that they don't do this - particularly the packing up.  But --- time gets away, I forget, I don't
Tri #3
want to sound like an idiot, time passes and it feels like it's too late....and by then the next triathlon's rolled around again, I'm last, the same things happen, and I mean to tell them.  And I don't.

This week I remembered to finally do it, so yesterday I decided it couldn't hurt to finally email the organisers and just request that they don't do this anymore.  Especially with me doing 3 events tomorrow, I am expecting to be last again so I was really sticking up for who will probably be me!

My email gave a very brief summary of my past experiences, and a request to change things this week.  I said I loved the event, and I spoke highly of the volunteers.  I said that I know that they've been volunteering all day in the sun and deserve to go home...but that I am only ever literally 5, maybe 10min. at the most behind the next last person - so it would only take 10min. more of their time to just wait for me to go past.  I gave a quick recount of my first tri, where, not only did the volunteer pack up the run course, he actually left - so there was no-one left on the course.  This is when I had a hyperventilation / asthma attack - so it actually was not only just embarrassing, it was really dangerous as I was out there all alone, unable to breathe.

I was embarrassed writing the email; assuming the event organisers would look down at me for
Tri #1
always being last, annoyed at me asking to get their volunteers to wait, and not understanding about how this feels.

Within 10min. after sending it, I had an email back from one of the staff, apologising for my past experiences and asking for my number because she had passed my email onto the director who wanted to call me.

I said it was ok, really, I am ok, it's just a couple of small requests - and I still love the events, but sure, here's my number.

Very soon after, the director of the event called me.  And wow.  He was amazing.  He was beside himself with disappointment about what had been going on.  He said that that is definitely not how they plan to run their events.  That the packing up (and especially leaving) was absolutely not supposed to happen - and that he was so disappointed that it had taken 15 months for him to find out about the first time as now he couldn't do anything to change it for me.

He was so kind and lovely and apologetic.  I could tell he was so genuine - and what got me, was that he said he understood how that would have felt.  That went a long way with me - I truly thought
Tri #3
the organisers would think I was being a little bit sensitive, but he agreed that it would be so disheartening!

I can't speak highly enough of this directors response.  He asked me to introduce myself on the day as he'd like to meet me.  Then - he said this...just amazing:

He confirmed I was doing my crazy three events.  He said it'll be a big day for me - so what he'd like to do to help me, is to get me to start at the front of the swim queue at each of my triathlons, so that I get a head start in the pool ahead of everyone else.  He even said they'll give me a minute in the pool by myself!

Now this makes me really nervous as I am not a confident swimmer, so I do breaststroke with my head out of the water which is sort of embarrassing - also I'm going to have literally hundreds of pink swimming cap clad girls watching me, wondering why I'm in there by myself - plus, when
Tri #4
the Ultra triathletes start soon after me, I'm nervous they'll splash past me.  But - I'll just do my best.  Having a head start will be helpful from a time point of view - and the little embarrassment I may feel here is nothing on what I have felt at the end of my previous events.

He said to do this, then finish my first tri, have a drink, settle and get ready for the next (I'll probably have about 15min. in between), then make my way to the 'pointy end of the pool' to start ahead of everyone else in that triathlon, also.

Then he said "and that way, you shouldn't come last."

How lovely is he??

Tri #4
I don't mind about where I start - or really finish - as I'm used to it now - but just the fact he is trying to help me here speaks volumes and has made up for everything.  This event has the most loveliest volunteers, everyone is so kind on course - even the ones who pack up - I'm never unhappy with the people, but I think it's just a few people don't realise how it feels when they start to pack up.  So hopefully tomorrow that won't happen, but moreso hopefully I won't be around to see if it does or not, because I would have finished ahead by then. :)  (Hopefully, anyway - I am VERY slow!)

We'll see...for now I just wanted to share how lovely this response was :)  After the phone call I was so overwhelmed and a bit teary.
Tri #3

What will be really special is having this gesture available to me....leading events is usually saved for the most elite; often the winners from the previous year get to lead off events.  I don't ever forsee that being me.  So this will be a nice little experience..a far cry from the gritting of my teeth and crying breakdowns I usually associate with triathlons :)

Wish me luck for tomorrow.  I'm just going to give it my best shot.  I wouldn't do it if I didn't think I could do it.  But I am really nervous.  I've done the 5km run and then the Long triathlon before, and I was exhausted by the end - tomorrow I have to fit another triathlon on the end of that!  I'm sure it'll be ok.

Will check back in soon after - hopefully with 3 medals and a big smile on my face :) xx


  1. wow makes me want to try to do one your such an inspiration hun well done xx you keep me wanting to try new things xxo

  2. What I love is that even though you have come last, you still get back out there & give it another go. That shows real determination. You truly are an inspiration to me. Good on you for writing the email. I'm very happy to read that the director was so helpful & sincere. I will be cheering you on all the way from Adelaide. You can so do this xx

  3. Ok, you are awesome! Simply awesome! Thank you for sharing. I was almost teary for you. I had planned to do my first fun run since I was a kid next weekend... I was starting with a teeny tiny 2.5km fun run because that is the length of the track I have been practicing on but am still not able to run the whole way... Until I read this blog post I had decided not to waste my money and would just keep 'training' until I felt confident enough to actually enter a fun run... Now I see... It is not about me winning or even being able to run the whole way... It is about giving it a go! I always knew this... It is how I was brought up... Somewhere along the way I just became frightened of the failure... Thank you for reminding me that I can only fail by not trying xoxo

  4. Good Luck Good Luck Good Luck!!! That is so lovely to hear about the director's response. Sounds to me like he does a great job. As do you. Very inspirational is You!!!!!