So as we reach the end of July, my global adventure gets ever closer, two more races have been completed and it’s time for my final piece for Berghaus.
It has been an extremely busy few weeks. The two main highlights have been the Richmond Riverside 10km run and the London Triathlon. The Richmond Riverside was a great event and a chance for me to see just how far my fitness has come on since the beginning of the year. It was already remarkably hot as the race got underway at 9.30 am. My main aim was to break 45 minutes but I had high hopes for going closer to 43. The start was fairly chaotic as usual but I soon found a great rhythm and felt comfortable to the halfway point. I turned in about 22 minutes, so was around my target pace. The course returns to the start/finish area after about 7 km and the atmosphere gave me a great boost but the high temperature meant the last 2 km were pretty tough, with barely any shade. I held it together though and managed a fast finish to get home in 44 minutes 55 seconds. I was absolutely delighted! The conditions meant a really fast time wasn’t possible but I’d hit my target and came 25th overall out of 370.
The London Triathlon was an event on a different scale to anything I have done before. There were over a thousand people in my category alone and my wave had 390 people in it. The triathlon at the beginning of the month had about 300 in total! The organisation was pretty good considering the number of competitors and I had prepared myself better than on previous occasions. This was reflected in my time on the swimming leg as I took over a minute off my swim PB. The transition area was huge though and also had some stairs up from the docks after the swim so this added quite a lot to the total time. The cycle was on closed roads which was great, though there were some short, sharp slopes which weren’t so good. My time on this leg was slightly quicker than previous events, but keeping my speed consistently high on the bike is something I’m looking forward to working on. I finished off with a slightly slow run which was disappointing but overall I was happy with my performance. This definitely isn’t a course for a PB with over 7 minutes in transition, but the atmosphere and support was brilliant. I finished 169 out of 1121 in 1 hour 26 minutes.
It’s now less than two months until I leave for Australia to begin my cycling adventure. I’ve only got 12 days left at work and the excitement is seriously building. The plan is to fly to Perth, spend a couple of nights getting used to the new time zone and then head out on to the road with not much more than a bike and a tent. My kit list is slowly coming together and I’m working through the purchases. I’ve now sorted my bike so that’s a major component out of the way. I would love to say it’s light, fast and high tech but that just wouldn’t be practical when I’m aiming to do 20,000 km, unsupported, over varying terrain. It has to be strong and simple to repair so I’ve gone with a steel frame, with reliable components. I’ve upgraded the tires so hopefully punctures will be few and far between and by the time I go I’m hoping to be fairly proficient at maintaining it.
I’ve got racks fitted to the bike so that it can take panniers. This is how I’m going to store and transport my kit. It all has to be moved under my own steam as well so I’m going to have to pack light. I will be wild camping wherever possible so I’ll be taking equipment to keep me going in a variety of environments such as a multi-fuel stove and a down sleeping bag. Most days I anticipate being on the road but I’m really looking forward to having the flexibility to make and change my own plans whenever I want. If I see a sign to something that takes my interest or want to stay somewhere for a little longer, I have the complete freedom to do so. One thing I have already got in mind to do is to spend some time hiking and camping in the New Zealand Fjordlands. I haven’t been there before but it looks spectacular in every photo I’ve seen. I know the chance to spend some time there and wake each day in a stunning location would be an incredible experience.
As the leaving date approaches I am slightly nervous. There are going to be people and things that I miss a lot and I’m sure there are going to be some hard days out on the road. But this is the first step towards building a new career and life and nothing worth having ever comes easily. I can’t wait.
It has been a great experience writing for Berghaus. I hope the blogs have been interesting and provide a slight insight in to my ambitions and aspirations. It would be great if you could carry on following my adventures once I’m out on the road and as I take on new experiences each and every day!
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