Tiszaujvaros World Cup Triathlon
August 15th, 2011 by Gavin
On the way to the venue some of us make an unscheduled stop at a young Hungarians training base for some last minute nutrition. There is still some time before the start.
Around me are some Spanish, Hungarians and Americans. The air temperature is warm and I am keeping my hydration topped up. The locals are watching us with curiosity.
At the venue there isn’t much of a crowd as I have arrived earlier than I usually do. I normally like to arrive and just have enough time for a quick walk around before swinging my arms a few times and taking a position. There is some music in the background and the athletes make small talk. I feel ready.
Suddenly the Russian team arrives and some of my concentration is broken as I study their outfits . . skin tight and shiny. They look lean and serious. There is a glint in the eye of an athlete from Kazakhstan. ’They will start fast’ I think to myself.
I must pace myself and be sensible as there is still a long season ahead. As usual there are some words written on my hand as reminders. “7.55 p.up” my left reads. I can just make out the word ‘process’ on my right hand as the ink fades in the heat.
More and more athletes arrive and a qeue has formed. The Aussies and Kiwis arrive already warmed up and ready to go. The Mexican and Portugese coaching teams are here. The ITU officials. The Italiens. The legendary Tizzy commentator and alligator mascot.
My Spanish friend leans over to me and says with a smile “5 minutes to the start”. I know at some point during the next 60mins he and his team mates are likely to attack.
In the race briefing 2 days earlier a lot of emphasis was placed on remembering your accreditation. We are summoned into a holding pen and we give the stewards any unnecessary items of clothing and get our accreditation checked.
In the distance I can see the women already in full flight. Arms and legs are flying everywhere. There seems to be a scuffle around the first few boys.
There is an air of excitement as I step up to the line. All the hard work has been done.
I am in Tiszaujvaros.
It is 10.07 pm.