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An utterly fabulous weekend
Posted by: fredwhitton14
Posted on: Tuesday 19th May 2015


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Our regular contributor (and sometimes bonkers...) Nicky Dick has been back racing triathlon this past weekend. Having had "a reality check" in her last update when taking part in the Inter-Counties Cross Country Championships, this time Nicky headed to Wales - not without a few issues - to race the Snowdonia Slateman. "What a weekend", here is her report.


What an "utterly fabulous weekend."

These might not be the words of everyone after a triathlon in Wales, where the water is cold, there are a lot of hills, and it often rains. But, I`ve just raced The Slateman, an iconic event organised by Always Aim High.

I knew the swim in Padern would be freezing cold, hence plenty of swimming in a quarry hole behind my house [Ed. not that Nicky is afraid of the cold]. Since it was probably going to rain on the day, I deliberately went when it was horrible weather, and living in the Peak District, there can be a lot of that.

Things started to get tricky when I realised I had to fit two children and a bike plus kit for a weekend, in a two door soft top. Let`s not begin to ask why. I could get the wheels in the boot, kids on the back seats and frame on the front seat. At this point the marvellous chaps from Racing TNT stepped in to help and took my bike, and I became part of the “barmy orange army”.

Then, on the Thursday beforehand, I was smacked into whilst riding my bike by a bloke in a big car who obviously hadn't even seen me. I was in the ditch and he was fuming that I'd snapped his door mirror off with my arm, and dented his door. Strangely, I was equally angry that I was lying on the grass with a bashed right hand side, and buckled wheel... I couldn't ride the bike home, so he had to stuff it in his boot and kept saying how lucky I was he was polite enough to stop. I was fuming and still can't properly feel my fingers nor get a full lungful of air.

On to Saturday, TNT had some athlete doing the sprint as part of the Slateman Savage. Essentially, add the times of the sprint and long together, so, not your position in each but overall time. Kate was looking for a podium, and after the sprint was in second, Charlotte not far behind. The kids ran in the fell races, more podiums, with Michaela winning the senior girls, and a nice piece of Welsh slate which someone translated for her.

Slateman 2015

Sunday, not raining, only a bit of wind, and then I was gutted to hear them half the swim distancebecause the water was cold. I might not be the fastest but I knew the cold water would play in to my hands. The shorter distance meant the field didn't spread out and it was a fight from start to finish, but I don't mind that.

The bike, oh the bike was just glorious. Up Llanberis Pass, Capel Curig, a 51k ride through stunning scenery. My bike leg in a race is my slowest bit, but the hills meant I was overtaking going up, and not doing so badly on the rest of it. Crowds on the crests with cowbells, it was a joy to race.

The run, 11k or so, up, up, up to the top of the slate mine. Ziggy zaggy, power walking, tippy toe running, then across a bit of the fell side and back down to a funnel of supporters 100 yards long to the finish line, including the “barmy orange army”.

The kids were in the chute in their TNT hoodies and we were put on the PA as I sat on the floor. Rashly I said I now fancied the Snowman and Sandman. Finished fourth in the old twits; fourth is usually the horrible place to be, but I was happy with it. Kate was second in the Savage, Chrissie third, pipping Charlotte by seven seconds. What a weekend.


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