Saturday, October 21, 2017
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For once I don’t actually feel much like writing this race report. I’m not entirely sure why; probably because yesterday’s race was littered with things that didn’t exactly go to plan and as such I have very mixed feelings on the event.

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I fully accept that writing material destined for public consumption from a position of (at least partial) ignorance is dangerous and usually best avoided. But having been party to a twitter conversation over the last few days, it got me thinking and inevitably that led me to start tapping away on the keyboard, if only to get my own views on the matter in order.

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For once, I'm actually a bit lost for where to start this update. I guess the story actually begins back in Auckland last October. As you may recall from my report at the time, I didn't really enjoy the experience. I had a poor swim and run, which led to quite a few changes, including the decision to part company with my then coach (no insult to his capabilities, I just I felt I needed a new approach). I was also a bit disillusioned with the whole Brit Tri Age Group scene.  And, to be honest, I was a bit burned out.

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It’s hard to believe that in less than three weeks I will (hopefully!) have finished racing at the World Age Group Triathlon Championships in Auckland. What, for most of the summer, has seemed like an age away is suddenly very close and very real.

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Reading some triathlon magazines, a sprint or standard distance triathlete might be forgiven for thinking they are part of some sort of triathlon 'under-class'.  Every month, I seem to find some article which suggests that "anyone can do a triathlon" and that the only real test of physical and mental strength is to go the full hog and finish an Ironman.

Now, I am full of respect of for anyone who completes an Ironman race, whether they do it in nine hours or 16:59.  But I have to admit I take issue with the viewpoint that triathletes that concentrate on shorter distances are somehow 'inferior' to Ironman finishers in the grand pecking order of life.  Although completing an Ironman (and being as competitive as I can be) is definitely on my to-do list before I reach the end of my triathlon journey, right now I see a far greater challenge in becoming a true 'competor' at shorter distance triathlons than becoming an Ironman 'completor'.

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