I Booked the Hever Castle 70.3 Gauntlet

TL;DR I just signed up to do a half Ironman, and its only eight weeks away.

If I put a photo of me on here, I would get people saying things like ‘good for you’. I’m not massively overweight, but I’m not a skinny runner. Don’t really want to be either.

I’m like a compassionate, confident potato.

I got covid about six weeks ago, and it left me feeling shit for a while. Muddled thinking, heavy flu like symptoms, and an afternoon where I struggled to take a breath that scared the living daylights out of me. So I took my triathlon book off the shelf (Joe Friel) and spent four days creating a fully detailed, year long training plan. And I knew I would stick to it.

If you’re like me, I don’t like making superfluous decisions. I also don’t enjoy running, but that’s mainly because I’m bad at it. So I needed something to get me out of the door at 6am, so I planned. Now I don’t think, I just do what plan says.

Last night I was watching Netflix, drinking wine, and I messaged a mate about how quickly the Ironman gets booked up.


“Usually pretty quick mate. Goes on sale the day after, so 5th July this year. You tempted?”


“Yeah. The plan was 2 oly tris in 2020, a 70.3 in 2021 and then ironman 2022. But that all went to shit when they were all cancelled”


“Get on a 70.3 this year, towards the end of summer. Trouble is most will be booked up as roll overs from last year. If you put the hours in you will get through a full Iron Man.”

Terry is a repeat Ironman. He’s got the tattoo. And he makes me feel terrible by comparison on Strava. But he’s my mate and I’ve known him for over twenty years at this point, so his word carries weight with me.

So I immediately went looking for a 70.3 distance, and found that they were booked up. But one was free.

Hever Castle Gauntlet triathlon is the half Iron distance, and it’s in beautiful surroundings. There was no question – its got a space, I’m going. I checked my calendar, happy days, I’m free.

It was bloody expensive.

As soon as I booked it I had an uncharacteristic moment of panic. I calculated, 8 weeks away. But it’s too late.

I told Terry. He was worried.

“Nice, not long that mate but if you put the hours in you will be ok”

I bought things I never bought but need. Cycling shoes and clips, Tri bars (it’s a triathlon right) and a new pair of trainers that aren’t falling apart.

Now I’m waiting for the delivery, and ready to get going, tomorrow at 6am.

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