Three weeks into the new term and guess who was already fed up of work and wanting to get away for the weekend? Why, 15 of Imperial’s finest and freshest triathletes, that’s who. On Friday 19th October, we packed our bikes (remembering to remove our pedals, don’t want any scratches!) and made the quest to Kent. Having braved the rush hour traffic of London on a Friday evening, we arrived in the converted barn that was to become our weekend home, eager and ready for a weekend of cycling, running and swimming. Parking the vans was an interesting challenge when our tour sec decided that we can’t hurt a single blade of grass and so decided to help the grass back on its feet.
On Saturday, we woke to glorious sunshine and promises of a phenomenal day. With copious amounts of porridge, toast and bananas having been devoured, everyone was out on their bikes and discovering the garden of England. Splitting into three groups encompassing all from beginners to ironman athletes, the distances ranged from 40 to 70km with no triathlete being left behind. Chatting on our bikes and meeting new people, everyone was enjoying ignorant bliss, unaware of the dangers that lay ahead. It all started with one puncture, then another, and before we knew it, there was a total of eight flats! Having stopped many times to fix these punctures, resulting in us all getting cold, a compulsory cafe stop in Canterbury was in order where we were able to investigate the cakes of Kent. The carrot cakes and flapjacks did not disappoint! Having returned from our bike rides, (with the fast group returning after the slow squad), we ventured to the coast where people went running or walking, or sat on the beach trying to do coursework enjoying the glorious view of the sea. Some brave athletes kept true to the three-sport nature of the club and decided that a swim in the bracingly cold waters would be a good idea. This provided great entertainment for the (perhaps more sensible) crew remaining on the shore, so it was a win all round.
The sun was slowly setting, and we returned to our house where supper was cooked and an old triathlon triathlon of pass-the-parcel was introduced to our new members. Instead of a prize at the end, the lucky winner was given a variety of challenges, ranging from the physically impressive to the downright ridiculous. Particular highlights included a hilarious series of karaoke duets - the sight of our glorious captain serenading the freshers is enough to make anyone want to join the triathlon club.
The next day, we woke early and ready for another epic day of adventures. Having experienced so many punctures a sweepstake began for the number of punctures that would occur that day. Being joined by Imperial tri alumni, three groups set off on rides ranging from 40 to 100km. The tyre troubles of the previous day had spawned a sweepstake, but thankfully the puncture fairy was kinder: only three flats occurred that day. This was perhaps a little dubious, given that those who had bet three were the ones who had the punctures! Having returned again from our bike rides, a group decided it wasn’t enough and sneaked in a cheeky run before we packed up the house and drove back to London. Upon arriving back in London, everyone was already missing the greenery of the Kentish countryside and looking forward to the next tour. Those who missed out on the fun should make sure to get their triathlon membership in so they can join us on our upcoming Easter extravaganza!