Graham Bloomfield is fairly new to the swimming, bicycling and running event but is already a hardened competitor with colleagues from the practice's office in Norwich. Bloomfield, a member of his local Tri-Anglia triathlon club, intends to take part in the Property Triathlon this July. His team has also used the event to raise money for East Anglia's Children's Hospices (EACH).
How did you get into the triathlon?
Over the last couple of years I have got into running and last year the practice celebrated its 175th anniversary with fundraising activities. I clocked up 175 miles of predominantly half marathons and decided to take a chance on the triathlon with a team of colleagues. I trained seriously for seven months for the event: a 750m swim, 19km bike ride and 5km run, and that's just the sprint version. Olympians double the distances, and that's what I'm building up for this July.
What does it involve?
Practice, then more practice; that's what the triathlon involves. I had a helping hand from the national Cyclescheme, where employees can buy a good bike in instalments and enjoy tax breaks. I have a 20km round trip to work every day and this, along with my running and swimming training, has helped build up my strength and stamina.
Why do you do it?
I do it for the challenge and for the kudos: not many people have done the triathlon but the idea captivated me and I had always wanted to have a crack at the three sequential endurance disciplines.
What’s the toughest thing about it?
To start with swimming was a problem in that I couldn't really swim at all, so I took adult lessons. With five weeks to my first ever event I was struggling to swim a pool length. I swam twice a day and at some point the technique suddenly clicked. I then had to conquer my fear of open water, and it was only just over a week before the event before I felt confident to step into dark, at times choppy, water.
What’s the most rewarding thing about it?
Most rewarding thing without a doubt is the support I get from my three colleagues: we all have our weaknesses but the help and camaraderie is fantastic. When I started I panicked about the open water element but a colleague swam with me, fished me out a couple of times when I struggled, then threw me back in until my confidence and skills improved.
Are there any similarities between your day job and toughing out the triathlon?
Preparation springs to mind: you have to know what you are doing, have a strategy in place and be trained and ready. It's all about putting in the hard work to get the reward when you do the triathlon or put yourself in front of a planning committee.
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