Geneva European Championships 2015

So the unexpected trip to Geneva has finally arrived and the Player family arrived at Geneva airport weighed down with bags and bike box – ok to be honest only one of us was weighed down by the bike box while the other pulled a very small case on wheels.
Things were going pretty well, train from airport to Geneva, straight on to the bus to Gaillard. Now I had booked a hotel in Gaillard in an attempt to save money and we were assured that it was only a 3 mile bus ride out of Geneva. Half an hour later, after travelling what must have been the longest 3 miles in the history of public transport, we arrived at our hotel.
First impressions? The outside was dark. Second impressions? The inside was dark! We got to the room (also dark) where I spent half an hour opening random cupboards looking for the kitchen we’d been promised. One stroppy triathlete later and we were moved to a different room where the kitchen miraculously appeared on opening the front door – did I mention it was dark?????
Registration day and it was back to the bus with bike. The bus was full so undeterred, one of us squeezed sardine like into a sea of commuters. The other? Well he got on the bike and invented a new game of ’flying Cornishman races the Geneva Express’. I randomly waved out of the window at the traffic lights while a fellow commuter looked on in awe.
Registration went smoothly apart from being told in no uncertain terms that ‘ the bathroom facilities are not for athletes madam’. Unfortunately while trying to find another bathroom I managed to miss the GB team photo – which rather set the trend for the weekend. We then caught up with the lovely Maggie and headed for the more important business of coffee and cakes.
Having registered and left the bike in transition it was back to the dark place. This time we managed to get on the express bus which whizzed at breakneck speed past our hotel only to drop us half way to Mount Blanc and a long trudge back to our dark, unairconditioned room.
Race day loomed all too quickly and – you’ve guessed it – back on the bus! My race started at midday which at least gave me a chance to suss out the way in and out of transition. Did I not recci it earlier – no, I was on the damn bus!!!!
Unfortunately it also gave the sun a chance to heat up – 32° at race start.
Swim start was the normal ‘ there’s the water Go!’. Not a great deal to report on the swim apart from receiving a strong right hook at the first buoy which knocked my goggles flying. Also we were swimming against a strong current which made the swim times seem inordinarily slow. It was then out of the water, over the ramp and the very long run to transition – I was hoping the organisers would lay on a taxi but no such luck!
Onto the bike and straight out on a 3 lap course. All going well until THE HILL! Ok I got up it but the land speed record was in no danger of being broken. I had a reasonably good bike leg and passed quite a few (however not on the hill).
Back to transition and onto the run – which is usually my best leg. Started to run and suddenly realised that someone had taken all the oxygen out of the air and replaced it with treacle along with adding quick drying cement to my running shoes. It was obviously not going to be a good one and to say I was relieved to cross the finish line would be an understatement.
Results? 15th in age group. I could say I was pleased with that, but let’s face it I’d be lying. I then proceeded to miss the Velotive team photo – yep you’ve guessed it – I was back on the bus!!!!
So lessons learnt –
Staying in France may be cheaper but some of the financial lessons I’ve picked up from Scrooge McPlayer are best ignored.
Swimming against a current does not lead to a fast time.
Running in 32° is no fun.
If I never see bus no 61 Geneva to Gaillard again – it will be too soon.
Finally – in the world of top class triathletes I am a very small goldfish in a very large pond.

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