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Monday, 06 July 2015

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Giles Trials 2

IN five months reporter GILES BROWN will take part in one of the most scenic, fun, and exciting triathlons in the country – Tri Windermere. The triathlon novice charts his training progress in the second of six monthly columns.

I HAVE never been a stylish man. As a schoolboy I carried my books in a tweed fishing satchel, rather than one of the fashionable branded bags used by my peers (it was actually very practical), and I have been known to iron my shirts using the bottom of a saucepan of boiling water.

Yet, even with a pedigree such as this, the getup I wear for my nocturnal training runs embarrasses even me. Where I live in Lowick Bridge there isn't much street lighting, so for the sake of safety I wear a luminous vest and a camouflage hunting cap with an inbuilt light. For the sake of warmth, I wear a pair of tight fitting thermal long johns with some footy shorts. The effect is somewhere between rubbish superhero and kinky lollipop man.

Dressed in this vile garb, I charge off into the darkness and run like the wind, not that I run quickly, but there is a lot puffing and blowing involved. Now, I have to admit the Brown triathlon training regime lost a bit of its edge in recent weeks. Cigarettes were smoked, drinks were drunk, a lot of episodes of Mad Men were watched, all at the expense of exercise.

That was until Monday, when I returned home from work determined to pay penance for my sins with a 10km run. For an added frisson of punishment, I decided to head across the moors in the dark. This is the kind of idea which seems quite appealing on the way home in the car when the sun has not quite set.

However, as I set off in the misty chill of the gloaming, sweating and swearing my way past Lowick Hall and towards Kiln Bank, it did not seem quite so much fun. Like a fishing bag-wearing schoolboy encircled by older pupils ready to give him a good beating, I felt shivers of fear down my spine despite the exertion.

As I joined the Cumbria Way and headed up onto the foggy moors, I was reminded of my homeland in the Fens, where snaggle-toothed locals still talk of evil spirits lurking in the boggy wilds Sheep ran out of my way like fluffy ghosts on the blasted heath - just the place witches would gather.

Driven by my over-active imagination, I stumbled through a large puddle and sprinted as fast I could to Blawith and the main road back to Lowick. Although my fashion sense still needs some work, a bit of fear definitely helped me shave some time off the 10km.


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