Eton Dorney Para Tri

~by Kath Finn

I have just returned from the Eton Dorney Para Triathlon World Cup which was a very interesting race! I was supporting Andrea Logan who is visually impaired in her first triathlon with an open water swim. It was at Dorney Rowing Lake, Slough, (long way…thanks for all the driving Paddy Finn) water warm and everything flat. We were in the open race in the para wave -first race I’ve ever been to with one of them. We had a hard but successful swim, our own private canoe escort, and fifteen grinning helpers to pull us out. Good bike and ok run. Andrea did fantastically – a lot of fun, some learning and a great day out. It was really interesting watching the Para World Cup race and thinking of the effort going in to racing as a para. Wheelchair users need 2 chairs and a hand cycle (total second hand £10,000) and two or three ‘handlers’ at swim entrance and exit, also a large van to put all the kit in to travel from Italy or wherever. And as for those form South Africa and Australia! If you have one arm you have all bike controls and gears on one tri bar…anyone fancy that. And if your stump has a holder on the bike you just hop off and hop to transition on your only leg to attach your blade for the run. So many variations.
It takes a lot to access tri sometimes – in this instance thanks to Bendrigg who started it all and loaned us the bike, Chrissie Johnstone, Sleeker Swim, who gave us help with swimming and Aiguille Outdoor equipment who helped us with tethers.