The idea of a triathlon has always fascinated me, an athletic holy grail of sorts. Entering running, swimming or cycling races all seems pretty serious, but tackling all three in one event takes things to a whole other level. On September 21st, Fengtai district hosted the second Beijing International Marathon, and my name was listed among its entries.
I admit that I'd completed a triathlon before, but "the world's shortest triathlon" as its known, where winners clocked times of 180 seconds could hardly be compared to races of Olympic standard distances. The Beijing International Marathon, with its 1.5 km swim and 40 km bike ride, concluding with a brisk 10 km run seemed like an effort tantamount to creating the Great Wall. Anyone hoping to try a shorter race would be out of luck: distances would be all or nothing.
But I knew I could run, as that's generally how I exercise. And I figured I could handle the bike section of the race, as I sometimes ride to work on two wheels. However, the idea of swimming one and a half kilometers was terrifying. I actually started having nightmares about swimming at such a far distance in which I'd be screaming for someone to come and save me. Basically, I needed to start training.