London Triathlon 2015
On the weekend of the 8th and 9th of August we visited ExCel in London to be part of the weekend’s London Triathlon.
Competitors of all levels were there to push themselves beyond the limits many of us think we have, from people riding mountain and hybrid bikes, to enthusiastic amateurs using machines made from space-age materials and technology, to the elite athletes who dedicate every waking hour to their sport. Of course, there was the odd celebrity taking part, too!
We were fortunate to catch Jenni Falconer, who hosted Channel 4’s coverage of the event. Ms Falconer was extremely charming and friendly, and during our brief chat she shared that greengages are one of her favourite fruits!
13,000 competitors swam, cycled, and ran around London ExCel over the two days. Some had very early starts, with events from 5:30AM on Sunday, when although the water may have been refreshingly cool, at least the sun wasn’t too high overhead.
With a range of events, from Super Sprint (400m swim, 10km bike, 2.5k run) to Olympic (1.5km swim, 40km bike, 10k run), and even Olympic Plus (1.5km swim, 80km bike, 10k run), it’s easy to understand why we saw so many serious faces before races started. However, triathlon is about camaraderie and friendship. While listening to the pre-race safety briefing, every competitor was reminded that although it’s a race they are responsible for ensuring each other’s safety. The final step, a ritual, before heading down to the dock was to turn to a stranger, give them a proper hug and wish them the very best. We’re often involved in sport ourselves, so watching this may have inspired at least one of us to take part next year…
While competitors were out doing their thing, we met many very patient wives, husbands, girlfriends, boyfriends, parents, grandparents, and children, most of whom had been to uncountable events to provide much needed support and encouragement. Fortunately, we had plenty of lovely cherries, plums, and greengages to help ease their wait!
Greengages, to many, are an unusual and rarely seen fruit. “Is it bitter?” “Is it sour, like a lime?” Quite the opposite, in fact. Although small, our greengages are packed with flavour and perfect sweetness coupled with a brief sharpness which comes from the skin. To those who hadn’t tried a greengage before, the taste came as a pleasant surprise. To those who’ve had the fruit before, either from a supermarket or from a tree that was in their garden as they were growing up, all those who tried them were happy that they did. The plums, hand-picked earlier in the week, gave people a taste of summer. Like the greengages, our Opal plums, with yellowish and red skin, are packed with flavour. Perfectly ripe, the stone falls out with very little effort, meaning that you don’t have to nibble around it to get the most from the fruit.
Everyone loves cherries, so our British cherries went down very well, of course. “I love cherries!” “When I buy them I don’t share them with anyone!” Well, if that’s the case then our Kordias definitely weren’t for sharing. Even children were keen to try them, which pleased their parents no end!
We shared about 150 kilos of cherries, plums, and greengages with visitors, and offered competitors a little “goodie-bag” of fruit to congratulate them on their efforts. It was nice to see so many tired faces brighten up when given this little treat. There’s no doubt that they were enjoying the fruit, which must have been a refreshing change to the usual supplements and energy bars that usually go with endurance sport!
Endurance sport isn't a solo achievement; it's not solely the result of hours of effort on the athlete's part, but also the unerring support of their friends and family. So, congratulations to all who took part in the event, and our thanks to all those who came to support them.