On a Monday, in September 2008, I joined the Royal Bank of Scotland. The first day was amazing. I met my team mates, I got taken out for lunch and, in the evening, we all went to a bar and got drunk.
My second day wasn’t as good – the bank collapsed!
I don’t think the financial crises was my fault but I can’t be certain. I was very drunk that night.
During the night out, the RBS project manager told me about a race he’d entered – the Edinburgh New Year’s Day Triathlon. A 400m swim in a pool, then three laps on a bike of Arthur’s Seat finishing with one lap running around Arthurs Seat.
It sounded great, so I signed up. I then realized I hadn’t swam since school ten years previously. I then realized that at school I hadn’t been very good at swimming.
I should therefore have practiced swimming before the event but like all men faced with a problem – I ignored it!
I’m not sure I took the event seriously. This is what I wrote on Facebook the night before the race.
and this is what I was doing at 0300, five hours before the start of the race
I think it’s fair to say my pre-race fueling strategy was flawed.
I woke up very hungover but I made it to the start.
The swim was eight laps of the commonwealth pool. I used the breast stroke for all of them. I remember thinking “this is the furthest I’ve ever swam” and that was at the end of lap one!
The bike didn’t go any better.
I had an old mountain bike. Thankfully I was not breathalyzed before hitting the road. My bike broke on lap one. Everyone passed me as I tried to fix it. I eventually got it working and made it round slowly.
My drinking caught up with me on the run and I threw up at the start, the middle and the end of the lap.
I eventually finished last.
BUT that wasn’t the worst part of the day. After the swim, instead of going to the run transition, I’d gone to the changing room to use the hairdryer. I wasn’t going to go out on new years day in Scotland with wet hair. I’d catch a cold!
As I was blowing my hair the RBS project manager saw me. He strode over and asked how my race had gone” I replied that I was currently doing it. He looked appalled!