A few years ago I got into the habit of randomly entering all the free competitions on a local arts and listings website, Manchester Confidential. The prizes were usually things like vouchers and meals out and what have you, and it was all too easy to just click a few boxes and enter them all.
One day, someone phoned me up and told me I'd won a prize. "Oh right, what have I won?" I asked. "A day's training with the Manchester Triathlon Club," the woman replied, "you have to report to Moss Side Leisure Centre at 8 o'clock on Saturday morning". Oh, right.
I couldn't really get out of it, because a photographer was going along to record my pitiful attempts at athletic endeavour for a follow-up article. The picture below appeared in the piece, along with the hilarious encouragement to readers that they could 'click here to enlarge'. I think someone may have been taking the piss.
After the swimming, I went down to the athletics track in Chorlton to learn about cycling into and out of the transition areas that they have in triathlons, before doing some running. All of these things were well beyond my usual exercise regime. I play a bit of cricket in the summer, but that involves no swimming or cycling, and only a bit of what could laughably be described as running. So by the time I was allowed to go home at 2pm, I was pretty tired.
I still haven't done a triathlon.