1997 Bath Triathlon

2010-06-24, Comments

I can remember watching the 1997 Bath Triathlon. The breaking news that morning, there’d been a car crash in Paris. Diana Spencer had been injured. She’s dead, Mel said. The sky was heavy. Rain during the week had the river running fast and high. In went the wet-suited competitors. The current swept several away immediately and over the three lap course several more succumbed. The survivors clambered out, struggling to unpeel wetsuits on the move, fastening shoes and helmets with damp fingers, then off on bicycles straight up Bathwick Hill. The rain started. It was one of those summer storms when the sky tears apart. Gutters turned into streams. Rain drops hit the pavement and bounced back up again. The cyclists jammed on their brakes coming down the hill. Spoked wheels threw up plumes of spray. The shower ended abruptly. By now everything was soaked. The event should have ended but exhausted runners continued to trudge round the city centre. They didn’t look like athletes. They didn’t look like fun-runners. They looked beaten.