Rewind to March 2012. Neil Ainsworth was just 3 weeks away from competing in the Abu-Dhabi Internatoinal Triathlon. In his last min prep for the race Neil was involved in a serious bike accident resulting in shoulder surgery. Neil was in hospital for a week and ultimately had to have a full 6 month lay off from anything that constituted training.
Neil fortunately made a smart and calculated recovery. After a further 8 months of progressive re-hab training, he was finally ready to compete in his 1st triathlon for 18months – the Mallorca Olympic distance triathlon 2013.
Detailed planning and race prep meant Neil was in an extremely positive frame of mind heading over to Spain to race. There were several last min race specific sessions for him to complete – one being to practice the (almost unique) running beach start into the water. After a few warm-up attempts Neil ran into the water and suddenly felt (the worst type of feeling any of us can have – triathlon related) a pop in his calf. He could hardly walk and was in excruciating pain if he tried to. I know what you’re thinking – race over, right? Wrong.
Neil managed to get the help of some fantastic physio’s and staff from race HQ, the famous ‘BEST’ centre. A diagnosis of an acute spasm was determined. Two days worth of treatment including an ice-cast unbelieveably got Neil to the start line come Saturday morning.
After a lengthy conversation about the race we decided how best to approach it, all things considered. This meant him making many spontaneous decisions during the race. After a great swim and a strong (draft legal) bike leg it was onto the 10k run – which we were only 50/50 actually happening at all.
It did happen and it happened in a rapid 42.09. Neil’s full splits were:
Total: 2hrs 23min 21 secs
A very happy athlete with an extraordinary tale of emotions – before, during and after a triathlon.