Forget sweaty Lycra and saddle sores, in Carmarthenshire they’ve invented a scenic, fun version of the triathlon that allows Kevin Rushby’s family to do a leg each, and factor in some pub time, too
I enjoy triathlons. Obviously not the initial immersion in freezing water: that is not fun. And not the subsequent half hour of being repeatedly kicked in the face by other swimmers before you jump on a bike, only to find the ride ruined by your cold, wet clothes. That sets up the chest infection, of course, that spoils the run. Actually, when I think about it, I only really enjoy the transitions, those few blessed minutes of rest between sports when you munch away contentedly at your sandwiches, swig some coffee, and gaze indulgently at the obsessive, furrowed faces of those who take it too seriously.
Precious moments! I’ve often wished they could be longer and a little bit more luxurious. And now, in Carmarthenshire, a county that clearly thinks like I do, they have come up with a great idea: triathlons done at your own speed, possibly over an entire weekend, and on a selection of routes. You can swap your least favourite activity with another: paddle-boarding or kayaking instead of swimming, for example. You can even replace yourself with another person which is what I plan to do: daughter Maddy, aged 12, loves swimming so she can do that section, while my partner Sophie likes running so that’s her sorted. All I have to do is get on my bike for a few hours. It’s a family tri, and the transitions are extended over several hours in cafes, pubs and accommodation. Carmarthenshire has, I reckon, done the impossible: they have perfected the triathlon.