Alison Carrick, a school teacher from Manchester, UK had no plans to become a triathlete but found herself in the middle of the Rossendale Triathlon on May 29th after taking a wrong turn on a leisurely bike ride.
Carrick hadn’t been on a bike in four years, but decided to head out for a short ride in her neighbourhood. After taking a turn, she found herself surrounded by hundreds of other cyclists who were taking part in the triathlon. While many would turn back, she decided to “stick it out” and ended up completing nearly 30 kilometres.
“I didn’t have a clue what was happening at the start,” she told news sources later. “I realised it was a triathlon when I saw wet cyclists with numbers on their backs. I thought ‘Oh my goodness’, what does this mean for me?”
Carrick didn’t realize how long the route was once she decided to stay in the race. “I kept thinking it can’t be that much further. I don’t think I realized how far the cycling part of it actually was.”
Though she was dressed in normal clothes and riding an old, secondhand mountain bike, she says spectators cheered her on which got her motivated to continue.
‘The experience was amazing, people were all cheering me on,” she said. “I couldn’t stop because the cyclists were whizzing past, they were all going about 40 miles an hour on the downhill, they were coming past me so often and so fast it was terrifying. I had my brakes on all the way!”
Carrick decided to forego the run and head home after completing the majority of the triathlons bike course. She says has no plans to compete in a triathlon in the future.