I did my first ( and only) Tetrathlon 25 years ago, at Matilda Bay, Nedlands, Western Australia, I came dead last ( I felt dead) at the finish, ( it didnt help someone moved the cones and I cycled 5 klms more than I needed)
But this is no time to dwell on the past, today I just did my first Bali Tetrathlon and I came first! ( I was only entrant so also came last)
I decided to start with the run leg, it was cooler and less humid and I still had to organise my bike, surf ski and support crew.
Picking support crew was hard, “ you want massage” “ I give you good price” “ I give you morning price” “ you give me luck” was being chanted as I ran along the path by desperate locals looking to earn a quick rupiah. Im sure they would all be “good” for the right price. Rai, got me at a vulnerable moment , as I was retying my shoelaces. The bargaining process put a halt to my run for awhile but once we had agreed on a price I was off again.
Slight delay in transition, due to bike guy being on Bali time, the bike hire was supposed to open at 8am but he didnt roll up until 8.15. I jumped in the pool and did a few laps whilst I waited.
Set off on bike, discovered when I came across my first lot of German tourists on wrong side of path , the bike had no brakes.
The cycle was hampered by pedestrian bars every 50 metres, dogs with rabies ( well they may not have rabies but thats what the travel brochure said) and offerings in the middle of path ..I definately didnt want to upset any God or local.
Was doing well, but had to make a detour to Hardys Department Store , because my cousin Jules wanted me to buy her a top. The department store had no ventilation but this didnt stop the Customer Care Officers ( is that the politically correct terminolgy?) from burning incense with their offerings , a small hint, I think less offerings and smoke inside and they might get more sales. I was gasping for air, I left with sore throat and running eyes ( and no top, sorry Jules) It took me awhile to get back into the cycle.
The road leg was quite exhilarating, I thought at first all the tooting of horns was encouragement but realised it had a “get the f..k out the way “ tone about it. As I wasnt sure whether my travel insurance extended to cycling on Balinese roads I went back on to cycle path.
Got to the beach to pick up my surf ski, previously organised, but its Bali, he got a better price from someone else. So I was left with a surfski so heavy it took me ages to drag to the ocean and the paddles? Well not sure what happened to the end of them, but sure was tough paddling against a rip.
I saved the swim leg to last because at one end of the pool is a swim up bar and it was going to take enormous self disciplne to turn around each time and not stop and buy a cocktail. I lasted twenty laps and then succombed.
My support crew Rai was waiting for me at the end , she parked my bike for me ( Id had a few cosmopolitans at the swim up bar) and helped me on to her massage table.
My “sports massage” was more of a fondle or a tickle but for $5 I wasnt complaining. She even organised a charddy for me , Indonesian chardonnay which actually isnt drinkable but I didnt want to hurt her feelings.
I usually take my own massage oil to Bali , Im not sure what oil they use but my bikinis fell apart after a massage a few years ago..lord knows what it does to your skin.
But I travelled hand luggage only so couldnt carry any liquids, so Rai used her oil, Im waiting now to see if my bikinis last the distance… at least I did!