In training for the triathlon ordeal

"What have I signed up for?", I worried to myself at Riverside pool, 7am last Saturday.

I am not fit enough to enter a triathlon. Even just thinking about all that swimming and cycling and running makes me tired. But, somehow, I find myself entered in the Nelson Mail Team Triathlon Challenge, to be raced around the Nelson marina this weekend.

I will be honest. My life of late has been lived more like Hunter Thompson than Hamish Carter. That is to say, I have been inspired by excess more than exercise.

Which makes me a perfect candidate for Fairfax sub-editor and triathlon aficionado Peter Gibbs' experiment.

His idea: take two absolute novices, pair them with an international triathlete, give them one week to train, then chuck them in the marina - sink or swim.

And, for a laugh, I have been asked to write a column about it. At best, you can revel in my trials and tribulations, as I undergo a slapdash seven-day triathlon training programme with very little hope of achieving any level of fitness.

At least, it's my chance to immortalise a few last words before I drown, crash, or collapse on race day.

I am not alone. Joining me for the 300-metre swim, 8-kilometre cycle, and 3km run (can I call it that when I will probably have to crawl?) is Nelson woman Natascha Rassekhi. She and I will be coached and carried by international triathlete Tom Curtis, who represents Kenya at the sport.

Knowing another person will be struggling alongside me offers little consolation. I am worried.

The Nelson Mail