HAVING agreed in principle in January to definitely/maybe take part in the Cholmondeley Triathlon – as part of a Chronicle sports feature – I then left my job at the newspaper when my contract ended the following month.

While cracking on with the subsequent job search (a feat of similar endurance), the event naturally slipped from mind.

As I was no longer in the office, I had received no further contact – as far as I was concerned – from the organisers, but was safe at least in the knowledge that I, unlike my former sports desk colleagues, had offered to take part.

“Never mind. They’ve probably forgot all about it anyway,” said my subconscious.

“I’ll do it one day, perhaps.”

So it was much to my initial chagrin when I was woken from my jobless midday slumber with a phone call from my former Chronicle colleague David Triggs, informing me that the organisers of the Cholmondeley Triathlon had in fact been in touch and were looking forward to seeing me on the morning of Sunday, June 19 to complete a minimum 16-and-a-half miles swim/cycle/ run.


The Gothic, aka the adult individual sprint, was the lesser of several evils from which I was able to choose.

Comprising a 400m swim, 22k cycle and 4k run, the ‘sprint’ must be the most inappropriate naming of a thing since the advent of the ‘fun-sized’ Mars Bar.

But much preferable to the ‘Olympic’ 1,500/44/10 option.

“Of course, I’m still doing it,” I stubbornly replied.

“I hadn’t forgotten. Looking forward to it.”

As the bacon, sausage and egg and sandwich that I had scoffed for breakfast continued to digest, it suddenly dawned on me that this maddest of sporting events was approaching fast, without me having done as much as buy a wet suit.

Now down to a combination of forgetfulness, stubbornness and cowardice, I find myself with only a matter of weeks to train for one of the most physically demanding challenges of my young life.

But rather than selfishly enjoying this challenge alone, I have since managed to get my sister (and as of this week, training buddy) Gemma a place too.

After all, a problem shared is a problem solved.

To follow Paul’s progress, see next week’s Chronicle. For further information on the event, visit www.castletriathlonseries.co.uk