Challenge Henley: Amazing, Emotional, Inspiring

Yesterday we woke Esther and William very early in the morning and drove to Henley on Thames.

Esther and William were very confused.

‘The sky has gone!’

The sky had not gone of course, but we could not see it, we could not see much, because of the fog.

We travelled to the banks of the Thames through the fog all the while thinking about Uncle Simon and his friends swimming in the freezing cold water through the thickest fog.

Arriving at the riverside and seeing all the athletes preparing to swim was wonderful.

I don’t really know why it made me cry but it did.

There was a real sense of purpose, community

Something special lingered in the fog that morning

We arrived just in time to see the first swimmers leave the water

They were being pulled out of the water by the support team

As they reached dry land some suffered from terrible cramp that had to be massaged away

Others were immediately on the run, stripping off their wetsuits as they ran

Making the transition from the swim to the bike

Watching all these athletes coming out of the water

Was awe inspiring

It was also incredibly emotional

And I felt strangely proud of everyone I saw

Especially Baby Tilda’s Uncle Si

Esther and William had colourful bells to ring for the athletes

As we all applauded and cheered them on.

The Iron Distance Triathlon consists of a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile cycle and to round it off, a 26.2 mile run. All within 16 hours!!

Seeing the athletes running from the water to their bikes

Knowing what they had done and what was still to come

It was wonderful and you could not help get involved with cheering every single person on.

Once Uncle Si and his friends were safely and speedily away on their bikes

We drove in convoy with David’s parents and siblings and their families

To a great viewing point where we would be able to see Uncle Si six times as he rode up and down Howe Hill

We stood at the road side clapping and cheering and ringing our bells for all the cyclists that we saw

And our cheering and support seemed to be appreciated

The athletes waved and smiled and thanked us

I really enjoyed being there to see them and congratulate them on each stage of their difficult ride.

It was very strange each time we went to a pub or cafe for lunch or a break

To think that all those men and women were still focused and still cycling

On and on and on for hours and hours and hours

Before starting a marathon around Henley and along the banks of the Thames.

Supporting the run was great fun

Again we found a spot where we would be able to see people more than once

To give them as much support and encouragement as we could

As we went to the finish line to wait for Uncle Si and Pirate Princess Em

It was just so wonderful

Seeing the athletes crossing the finish line

Surrounded by friends and family

And sometimes holding hands with their children.

This was an immense challenge

I have so much respect for every single person that took part

And I am especially proud of Si and Em

We were at the event for 12 hours

Esther and William were incredibly well behaved

And I am certain that Tilda was watching too

There were incredible skies over Henley yesterday

After the fog, when ‘the sky came back!’

Si, Em and their friends all completed the Iron Man Triathlon in Henley yesterday with fabulous times. They all took part in this incredibly difficult challenge with determination and courage and smiles on their faces. I am so proud of all of you.

And thank you Simon, for doing it for Tilda. She would be so very proud of her roly poly uncle.

If you have a spare pound or two, please do sponsor Baby Tilda’s Uncle Si.

He was amazing yesterday.

3 thoughts on “Challenge Henley: Amazing, Emotional, Inspiring

  1. I just found you from a list of the top 50 baby blogs. Lovely blog! 12 hours is a looong time to be at an event. You all did so well. Congratulations. Thanks for sharing and l look forward to reading more :)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>