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From King's Lynn to Alcatraz, it's all in a day for Geraldine

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When you book a holiday, the last thing you’d normally take into consideration is where you’re likely to be competing in a triathlon.

But that’s how it is for West Norfolk resident Geraldine Jordan, who belongs to both Renegade Runners and King’s Lynn Triathlon Club.

She enjoyed a perfectly blameless life until she was 40. A few years earlier she moved to Norfolk with her husband Gerard and children.

Geraldine Jordan in action. (34638910)
Geraldine Jordan in action. (34638910)

She did no special exercise apart from spending two decades ferrying three children around their school, various activities and social life.

All perfectly normal. Then, when she was 40, someone asked her if she would like to go running.

Oh dear. You couldn’t say Geraldine was single minded. After all, there are three events in the triathlon.

Also, she likes to go somewhere interesting to compete. Berlin, New York, Mexico and Alcatraz for example. (And Bolton) She likes to combine events with holidays.

But on that fateful day at 40, life changed.

Her first marathon took five hours. This is highly respectable. Most of the population could not do 26 miles in 50 hours, let alone five.

Nevertheless, within a few years she had reduced this time by an hour and was highly peeved

that she was still a minute over four hours.

In general, we would prefer not to know what is involved in a triathlon.

The mere thought of it brings on a stitch; sitting in an armchair and looking at the itinerary could cause a hernia.

Geraldine Jordan. (34638912)
Geraldine Jordan. (34638912)

Here is a rough guide.

Sprint and 750 metre swim. Thank you, that’s enough. Then a 20k bike ride, completed by a 5k run.

That’s all in one year? What’s that you say? All in one day?

An Iron Man event is 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike (King’s Lynn to Buckingham Palace for example.)

Then full marathon, 26 miles and don’t forget 385 yards. All to be done in 17 hours to qualify as Iron Man.

She did it in 16.

“Don’t forget to drop me off at Alcatraz.”

They did indeed. They shoot the competitors (no, not with a gun) into the sea at the prison and they have to swim back to shore. That’s the start of the Escape from Alcatraz triathlon.

She did this one with her brother.

Geraldine qualified for Alcatraz by winning her age group in the London Triathlon.

She represented Britain in her age group in Mexico. She has qualified for Britain again this year but the coronavirus may put paid to that.

Geraldine has reached a new age group (55) this year. She competes in about six triathlons annually.

She is an improving athlete and is very much evidence that as she get older and wiser, she gets faster.

She is grateful for the facilities at Norfolk Woods Holiday Park and even more grateful to her family who trail all over the world, poor things, to support her.

By the way, she has a sideline with Annie Harper in Sports Jewellery called Charming Rewards.

Finally, she lives in the house occupied in the 1950s by the venerable Canon Caley.

He moved more slowly.

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