Laetitia and the Roi Soleil in Versailles

Triathlon du Roi Versailles S distance – 22 May 2016


by Laetitia Silvent

This year for his Triathlon, le Roi Soleil decided to spice the day of his guest triathletes up a bit with special visitors, Miss Rain and Miss Mud. The race would be too easy on a sunny day, some rainfall would make everything more entertaining. As nothing can stop the Expatriés, the tri warriors showed up with their most gleaming and brightly-coloured outfits and their biggest smiles. (By the way, for sure the Expatriés would win a hypothetical competition for the best smiling and cheering club!) For this Sunday around the Pièce d’Eau des Suisses, the Sun King even chose one of the best referees of his court, Karen. It is nice to be cheered on by a referee instead of being reprimanded for a change. To keep up with new things, the itinerary and neuralgic centre had been entirely reconfigured on the other side of the lake, allowing the participants to enjoy a much better bike ride with sharp turns and hills.

The day started with the Discovery competition. A perfect day to discover the wonders of the triathlon! I wonder how many will join a club after that… a Sunday turning into Mud day. The next round was for girls and for unlicensed men. Maybe as a punishment for not being licenced, they had to compete with girls! Hard time… As Mother Nature prefers girls (obviously), she made the rain stop for the ladies (and “ladyboys”) to leave them to enjoy the fairly warm water during an invigorating and relaxing swim, followed by a scenic bike ride around Versailles to finish up with a healthy mud body wrapping… mmm well, kind of…

The girls, Anais, Louise, Kathryn, Wippy, Alexandra, Dierdre, Caroline and I (Laetitia) met up at the starting line just on time to cheer each other on. Lost or maybe hiding among the pink swim caps, we also had our unlicensed one, Eduardo who we managed to find along the way. The first to come out of the water was Anais, followed by Louise. On the bike, no one had a flat tire, but Louise got too confident on the perfidious slippery rail tracks and ended up on the ground. But we all know that it’s not some bruises, scratches and blood that will stop our Louise from racing! The funny thing about the bike ride is that Louise and Anais discovered, at the end, some useful information: drafting was allowed. They worked so hard not to draft…

In the meantime, the cheering contingent of the team was setting up the tent for the after race picnic. After the running part, the previous competitors had well prepared the path around the lake and in the woods to make lovely and fresh thick mud to play in. The Expatriés Queen of the day was Anais with 01:41:46. Vive la Reine Anais!

We then all gathered at the Expatriés check point for a well-deserved drink(s) while waiting for the testosterone part of the competition to show up: the licensed boys.  Not so lucky with the weather, they had to race under heavy rain, which turned the running path into a muddy river. Phil, Cesar, Matthieu, Aytug, Daniel, Ray, Manu, Julien, David, Matteo, Mark, Gauthier and Luis brilliantly faced the elements with style and broad grins!

The first out of the water was Cesar. For the bike ride, after tasting how slippery rail tracks were on the ladies, the organisers thought it would be a good idea to cover them. Nice thought… but though no one fell riding over them, Matthieu got a flat all the same. Bad luck but not enough to leave him on the side waiting for the sweep vehicle! After some troubles with his compressed-air, he was back on the road.

While the guys were working hard and Nick and Alexandra went picnic shopping, the girls decided that they deserved a proper warm coffee. They headed up to a nearby bar to drink an “improved” café with some cognac (or rum). As they were waiting under the pouring rain to cheer on the guys, they had to find a way to keep warm. When your clothes are wet (or you dropped all your after-race clothes in the water like Louise did) you have to warm up from the inside! We came back just on time to greet, clap and take pictures of the arrival. The Expatriés King of the day was Luis with 01:22:12. Vive le Roi Luis!

While we carried on cheering for every competitor and the boys found some comfort at the picnic, the park was getting slowly deserted. The cars and buses had to be pushed up out of the sticky mud (Well done to the ones who helped after their race!!). As always the last ones to leave, the team packed up at around 6:30 and head up to the RER, until the next race!

I just want to say thank you to everyone for all the great mood and smiles. I am glad to have come from Lyon to spend some time and have fun with all of you!