Italy specialist Citalia (01293 831970, citalia. com) offers a seven-night holiday to the Forte Village Resort, staying half-board at the four-star Hotel Bouganville, from £1,465 per person. The price includes a 10 per cent early booking discount, and return flights from London Stansted with easyJet. Based on a departure date of Oct 15 2019.
Sprint distance triathlon at Challenge Forte Village starts from €70 (£62) per person. To book, visit fortevillage triathlon.com
Australia who has just gone into remission from breast cancer. The start whistle goes and they disappear into a mass of kicking legs and arms and sea spray. I am briefly paralysed with fear, before hurling myself into the water and joining the scrum.
My front crawl is appalling and makes me feel like I am drowning, so I opt instead to do breaststroke, and try hard not to feel like an old lady who seems to have mistaken a competitive race for a nice day out at a lido. I stay away from the competitors who look like they might give the shark from Jaws a run for its money, and swim desperately for the first bright orange buoy, which seems to float further and further away. I get to it, gulp back water and try not to choke, before heading to the next one. Things seems to get easier here; in fact, I notice, to my astonishment, that I have overtaken several people and am actually now almost halfway up the field. I kick someone in the head, shout my apologies, and continue overtaking. Then I am out of the water, my husband standing on the beach looking amazed at my progress, and on my way to my bike. And it is here that it all falls apart.
As I pedal furiously, it occurs to me that I may have used up all my puff on the swim. Out on the road, I lose any advantage I may have gained as more and more women overtake me on their bikes. The course is flat, but my lungs are on fire, and I can’t reach my water bottle without careering off the road. I slow down, and decide to just enjoy the mountainous view. I am not here to win, after all.
Almost 13 miles later, I am back at the resort, dumping my bike and being cheered by kind Italians yelling “forza”. I should be good at the running, but I am hot and bothered and feel like I am wading through treacle. Two hours, two minutes and six seconds after I started, I cross the line and am rewarded with a shiny medal. I come second to last.
But someone has to. And as I sit down at the buffet that night, I do so with a smug sense of satisfaction. I am happy, because I have all I need in the world: my family, a triathlon medal, and a plate full of tiramisu.
‘Bryony Gordon is unwell’ returns next month