Things I have learned after competing in two triathlons (if you can call what I do “competing”):
People who do sprint distance triathlons are not the same as people who do international distance tris.
- People who can swim freestyle in open water have noses on the backs of their heads.
- In a 1500m swim, if you swim backstroke you will go at least 2000 meters tacking back-and-forth because you can’t see where you’re headed.
- But it’s still faster than dogpaddle, so you may as well do it if you don’t have a nose on the back of your head.
- It feels good to pass someone on the bike, even if that person is on a mountain bike.
- Race volunteers are surprisingly cheerful, even after spending all day out in the heat & humidity handing water bottles and cups to haggard athletes.
- Gatorade vs. Water: it all feels the same poured over your head and trickling down your back into your shoes.
- Frequency of hearing the words “Looking good! You’re doing great!” is inversely proportional to how good you look and how fast you’re going.
So, as you may have guessed, I did end up going to the race on Sunday. It was in Henderson, NC near the VA border. Goofch got to come along, which was cool because no matter how crappy I felt, seeing SNG and “Tons of Fun” cheered me right up. SNG is the best Groupie/Team Mechanic/Driver/Photographer/Cheering Squad EVER! I've posted pictures below. And, be proud of me, I've set it up so you can read from top to bottom! Woohoo!
The people in this race were serious competitors. I guess when there’s $5000 in prize money up for grabs, people come from far and wide to take a shot at it. 1500M swim, 40K bike, 10K run. Alone, any of those would have made for a nice little Sunday morning workout. Put them together, and try to do them really fast, and it’s something else.
Goals for this race:
- to finish within the 4 hour time limit [check]
- to finish the swim in under 56 minutes (yes, it’s pathetic, but that’s 2X how long it took me to do the 750m swim in the White Lake tri, dogpaddling in COLD water) [check]
- to do the bike in under 1hr20min (the course was a little hilly, so I didn’t expect to have the 22mph average I had last time) [check- although the splits say otherwise because 7 minutes of transition are included in the bike time]
- to do the 10K in an hour or less [I didn’t quite make this goal, but 3 out of 4 ain’t bad]
There was some very tragic news- someone died during the swim. SNG saw them taking him from the lake and doing CPR, but apparently it was too late. I don’t know much more than that, but it was a disturbing turn of events. I do know that he was 44 and had 2 kids. Send some warm thoughts to his family today.