4 friends from work were convinced to join me for this one. None of them had done a triathlon before, but they are all very fit and into exercise so I knew they'd be ok. We even did a few self-arranged mini triathlons for practice.
We all arrived shortly after 6am and started setting up in transition.
My bike and stuff
We all went down to the quarry where the swim was to be staged and took a look around. You can see the orange buoys way out on the right. The first one is a little more than 1/2 way (I think) and then the far one is where we turned left. The yellow one on the left side is the far corner where we turned around to come back. You can't see the final yellow buoy that was just to the left of the picture around the corner. We then exited the water to the left of the last orange buoy you see near the bottom left corner of the picture.
Here is a picture of where we entered the water from the steps. There were a few steps we had to go down from our staging area where we all lined up based on how fast we thought we were. I think I was maybe 10th or so in the water, as we were started individually with 4 seconds between everyone. Coming back in we had to go up 37 steps to the top of the quarry to get to the transition. The steps were included in our swim time.
Just before we went to be staged for the swim, our friends came to cheer us on and we gave them last minute instructions for where they could see us.
The event started promptly at 7:30am and we were off. I felt my swim was slower than I had planned, but I felt good and was only passed by 2 people and I passed two other people. The sun was bright on the way out, but it was only in my eyes for a bit as the trees shaded most of it. The water was 80 degrees and felt great- which was good because for a July day it was only 52 degrees out and the air was COLD!
My swim was the fastest for my age group of 18 people.
T1 was pretty slow for me, but I took some extra time to make sure my orthotics were in place in my bike shoes.
I was off on the bike and the turns make it hard to judge how the winds would be blowing. I knew I was doing well and most of the time I was biking at 15-18mph. I knew my average would be decent.
The bike course was flat and mostly smooth. The volunteers were great and were cheering the whole way.
My bike time was 5th in my age group...not bad considering I haven't been riding much in 3 weeks!
T2 was also pretty slow for me since I needed to change shoes and drink something since I forgot my bike bottle and couldn't drink on the bike. I need to work on my transitions.
The run course was flat and mostly on a paved path. There were NO volunteers on the run except a HS CC handing out water. They were not really sure how to handle this job I don't think. I reached for a water and they were talking to each other and the guy holding the water turned to talk to his friend and the water pulled away from me. I had to stop to get the water from him since he wasn't really paying attention. The course wasn't marked well other than the arrows on the ground which were some what confusing at the point where you go out into the park and then come back on to the trail since there were arrows pointing in several directions there! Every where else was ok though.
My run was much like other runs after biking. My legs felt like bricks and I had a hard time moving at first. After about 2 miles, I was good and moving along at my normal pace. I believe I had another PR on my 5K time! Unfortunately my run was 13th out of 18 in my age group. My running is obviously where I need to put more work in since it's what caused me to finish 6th out of 18- one place out of the awards!
Again, I feel good about this finish because I haven't been able to train well in awhile. I put in a good race for me. I don't have my own finish photo yet, but here is one of a friend finishing.
She did not care of the swimming part, but she still did great!
A friend of ours may or may not have brought some adult drinks for the finishers of our group!
What an awesome friend right?!
As I said, I finished 6th by about a minute to the person in 5th. The rest of our group did such a great job. One friend even got 1st place in the 60-64 age group. Woooo Hooo!!!
After I got home, I saw this posted on facebook and thought it couldn't have been more perfect for us, as it wasn't about the times or who placed 1st among us... but rather that we did it together.
Here we are with medals I bought for all of us...since the race didn't give medals out. :)
Aren't we cute!
The best part of this whole experience was that I inspired them to try a triathlon and I heard most of them say that they loved it and wanted to do another one. I'm so proud of all of them and I hope they join me for more.