It was the first off-road triathlon Todd & I had ever done together so there was a little part of me that hoped I’d come out of the water before him. I had to count on him having a small panic attack somewhere during the swim, but it was possible. After the swim, there was no way I’d catch him on the bike, so it was really my only chance to “beat him.” And what’s wrong with a little friendly competition between spouses?
But, he had a great swim and I was the one gasping for air after the first buoy as I tried to stay afloat while (what seemed like) throngs of racers swam into me and on top of me. Not a great feeling. But I recovered and finished the half mile swim without incident, moving on to the 16 mile mountain bike ride. Early on in the bike, I was already missing my cheering section who were at home having a wonderful weekend with Grandma & Grandpa.
The bike course was beautiful and just the kind of rolling trail I love to ride. It was so helpful to be able to ride the course the day before with Todd. He helped me with strategy for the tricky parts, giving me more confidence in my abilities on race day. Last year, there were a few points on the trail where I hopped off my bike and walked it over/down the rocks. This time, I didn’t have to.
But with no less than 4 mud/water crossings, it was a dirty ride. At one point, I plowed through a huge mud puddle at full speed, yelling “Get out of my way guys! I can make this!” as I sprayed muddy water on the riders next to me and pedaled to the top of the steep hill that followed, passing a bunch of guys on foot. That, my girlfriends, was a proud moment.
Then it was onto the 4 mile trail run. I think I must have blocked out those hills at mile 2 during last years race because they were so bad. But, on the downhills & straightaways I made up some time. You might not think this, but running fast downhill takes some skill (and some courage) and it felt good to blow by a few people in the final two miles of the race.
Another memorable part of the race was when the girl at the water station yelled at that guy behind me in the picture to “Catch the pink sparkle skirt!”
He never did, BTW.
Throughout the race, there are numerous times when I asked myself, “why do you put yourself through this?” But then I get to the finish line and remember how good it feels when I’m done.
My overall time: 2:44:40
Todd’s overall time: 2:28:38
Then there was the icing on the cake
I placed 3rd in my age division!
There may have been only 4 women in that division, but the plaque still makes me very, very happy.