Adventures of a Triathlon


Two of my brothers and I competed in a triathlon yesterday morning. We swam a 750 meter swim, followed by a 12 mile bike ride, and finishing with a 3 mile run. There were a total of 400 competitors ranging in age from 7-71 (children under the age of 15 ran 1/3 the distance: 250m swim, 4 mile bike, 1 mile run). So, here’s the adventures of race day:

3:15 AM – alarm goes off…. yup!

4:00 AM – 3 bikes packed in the truck and we’re headed downtown to the University of Arizona. Mom, Grandpa, little brother Steven, and cousin Kami are following in another car behind us.

5:30 AM – 400 triathletes have packed 400 bikes into the small “transition area” with their towel, shoes, socks, and helmet set up on the ground next to their bike. Also, all 400 triathletes have been “body marked” with their race # and age on their legs and arms. Here’s all three of our bikes with our towel setup.


We are READY!


5:45 AM – 70 children line up for their 250 meter swim, two of whom are the boys I am a nanny for. I am so proud of them for finishing their first triathlon!! I also had a good time training with them the past month and a half. They each won 3rd place in their age group!!

cavettswimx6:00 AM – Adult #1 began swimming his 750 meter swim. Every 15 seconds another swimmer started, swimming in a serpentine style swim (up on the right hand side of the lane, and down on the left hand side of the SAME lane, then under the lane marker and continuing to swim two lengths in each lane through the entire pool).

7:13:45 AM – Abbey’s swim start

7:14:00 AM – Jake’s swim start

7:14:15 AM – Zack’s swim start

Here we are, waiting in line for our swim start:

100_3509xMy mom took a picture of each of us about mid way through the swim as we were about to touch the side of the pool, take a deep breath, turn and kick off again.



For my picture, I saw the camera at the last second and tried to smile and take a deep breath at the same time… an exaggerated expression on my face is the result. Wow.


Jumping out of the pool and beginning to run to the bike transition area:



Swim to Bike transition: Run to your bike station; grab towel first; dry one foot off really well, put sock on, followed by your shoe. Repeat with remaining foot. DO NOT take unnecessary time to dry off your body. Grab your sunglasses that were sitting in your helmet and place them on your face; place your helmet on your head and buckle chin strap. Walk bike to “mount bike here” place and you’re off!

This is my favorite time of the tri. The combination of being dripping wet, and riding hard and fast on my bike, in the early morning, gives me a freezing sensation -a rare feeling in July in AZ.

After the bike ride, you bring your bike back to your transition station, drop off your helmet and make sure you have your race # showing on the front of your shirt. I grabbed an extra drink of water before I took off for the run.




Four years ago I competed in this triathlon, and I’ve done a few mock triathlons using our pool and neighborhood streets in training. Every single time I am getting off my bike, and beginning the run, I realize that I’ve been exercising hard and pushing myself to the limit for the past 50 some minutes, my lower limbs scream at me, “and you want me to do what now?? Not a chance!” And I reply, “you better believe you will!! Get moving!!”

My legs are usually pretty good listeners and doers, especially with all the encouragement we get from volunteers who stand around the course directing you where to go next, and cheering you on.

I finished the race in 1:27:49 (h:mm:ss), coming in 4th place in my age group (girls 20-24) and 46th place out of 132 women (all ages).


Jacob finished in 1:42:53, coming in 4th place in his age group (boys 15-17).


Zack finished in 1:45:08, coming in 3rd place in his age group (boys 18-19).


Winners 3 deep in every age group win a prize. Because Zack won 3rd place he won a white ribbon along with a glass cup that says “Firecracker Tucson Triathlon” and the date on it!! Go Zack!!


I loved swimming/biking/running this race and am looking forward to the next one in September of this year. If you are interested in doing a triathlon, I highly recommend Tri-Tucson. The entire morning was run smoothly, efficiently, and very punctual. Go to their website here to find out more information.

Thank you for reading this long journal entry of mine and I hope you enjoyed it at the least, and were inspired at the most.

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18 Responses to Adventures of a Triathlon

  1. Susie Rasmussen says:

    Great post Abbey! That was an exciting day, so glad I went and got to experience it as a spectator at least and photographer!! Can’t wait til September when Stevie and Lydia will be doing it too, oh and Kami.

    • Abbey says:

      I am so glad you came, Mommy!! You were an amazing support throughout the whole day. And you took so many awesome pictures!! I love you. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Donna Fulton says:

    Abbey, Abbey, dear sweet Abbey! Thank you so much for sharing this with us. You all did so well and look so fit and healthy doing it!

    I am incredibly proud that my grandsons, your nanny wards, finished and enjoyed it so very much. I hope they do it again in September…I think the hard sell is their Mom and Dad who were anxious about rising at 4 am in time to get the boys the starting line on time!! Dan also told me how you rode with Connor in the very early morning to help that little 8 year old newbie find the right route. You are a trooper and a wonderful person. How lucky we are to have you in our lives.

    • Abbey says:

      Thank you for your comment, Donna. I love your precious grandsons!! I am so proud of them and I hope they do the next one, too. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Auntie Ann says:

    You three are my sports heroes! Congratulations!

  4. Grace Norton says:

    Wow abby that’s great you guys did a great job. It looks like sooo much fun:) I hope Kami, Lydia and Steven enjoy it next time. Can’t wait to see you guys again. Love you,

  5. Nana Norton says:

    I have no idea how you all did that!! Amazing. Well done. Wish I could have been there to join in the “fun” with you all.

    • Abbey says:

      Thanks, Nana!! I wish you could’ve joined us too. It takes a lot of hard work, but it’s well worth it.

  6. Lois says:

    Wow. . . wow. . .wow! You three rock!!! I’m glad you guys had so much fun.

    • Abbey says:

      Thanks for the comment, Lois!! We did have a lot of fun. Wanna join next time? Or maybe some of your boys? ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Carol Newhouse says:

    Wow! You had an amazing time! I had no idea you were “into” this…what discipline it takes. And you look so cheerful the whole time. I’m glad you posted this! Congratulations to your brothers and young charges as well!

    • Abbey says:

      Thank you, La Maestra Caronlina. We just got “into” it less than two months ago, but we are definitely INTO it now. ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Becky Nugen says:

    Nice job Abbey and company! What a great way to exercise! It looks like you had a wonderful time! Thanks for sharing!

  9. Ardyth Rasmussen says:

    Way to go!!! I enjoyed, so much, seeing your pictures and reading your narrative. What a wonderful activity. Hope to see you again in September. Thanks for sharing.

    • Abbey says:

      Thanks, Aunt Ardyth! I hope you get to see us again in September, too. Assuming our awesome photographer is able to match herself in awesomeness next time, I think you can count on it. ๐Ÿ™‚

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