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!!
6:00 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:
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.