Why, oh why, do we always get crappy weather on race day? Because rain clouds were threatening, I didn’t want to bring my phone/camera to the race for pics. Sorry! Maybe one day the race photographers will post the pics from the race and I can fill them in. Until then, you’ll have to live with a mostly words recap of this fabulous race that my dad and I did as a relay.
Let’s start with the packet pickup on Saturday afternoon. I always love going to Carolina Triathlon. That’s where I bought my beautiful bike, and the guys there are so friendly and helpful.
We got t-shirts (which one comes to expect for races)
My dad graciously modelling this year’s t-shirt
Socks are my absolute favoritest (yes, that’s a word) item of clothing, and I love adding to my sock collection!
I usually use Gu gels, but I’ll give these a try. After all, they were free!
Once we got back to the house, dad and I enjoyed the traditional pre-race carb dinner – pasta. Dad did a good job of getting most of his gear together Saturday night. I opted for the early Sunday morning packing frenzy (although I did find my packing list on Saturday night to make things go a bit smoother).
My alarm went off before the butt crack of dawn on Sunday – at 4:45 to be exact. That gave me an hour to drink coffee (a must!), eat the breakfast of champions (a peanut butter and Nutella sandwich for those who are wondering what this breakfast is), put on my tri suit, pack my stuff, and hop in the car.
While we were sleeping on Saturday, it poured here. Over 6 inches of rain in some parts of Greenville! While it wasn’t raining when we left, the roads were really wet and had big puddles. These are not exactly ideal conditions for a race with a bike leg.
Once we arrived at the event site, things went smoothly. We picked up our chip, practiced transferring the chip to each other, got body marked, set up our transition area, and located the all-important port-a-potties. Before I knew it, it was time to get in line for the swim!
The swim at the Greenville Triathlon is a 400-meter pool swim – that’s 8 lengths of the pool at the Westside Aquatic Center. As with other pool swims, we all had to submit our estimated swim pace, and we were seeded in order from fast to slow. It was my first time doing a triathlon swim in a pool that was actually deep (the other ones had shallow water, so we had to jump in feet first). In fact, we were allowed to dive in! Now, I haven’t dived into a body of water in at least 20 years (probably more), but for some reason I thought it would be a good thing to do on Sunday morning (note to self: follow the cardinal rule of triathlons – don’t try anything new on race day). I think my technique was okay – I didn’t actually belly flop or anything. However, my goggles got all crooked and leaky. I didn’t want to stop swimming and fix my goggles so I waited until I got to the other end of the pool to fix them. There was a photographer on the pool deck taking pictures of me frantically trying to get my goggles back on my face. I haven’t come across these pictures yet, but I’ll share them when I do!
Other than the goggle fiasco, the swim itself was rather uneventful. That is, it was uneventful until I finished the swim and found out that there was no ladder to help you get out of the water. My arms were pretty tired, and it was not easy hauling myself out of the pool at the end. If a photographer did get some shots of that, I will definitely not be sharing them with you guys!
Official time for the swim and the run to the transition area: 9:19.
Once I got out of the pool, it was just a short run to the transition area. Dad stood there waving his arms so I could see where to go (I’m pretty much blind without my glasses). I got the timing chip off my ankle, passed it off to my dad, and watched as he ran his bike out of the transition area and onto the bike course.
Official T1 time: 45 seconds.
My dad did the bike leg of this triathlon – 15 miles of rolling hills, with some sections on quiet country roads and some sections on busy four-lane highways. He said that despite all the rain we had gotten in the previous 24 hours, the roads were surprisingly clear of water, mud, and debris. He had a heart rate goal for his leg of the course: he wanted to keep his heart rate around 90% of his maximum. And he did! Way to go dad!
Official time: 51:42 (17.5 mph average speed – that’s awesome!)
After running his bike back to our transition spot, dad handed the timing chip off to me and I took off for the run course.
Official time: 37 seconds (transitions are so much easier when all you have to do is pass off the chip)
There’s only one word to describe how I felt on the run: awesome! It was a 2-loop 5k course that took us on a trail section, through a parking lot/aid station, and around a neighborhood. My favorite part was the trail section. Yes, it was muddy and wet, but there’s something really satisfying about splashing around in puddles and getting red clay splattered on your legs. Don’t believe me? Just ask the little kid who spent a lot of time splashing around in the puddles near the finishing line after the race:
This kid was having so much fun!
The runners who cheated and didn’t do the trail part twice missed out on a lot of fun!
Here I am crossing the finish line:
Photo courtesy of my dad
Official time: 26:54 (a huge PR for me!)
After the race, my dad and I drank some water, enjoyed some snacks, and picked up some AAA swag.
I got to catch up a bit with some great people, including a guy I shared a lane with at the Caine Halter Y pool during a Masters Swim workout (we did our first triathlons together), Melinda the swimming superstar (who got 3rd
in her age group!!!!!!!), and the father of one of my little ballet students from camps this summer.
Dad and I stayed for awards so we could claim our second place prizes: bottles of wine!
All in all, it was an amazing race. The best part of the day was sharing the experience with my dad. How many people can say that they’ve done a triathlon with their dad? I can, and it was awesome!