Fair warning: this blog post is going to have over 50 photos. I don’t want to stretch it out into multiple posts and I do want to include all the photos. Feel free to skip it, bitch in the comments, or just roll your eyes at home. I don’t care.
Cal and I were up at 5 a.m. to head down to North Shore Pool for the Meek & Mighty Triathlon this morning.
It’s hard to get a decent photo in the dark with no flash.
Bikes were numbered.
At 6 a.m. we were numbered…
and allowed into the transition area to rack our bikes.
You can tell by this photo that we were one of the first ones in.
I like to be early to try to cut down on the stress, but I was plenty stressed this morning anyway. Since this was my first triathlon experience (I’ve never even spectated a triathlon), I really didn’t know what to expect and the logistics seemed daunting, especially with Cal doing it also and in a different wave than me.
After we got our bikes racked and all our gear set up, we walked to the pool to check things out and get our bearings.
We had plenty of time to figure things out and we headed back to the transition area again…I think I walked from the pool to transition about a half dozen times before the race.
The whole race was in our regular stomping grounds on the downtown waterfront. Above you can see The Pier above Cal’s head.
I met up with five IRunMommies in the transition area before the race started. We were all assigned rack spaces pretty close to each other.
The race numbers were assigned by division/age. All of these ladies were in the 70’s and below. I was 117. Old.
I marked Star’s spot with neon pink duct tape.
Cal and I made our final trip to the pool area, and Chad and Mack arrived to spectate.
I never saw Chad and Mack before the race started, although I kept looking for them.
Thanks to my friend Tanya for taking this photo of Cal and me just before I started the swim leg…
and these of Cal and his friend Cameron before the race (while I was already swimming).
They had a good time hanging out before their wave began.
I was in the first wave (being an oldie). The swim was 200 yards, or eight lengths of the pool. You swam one length then ducked under the dividing rope buoys and swam back the next length, for a total of eight lengths. The swim portion was as chaotic as I had been warned it would be, with people passing and bonking each other. I managed to pass about a dozen people in the swim and I think only maybe 3 or 4 passed me. I felt pretty good about that.
As I was coming out of the pool I heard Mack yelling at me. Chad was outside of the fence around the pool and he couldn’t really get any good pictures of the swim (which is probably a good thing), but he did take a couple of me in transition.
This race had a pretty big field, as you can tell by the size of the transition area…
and that is only maybe half of it.
I told Chad to not worry about catching me on the course, but to try to get Cal on the course as much as possible. I didn’t see Chad and Mack again until the finish line, but once on the bike I had my camera in hand, of course.
By downtown St. Pete:
Heading towards the Dali Museum…
and Albert Whitted Airport.
By the entrance to The Pier:
The bike course was 5.4 miles and as I was nearing the end at North Shore Pool again I heard my friends Kimi and Christie cheering me on. They are on the left of this picture:
As I raised my camera to take that picture Christie yelled, “It’s a RACE, Caroline!” Hmmm. Wonder how much time I wasted on the bike course taking pictures? I don’t care. I passed a ton of people on the bike, and a ton of people passed me as well. I have to keep it fun so that I’ll keep doing it.
In transition again, I quickly ditched the bike and headed out on the run. Too quickly. I forgot to take off my helmet and as I was running through the chute a volunteer said, “Want me to take your helmet?” Duh. Thanks volunteer! Of course, that means I forgot to put on my visor. I also forgot to put on my running belt which had my number pinned to it and my phone in the zipper pocket. Oh well. Luckily my race number was written all over my body and my friends let me borrow their phones to check in with Chad once I was done.
Anyway…on the run:
The run was only one mile, but I couldn’t do it without a couple of walk breaks. I haven’t run at all (except for miserable jog breaks from walking in the Iron Girl Half Marathon last weekend, which don’t count) in over two weeks and I have lost all running endurance. Plus, after biking hard for five miles, my legs were very heavy. I’ve never done a “brick” work out, or tried to run right after biking. It’s tough.
On the run course I met up with a fellow IRunMommy, Jessica, and she and I hung close together for most of the run. We crossed the finish line just seconds apart.
I hooked back up with all the IRunMommies who did the event, as well as our awesome spectators, and we posed for a TriRunMommies shot:
After hanging out with them for a few minutes, my friends Kimi and Ali walked with me back over to the run course to wait for Cal to come in.
Okay, back to Chad’s pictures now…
After Chad and Mack saw me head off on my bike, they waited for Cal to be done with the swim leg. Pretty soon they spotted Cal coming out of the pool into transition.
I was actually doing the run leg and running right by the swim/bike transition path when Cal was entering transition from the swim, so I got to yell, “Go Cal!”
Cal gearing up for the bike leg:
And he’s off!
They spotted him again on the run:
The kid in yellow is actually one of Cal’s friends (who I don’t know), and it is cool that he and Cal were only two numbers apart. Cal said he did most of the run with his friend.
Just a couple of minutes after seeing Cal’s buddy Cameron run by, I spotted Cal coming.
I jumped on the course to run the last tenth of a mile in with Cal.
Having so many friends at the race was awesome. I got finish line photos from so many different people! Tanya took that one above of Cal and me.
My friend Ali took this one:
and Chad took these:
We are triathletes!
It was so great running across that finish line with Cal. I am so proud of him! And of myself!
We hooked back up with Chad and Mack at the finish line and headed over to the post-race celebration tent. They had a huge spread of food and drinks.
I love races that don’t skimp on the post-race celebration. This one was great.
Despite how anxious I was about this event, everything went really well and Cal and I had a great experience.
I’m already thinking that I will definitely have to find some more sprint triathlons to do this summer. I hope Cal wants to do more also! I’m pretty sure that Mack will be up for it next year. He said, “Probably.”
I wore my Garmin throughout the event and had it set up for “Multi-sport”. I was really good about remembering to hit the “lap” button going into and out of each transition, but then I forgot to stop it after the finish line until about the time we were taking that “TriRunMommies” photo. Oh well. Here’s what it said, anyway:
My official results are actually MUCH better, however.
I placed 10th in my age group (40-44) out of 31. I’m really proud of that!
Cal did really well also, and I couldn’t be more proud of him.
Whew. What a great day.