On Saturday I did a triathlon! The Land Rover TriRock Clearwater Triathlon. I totally cheated, though, and only actually did a third of the triathlon. Don’t tell anyone. I was on a relay team with these two awesome ladies:
(Me-swim 1500 meters, Beth-run 6 miles, Nikki-bike 25 miles)
When I arrived at Clearwater Beach I saw this:
but when they did the pre-race announcements they said that the air temperature was 62 and the Gulf temperature was 66. Brrrr.
First stop was the restrooms, which are awesome at Pier 60 in Clearwater. They weren’t crowded at all!
We all met in transition and got all of our stuff set up. Doing just one leg of a triathlon is so much easier than having to bring stuff for all three legs! I mean, duh, but still…it was nice.
We had a fellow IRunMommies relay team setting up with us.
Team IRunMommies ROCK:
Team 3 Moms Who Tri:
The horizon was beginning to lighten as everyone started leaving transition for the beach.
Cold, but excited:
It was great to have Christie in the same wave as me. She was awesome moral support.
Our friends Kelly and Michelle were both doing the sprint distance and were a few waves behind us in the start.
The sand was really cold!
Christie having fun and me looking worried:
The TriRock series boasts lots of music…there was a band set up on Pier 60 right next to the swim start on the beach.
Thanks to our runner relay team mate, Beth, for taking so many of those photos. Also, thanks to Chad who brought the boys out so early on a Sunday morning to watch me swim and to take pictures!
Cold and contemplating jumping into an even colder ocean:
Triathlon at sunrise:
My wave consisted of men 29 and under and all of the relay teams. Yes, I was entering the water with a gaggle of young guys.
Here we go. I was running to get the shock over with as quickly as possible.
The 1500 meter swim went all the way out to the yellow buoy, keeping the orange buoys on our right. Can you see the yellow buoy in the next photo?
Yeah, that’s because it was a LONG WAY away!
This is how good of a job our zoom lens does:
The first 100 yards or so was a shock to my system. It took me about that long to be able to breathe normally and not feel like I was swimming in ice water. It wasn’t so bad after that until both of my middle fingers went numb. Then I kept having to make fists and open and close my hands every few strokes. I was happy that I passed a few purple caps, which were the women who were in the wave before us. Of course, some of the next wave (green caps) caught me too.
Beth caught Christie coming out of the water, and I can see Chad and Mack up on the Pier below that shelter:
Christie flew through the water, passing almost all of the men in our wave. She ended up getting second out of all the relay team swimmers!
Now I’m almost done, and I see Chad on the pier:
Adjust the swimsuit:
Claim victory over this swim:
Concentrate on getting out of the water and up the beach to transition:
I was pretty tired and did a run/walk up the beach. It was kind of a long way to our space in the transition area.
Christie finished 13 minutes earlier than me, but we celebrated together in transition:
As soon I transferred the ankle strap timing chip to Nikki’s leg (with Christie’s help), she was off on the bike. Christie and I walked back to the pavilion to get changed and we spotted Chad and the boys by the playground.
Mack ran up to give me a big congratulatory hug.
I was really happy that they were there.
I hope I that seeing me do events like this, having fun with my friends, is teaching them that an active lifestyle and fitness can be fun. I hope they remember all these things that we did when they were kids. It’s got to make an impression, right?
I changed into my bad-ass triathlon shirt, of course.
The boys and I wandered around the expo in search of food. I ate a granola bar on my way out to Clearwater before the triathlon, but I was pretty hungry after my swim. The boys split a breakfast burrito and I split one with Chad.
As we crossed the course (near the finish line), the first of the sprint distance triathletes were coming into the finish. The mayor of Clearwater was holding up the tape.
I said goodbye to Chad and the boys and headed back over to the transition area to hang out with Christie, Beth, and Michelle and wait for our cyclists to come in.
I saw my friend Kelly who was doing the sprint come in from her bike leg…
and leave on her run.
There goes Michelle, starting the run leg of the intermediate distance relay (6 miles):
Soon Nikki came in from her 25 mile bike ride (very windy over three bridges, the Clearwater Memorial Causeway, the Belleair Causeway, and the Sand Key Bridge).
We got her ankle chip transferred and then Beth was off on the run leg for our relay team.
Back at the finish line, the sprint distance triathletes were reveling in their TriRock medaled glory, like Kelly O.
There was a band playing in the expo area.
Christie, Nicole, Nikki, and I lined the finishing chute waiting for our runners to come in.
Michelle comes in:
Team IRunMommies ROCK:
Beth comes in:
Team 3 Moms Who Tri:
I loved doing the triathlon as part of a relay team. 1/3 the work, all of the glory! I also loved doing the swim leg…over in a half hour and then you get to spectate and cheer everybody else on. We have already agreed to team up again and do the relay at the St. Anthony’s Triathlon next spring! Thank you Nikki and Beth (and all my other IRunMommies tri friends) for such a great experience!
After we were all done we redeemed our food ticket for a free burrito (Chad paid for the one he and I split earlier)…
and I got a beer from Red Hook.
I really wanted a soda, but they didn’t have any at the finish. I was pretty thirsty and only drank half the beer then switched to water. I’m just not a huge beer fan even though I want to be.
I know it’s hard to read be our team came in 12th out of 13 relay teams. We weren’t last! The other IRunMommies team came in 8th out of 13. Our runner, Beth, came in 4th out of the 13 relay team runners! My time on the 1500 meter swim was 38:05 and I was 11th out of 13 relay team swimmers. I wasn’t last!
What a fun day.
I love living in Florida where you can do an ocean triathlon in November. It was a perfect day to spend outdoors being active with friends and family.