Saturday, August 26, 2006

Morton Plant Mease Triathlon at Sandkey, FL

1/3m swim, 13m bike, 5k run

My first triathlon and I was so excited. My goal was purely to have fun and enjoy the experience.
The water was perfect. I waited nervously with the other purple caps which identified us as first timers. I was intent on watching the other waves go off, watching how they swam the course. Then came our turn. We were the last to set off.
I exited the water in 8th place, in my division, after only a view kicks and slaps from my swimming neighbors. I had actually caught up with some other colored caps. That gave me some confidence.
The run from the water to T1 was quite long. At T1, I took my time as I got suited up for the bike. I unfortunately was using my husband's bike, b/c I had just discovered mine to have a crack in the frame.
The bike course took us over several bridges. Hills are a shock for anyone in Florida and by the time we hit the last, and steepest bridge, lots of folks were getting off their bikes. I promised myself not to do that.

The only real surprise came earlier in the bike leg, as I was crossing a draw bridge. The bells started ringing and the red and white stripped barrier started to come down. The bridge was planning to open for a passing boat. I looked at the guy next to me in disbelief and then, in a split second decision, I decided to go for it. Certainly it won't open if I am on it!
I was gunning it across and yelled at the draw bridge guy not to do it, since there was a race in progress. I'm not sure how that turned out for folks after me.
As I approached the dismount I decided to try to take my feet out of my shoes and ride in on top of them. As difficult as everyone always says this is, I didn't really have any problems. I had the 3rd fastest bike time. I dismounted the bike and felt surprising good.
As a runner, I was confident that this leg would go alright for me. It certainly is an added challenge dealing with wobbly legs from the bike! It was hot now and the run course, although flat, offered no shade. I just plugged away, picking off people as I could and enjoying myself very much. In fact, I can't recall a time I have had this much fun in a race.
I finished the run with the fastest time for the female first timers division. I ended up with a 2nd place overall in the female first timers and was very proud of my effort. They served beer and pizza afterwards and had some nice giveaways.
I would definitely recommend this tri and plan on going again next year.

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