My kind of tri

I’ve been doing more triathlons in the past couple of years. I enjoy them, but for a relative novice, race day is a little nerve-wracking. Especially when I see the other competitors with their wetsuits or trisuits, and their fancy bikes with the aerobars. I ride a 26-year-old bike that doesn’t even have clipless pedals!

I’ve got a triathlon coming up this weekend, and I’m pretty excited about it. But when I read the most recent email from the race director talking about record numbers of participants, the butterflies starting churning.

So I’m glad I got to do a triathlon warmup last weekend.

A triathlete, cyclist and runner I’ve interviewed for a couple of stories forwarded me an email for the invitational triathlon. The guy who organizes it (this was its second year) invites friends out to his home north of Mahomet. They swim in the pond behind his home and then bike and run on the rural roads in the area.

I contacted him and asked if I could participate. He very graciously allowed me to join in, even though he didn’t know me.

I think there were ten of us racing the tri. A few other people there I’ve also talked with for stories, and I knew I was going to be very outclassed in terms of speed.

But it was a fun, low-key event, and it didn’t matter how slowly I was biking compared to anyone else. Our race times were recorded by this guy’s young kids, who were in charge of the stopwatch and clipboard.

The only time I felt a bit nervous was after I knocked over the expensive-looking triathlon bike belonging to one of the guys. (Sorry!)

As our host said, at his tri there is no entry fee, no worries about finding parking or a spot for your bike, no mass of people to maneuver around in the water or on the road. And his home is in a beautiful setting, with woods and the pond.

It was a pretty foggy morning. We couldn’t see the buoys on the pond from the shore, but I just followed the swimmers in front of me across the pond and back.

It was still foggy on the roads when we started the bike, but it had lifted enough and there was very little traffic that I felt safe biking. It was extremely damp, though. My bike helmet was dripping, and I never dried off after the swim.

We all hopped back in the pond for a while after we finished, then had some breakfast on the back deck of our host’s home.

Blog PhotoAnd there were the traveling trophies — snow globes with a photo of the race organizer and a word bubble coming out of his mouth, saying “Great job.” Hilarious!

I hope I’ll be invited back next year. It was such a fun morning. And I’ve got to try to reclaim the snow globe!

 

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