You would just have to have been at the Mach Tenn Triathlon last Saturday to understand why I love this picture so much. It's me and my Dad - The Flash (that's what they call him). You see those binoculars around his neck? They were for spotting me in the open water...not that I think he was worried I might drown, but he wanted to keep me in sight...for good photo opportunities and stuff. When I finally came out of the water, he was running along side of me...giving me someone to grumble to about how "that was just not a good swim". He ran from one point to another spotting and taking pictures for the better part of 2 hours until Michele and I both crossed the finish line, at which time he quickly loaded up Bo and his friend and shuttled them to the ballpark for their ballgame - the one that I was going to be a few minutes late for by the time I got my transition area packed up and said "goodbye" and "congrats" to my tri-friends. Some triathletes have fancy bikes, some have big sponsors painted across their tri-suits, some have years worth of a fine-tuned swim stroke, and some have blazing running speed. I have The Flash. And I wouldn't trade him for your bike, your sponsors, your stroke, your speed, or anything else in your triathlon arsenal. The Flash is my secret weapon.
So now you know.
I wasn't exactly feeling up to racing on Saturday morning, actually. I had been a little queezy the day before, and just wasn't feeling up for it. But I went on to the race, waking Bo and his best friend early to go with me (they had a ballgame immediately afterwards, so they had to be ready). I found a transition spot beside Michele, got my stuff in order, and the start was upon me before I knew it. The swim seemed to go on FOREVER. It was 1000 yards, but I swear it seemed longer than the 1500 MIM swim. I was expecting to be down around or under 19 minutes, but as I came out of the water my watch was a good bit over 20:00. I was upset about this, and mouthed off to my Dad about it some as I ran to transition with wobbly legs. Official Swim Time(1000 yds): 20:32
The wetsuit came off smoothly this time. I hopped on the bike and took off. I saw H, K, and little G as I zoomed off on the bike. Official T-1 Time: 1:56
I beat myself up about the bad swim for the first few miles of the bike. I knew it was useless and stupid to do such a thing, but I felt like it was deserved. It did, however, stir up a sense of urgency in me on the bike. I got passed by a couple of guys with expensive bikes and disc wheels, but other than that I held my own. I set a bike PR for the 3rd year in a row here. Official Bike Time(16 miles): 48:37
T-2 went smoothly too. This time I had my Yanks! in place, so I slipped my shoes on and took off. Official T-2 Time: 1:01
I didn't push too hard to start the run, but it didn't take long to get going. I felt better with each mile, and I saw Michele at the same exact place I saw her last year!! I saw tons of people I knew, like Laurie, TriSonq, Joe, K. Sipe, Coach Ashley (who was blazing a trail for 2nd overall female!!), Dee, and more. It gave a nice feeling to see all the people, and I started forgetting about the bad swim and not feeling so well. After about 2.5 miles, I really turned it on, and left nothing out there. And I had fun doing it - it felt good to push up the hills and then fly down them. My legs felt good. I set a run PR for the 3rd year in a row, also. Official Run Time(4 miles):30:45
Official Race Time: 1:42:49
Ok, so I've said all 3 years that I was aware it would take less than 1:40:00 to place in any age group I might find myself in. However, when I checked the results I found myself in 2nd place of the 30-34 AG. "YES!!" I thought to myself..."someone must not have shown up today!". So I pack up transition and go find Michele to ask her to get MY AWARD before she left. Ofcourse she agrees, and I leave for the ballpark. It's not until later that evening when I pull up the results on the website that I find that my second place was not official. AhhHmm. Evidently there were some timing problems, and everyone showed up afterall.
So I figured Michele knew from listening to the awards ceremony. But evidently Michele making sure that she had enough fun (between filling up her beer cup) for me and her both, and didn't hear the awards for my age group. But being a good friend she didn't want to leave my award there so she went and told them what she needed, and they gave it to her!!! She made away with someone else's 2nd place AG mug!!! Thankfully, her husband works with someone in charge and he was gracious enough to return it for me....whew....
Lesson Learned: By all means, WAIT until those results say OFFICIAL RESULTS. Unofficial is not good enough to go claiming an age group 2nd place.