I am coming up for air to post a brief race report. I could get really deep into details but I don't have time. I am working hard to get my CANCER to 5K program up and *running*... (excuse the pun!)
DANSKIN NEW ENGLAND SPRINT TRIATHLON
I raced a member of Team Survivor Granite State
BIKE: 53:20 (13.5 mph)
RUN: 37:31 (12:06 m/m)
SUMMARY: What a fantastic event! Seriously, 2400 woman racing a sprint distance triathlon could be seen as scary but the support and enthusiasm, not to mention the amazing attitudes of woman of all ages, shapes and sizes was wonderful! Definitely more fun than some of the more serious races I have done. The motto: "You Go Girlfriend!!" I was proud to be there as a cancer survivor and I got a chance to meet some wonderful people in person including Sam, his daughter, Rich H. and his wife Paula and all the wonderful ladies of Team Survivor Granite State - Johanna, Jody and Patty!
I went to the Danskin Expo with the ladies of Team Survivor Granite State - Johanna, Jody and her mom, Erin, Patty and myself. The morning started with a Team Survivor Breakfast where we all shared a little about ourselves. The was laughter and tears and many first time triathletes. We got to briefly meet Sally Edwards, pro-triathlete. After breakfast, we headed to the Expo, registered, got lots of great swag and even scored an autograph from Sally Edwards. Then we went to the "First Timer Clinic" where Team Survivor was welcome to the stage and got a standing ovation, it was a moment I will never forget and I was proud to help represent cancer survivors as active women. We then went out for some lunch and a preview of the transition area. The frequent thunderstorms prevented me from getting a pre-race swim in but I got a good look at transition and then headed to the hotel where I vegged out for the rest of the evening.
RACE DAY: I was in the car and on my way to the park by 4:30AM. Transition opened at 5AM and with so many women racing (a large majority first timers) I wanted plenty of time to rack my bike, set up transition and relax. My only goal for today was to have fun AND come in sub-2:00. While I might not be fast, I didn't want to be a slacker and 2:00 is my own personal "slacker cut off" for this distance race.
DISCLAIMER:THIS IS MY OWN PERSONAL CUTOFF, I DO NOT THINK LESS OF ANYBODY WHO GOES LONGER THAN 2:00, WE ARE ALL DIFFERENT PACES AND EXPERIENCE LEVELS!
I got a SWEET rack spot, in part because I came early and in part because I was in Wave #2 of 30 and had a very high BIB number (#11) and I got settled, talked to the women around me and waited for my teammates. After they were settled, we headed down to the water and I went for a short warm-up swim. It was warm and crystal clear - No wet suit today! Just after my warm-up swim, my parents showed up to cheer me on! It was wonderful having them there for the day!
SWIM/T1: The swim was GREAT! The most enjoyable open water swim I have had in a race this season! The water was so clear that I hardly needed to sight. I just kept an eye on the feet in front of me after sighting once or twice to make sure they were swimming in a straight line! The transitions from the swim was a little long because there was about a 400 yard run from the lake to the transition area. I moved smooth and steady - fast enough that my folks never saw me leave on the bike!
BIKE/T2: The bike course was just 12 miles but a rolling course with a significant stair-step climb just before mile 4. It was a little steeper than I was expecting but it was over pretty quickly and the rest the course was rolling and mainly downhill so I put it in a big gear and powered through. I left on the bike just after teammate Johanna and due to some pedal issues and a flat (I think) we hop-scotched each other a few times on the bike course. It was great fun and during the last mile, I heard the cheers of Rich H., CCC teammate so that really made me smile. I got into T2 and there was Johanna and she said" Wanna Run Together?" I warned her it might be run/walking but that I would love the company so she waited a minute for me and we headed off on the run together!
RUN: The run was about a 3 mile out-and-back of rolling hills. Johanna stuck by my side and let me set the pace. We saw Rich H. twice and he was full of cheers and encouragement. Because I was out to have *FUN*, I really wasn't too quick on the run but having Johanna with me kept me from slacking too often. We would run, usually until the incline got a little steep and then walk until I felt recovered. The pace worked out well for both of us, since Johanna was nursing a sore ankle. I made sure that we took advantage and ran every downhill and flat and honesty, I was very happy with the overall pace (12:06) which was much faster than I have been doing on my own lately. (NOTE TO SELF: More running buddies for marathon training) Johanna and I ran the last half mile back to the finish line at a nice steady pace, NO MORE WALKING was my motto, and we crossed the finish line hand in hand as survivors! It was wonderful!
FINISH/POST RACE: After turning in my chip to Sam (fellow TRI-DRS) and getting a finisher medal from his daughter, Johanna, her husband Lindley, Jody and her mom, my parents and I stayed and cheered fellow finishers on and waited another hour for our teammate Patty to cross the finish line. Patty, a 66 year old Cancer Survivor, finished her first fill triathlon that day and looked thrilled and strong as she came across the line! Jody, who was on the relay with Johanna, had an excellent swim and has already decided to do the full distance by herself next year! Erin finished first of our Team looking strong and enjoying her first triathlon as a cancer survivor (though not a first time triathlete.)
As I said, it was a great race and I was with an amazing bunch of women! Life is Good! Live STRONG!