The half-iron distance competition is called “The World’s Toughest”, but don’t worry, I just did the sprint! A month before the competition, I got an email saying “thanks for registering for the AIT sprint”. I was shocked, having not registered or even heard of this race. Guessing the culprit, I immediately called my dad and tried to decline his generous gift, but he insisted that if I wanted to do Barb’s race at the end of the summer, I needed to get a taste of how a triathlon worked.
Here I am, smiling and waving at the swim start.
I’m wearing my big brother Ben’s wetsuit. Ben actually isn’t that big but I don’t quite have enough arm muscle to fill it out 🙂
Right about… NOW… I’m realizing that I’m in way over my head. It’s amazing how far away those swim buoys look from the shore. For all I know, they could be miles. I have never swum a mile, so what did I know!
I totally panicked but my Dad (who was in The Wolrd’s Toughest) got in the water before his wave and came out to the start with me and all the other lady sprinters. He got me to take those first few strokes even though I kept saying “Woah I can’t do this, woah I can’t do this”.
I stopped after a minute and just bobbed liike a cork, mumbling to myself about how insane I was. Then I heard my name and looked up. Scott, Ben, and his wife Kim, and my mom had come down the shore along side me and were yelling, “Swim, Anne!”. It was like a shock went through my system. Oh! Swim!
By that time, I was back with the breaststrokers but managed to make it to the turnaround unscathed. From there, I knew I could do it because I had a good idea of how far I needed to make it back. I picked up the pace and stopped more infrequently.
I made it!
And, I was not the last one out of the water. As my family tells it, I sauntered up the dock, high fiving and posing for pictures as I went. Scott finally said “Keep going!” and I realized I still had two more legs of the race to go.
I whipped off my wetsuit and hopped on the bike, wobbling as I went. I believe I had been on a road bike two times previous to the race.
The bike course was challenging and very hilly. I had to hop of my bike twice on steep hills, as I was still getting used to the whole “gear” thing. Also, my legs were a little tired from the swim!
I was thrilled to see Ben on the run.
I am a slow swimmer and biker, but I love to run and I was looking forward to picking up the pace a bit. I had passed a few athenas on the bike because I was pretty good up the hills for most of it, but I wanted to kick some butt on the run.
As it turns out, the run kicked my butt.
There was a “damn hill” near the end that I was determined to run up, but it felt like I was running up a cliff. I was so drained by the time I got to the top, but seeing my family near the finish gave me a burst of adrenaline and I finished hard.
My favorite picture. The finish.
It looks like I did the half-iron distance, which is pretty sweet. Also, there’s a guy I don’t know taking my picture. I celebrated at the finish line and congratulated my friend Andrew who did the sprint as well. We were anxious to see the drama unfold as the rest of our friends and family attempted the half.