(Photo courtesy of Diane Gilliard)
This is truly one of my favorite races Not just because it’s put on by an amazing Race Organizer (RO) and Race Director (RD), but also because it gives me an opportunity to thank those who have and continue to support me. Between the Tri kit, hat, body marking and race belt, all of them got a shout out.
As with last year, I suspected that I would be the only ParatTriathlete (PT). I was surprised to see two of my Dare2Tri teammates that are headed to Rio soon and the Executive Director of Dare2Tri show up! Very nice surprise, and I found out that they all did it last minute.
The swim played out pretty much like last year. We entered the water right after the Elite athletes, had assholes trying to swim over us and through the tether, and having to fight said assholes off. I understand competitive drive, and it’s a race. But FCTFOL, you have decent vision; USE IT and observe the fact that we’re tethered.Even with getting tied up twice in the water because of these ‘lovely’ people, we still made it out in about 12 minutes (4:15 decrease from 2015).
T1 and the bike mount went well, and we were off for 12 miles. While I still don’t have clips, I was trying to consciously pedal the way I would if I was clipped in. It seemed to work a bit better than bike has in the past. While everything went well for us, we did see someone completely total out on the course.
Back to transition and then out on the run. We walked for about 3-4 minutes before starting to run so I could get the legs stretched out. And when we started to run, instead of doing the 5/1 interval, Terri did it with a distance interval. The run still wasn’t perfect, but it seemed to go a lot better. During it, I had a lot of people encouraging me on, and even had a few people recognize me from last year. One of them commented that I was looking better than last year.
We finished about 20 minutes faster than 2015, including a sprint of the last 100 yards. Great to see this improvement, but still much more to do. I would like to shave a few more minutes off of that before Chicago at the end of August.
This was an amazing day and only possible because of the help and support of so many. Thanks to those who came out to cheer us on, and expecially to Terri Hayes of Artistic Creations Salon for guiding me along with everything else she does, and Art Black of Oswego Cyclery for letting us use his tandem.
And while my focus is on Chicago Tri for now, I will also be stalking 2017 Naperville Tri registration. Yeah, it’s that damn good of an event…