After months of training, and much build-up of anxiety, Susz finally arrived. To be expected, we had some last minute crises – “technical difficulties” with the van we rented for the bikes, “courtesy-challenged” hotel staff where we stayed, road detours and closures. But we all made it there and, even more importantly, we all successfully completed the race!
The sprint triathlon itself exceeded my expectations. In light of how anxious I was about completing the swim, possibly getting a flat tire, falling down on the bike, etc., I was surprised at simply how fun the event was. I enjoy half marathons and 10k runs, but all you do is start running and, at some point, stop. Triathlons are dynamic. Three different disciplines and the transitions in between keep things exciting. The race was completed in a quick hour and a half (though the last few minutes of running to the finish line did seem to last forever!). It did not shake out quite how I expected. I was surprised to find that the swim was comparatively my best performance of the three, far better than I had done in training. My constant fretting over possible technical problems on my bike appears to have invited them – my high gear malfunctioned, slowing me down and leaving me even more exhausted for the run. But the unexpected is to be expected in such activities, and that is all part of the fun.
One critical factor I was not expecting was just how much support our group would have along every step of the competition. The sprint triathlon was split into two waves – one group started at 11:00 am and finished just before the second group began at 1:00 pm. As a result, those of us competing were able to cheer on the WITCers competing in the other group. The three WITCers who had completed the Half-Ironman triathlon the day before miraculously still had energy to support us as well. Several other dear WITCers joined for the weekend to cheer us on, and they seem to have expended as much energy and effort in this task as we did in the triathlon. No doubt, this support was a major factor in our success. At so many critical moments when fatigue would start to creep in, seeing a friendly face and hearing an encouraging word along the route would pick me up immediately. This encouragement and comradery that helped bring me to the finish line at Susz was the same that carried me through months of training and preparation. Thank you, my fellow WITCers, for making it possible for me to complete my first triathlon. Now who’s ready for the next one??
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