There are always a million little details from any race that I want to remember but that would make the race recap nine million pages long. In roughly chronological order:
I chatted with a guy before the swim who was really nervous about the swim. This was his first Olympic distance, and he was worried because he was one of the only people not wearing a wetsuit. He was so nice, and I saw him after I finished, shook his hand, and was delighted that his race went well.
The Elites got in the water before any of us, and then…several of them went completely off course. It’s not very kind to make fun, but I think it was nice for all us amateurs on the shore to feel a little less intimidated.
At one point in the swim I kept getting boxed in by two swimmers. I couldn’t quite get around them and finally I just came up for air and tread water for a moment to let them get ahead of me. A volunteer on a paddle board called to me, “Do you need help?”
“No, I’m just waiting for the damn traffic to clear.”
I reiterate: the swim felt somehow very narrow and crowded. It wasn’t unbearable but there was a lot more contact than I am used to.
As we were packing up I realized that my goggles and swim cap somehow went missing. Blargh! Those were my favorite goggles, and they were really nice swim caps (for free race swim caps).
The woman parked next to me in transition said she hadn’t seen the wetsuit strippers or the buckets to rinse off feet. I saw both, so maybe she was just going too fast. There are some advantages to being a little slower, I suppose. She also said she really had to pee but planned to wait after the bike was over. I wonder how that decision played out.
Oh! And I opened a portapotty to see a dude peeing AGAIN. Guys, seriously. I know it’s a race but you do have time to lock the door.
As I headed out on the bike, I passed a woman who looked quite old. She was actually the only person I passed on the whole bike ride, and she ended up passing me back towards the end of the race. Oh, well.
As I was headed down a long scary downhill part I got really freaked out and slowed way down. A woman on the other side of the road, in the middle of a long hard uphill climb, shouted out to me, “Keep pedaling, number 238! You can do it!” I frigging love triathletes. They are the nicest people. It amazes me that someone in the hardest part of the route would toss out encouragement to someone on (ostensibly) the easiest part.
As I turned back into the park a volunteer commented to me, “It’s really nice to see someone smiling for a change! Everyone looks so sad.” That makes me sad. I guess most folks probably put their Serious Race Face on when they’re pushing hard, but isn’t smiling and thanking volunteers an essential part of the day?
When I came back into transition from the bike I couldn’t mentally deal with re-racking my bike so I just sort of parked it off to the side. That doesn’t break any rules that I know of.
I used the runkeeper app on my phone to prompt me to run and walk on 5/1 minute intervals. The GPS on this thing kind of sucks, though, so it kept reading out really ridiculous average paces because it thought I had gone like 13 miles instead of 6. I don’t know why but I found this embarrassing and I kept trying to muffle the sound.
I came up on a guy who was clearly struggling on the run at about mile 3 (out of 6.2). He said, “There better be a timing mat at the turnaround or else I would have just turned around and cut the course a long time ago!” He looked sad. People who are at the back of the pack are either just cruising along being happy and not caring (like me, maybe 5%) or they’re having a bad day and they are pissed.
I had to pee really badly on the run but didn’t see a portapotty until mile 5. Bathroom location is really something I need to add to my race recon.
It was really fun knowing other people who were racing. My friend Megan was there and my neighbor Meg was racing as well. The longer I live in Denver, the smaller it gets, and it feels like you really can’t turn around without bumping into someone you know.
The finisher’s medal was a bottle opener with a rattlesnake on it (cool) hung on a dog chain (ehhn). What can I say, I like my finisher’s medals. I can’t hang this on the wall because it doesn’t look like a medal.
And my pictures came out kinda cute! I usually find official race pictures to be extremely unflattering but these are pretty okay!
I think that’s all I have to say about that. Twelve days until Harvest Moon. Ack!