Monday, June 23, 2008

My First Triathlon ( I survived! )

Today was my very first triathlon. It was the Medical Lake trailblazer triathlon, and to say the least I was very nervous. I wasn't afraid about the bike, or the run, or for that matter my slow transitions. I was terrified for the swim, and the fact that I have a hard time getting my wet suit off. My T1 could end up being 20 minutes.

All morning I was thinking of things i might need because I didn't want to forget something important like, oh lets say my helmet or my biking shoes. I arrived at the race about two hours before it started. Luckily since I recently joined a club called tri-Fusion, I have met allot of people, and now know many people at these races. It was time to load into the trucks and head over to the other side of the lake.

We all got in the water and were waiting for them to start the race. This is when I started to relax a bit. Everyone in the water had almost a playful attitude, and they were all just having fun. This put my nerves at ease, and helped me relax. After standing in seaweed that was neck deep for a while. It was finally time to start the race.

5...4..3..2..1 and we were off, since this race was a sprint I started swimming as fast as I could. I could see people I knew in the water and as I swam, it really wasn't that bad. I did not have a feeling of panic. After a little while people started moving away from me, and I tried to maintain ground. About 2/3 of the way through the swim I saw Matt ( my sponsor), he was looking strong and kept on swimming by me. It was time to exit the water, and right ahead of me I saw a white platform. Remind me next year not to take this platform!! It was a little slick and I could not get up it, but luckily Natalie Gallagher was there to pull me out of the water. Thank you!! you saved me from being stuck in the water.

Swim place: about 39th

T1 was the one thing that I was terrified of. Getting my wet suit off in less than 10 minutes is not something I am good at. But with a little body glide it came right off, and I was out on the bike. The only thing running through my head on the bike was, this is a sprint, I better ride as hard as i can from the get go. This is what I did. At first there was allot of people, all in small packs, but soon it started to string out. I must also say sorry to Tiffany, I kind of passed her on the right going around a sharp turn. not cool. After a short wile on the bike there was no one in sight, and I was worried how far ahead the next group of people were. eventually I could see one more person ahead, and worked very hard to catch them. It was someone I did not know, but as soon as I passed him, he jumped on my back tire. This was not cool!! Luckily after about a minute of riding my tire I heard a loud pssssssssssss. It was my drafter getting a flat tire :). Ok I should never wish that on someone, but I was kinda happy since he was drafting me. after this I could see Steve ahead of me and pushed hard to catch him. This was not easy!! He was cranking, and I had a heck of a time catching up to him. At this point the bike was almost over, I came into transition, and got ready to run.

Place after bike-13th

Now it was time for the run, and now I was relaxed. I don't feel tense or anxious when it is time for the run, and usually am excited. I just started running, settling into a relaxed but steady pace. I caught some more people on the run, and just kept going. I really liked the self serve water station they had in this race, the line was too long so I did not stop for water. When I finished I did not know what place I was in because the people ahead of me were absolutely flying!!! Later though I was told that I was fourth place, but one of the places ahead of me was a team. So in the solo division I was 3rd. I was ok with this. As I said earlier I was very nervous going into this race, and for my first triathlon I was quite happy with 3rd.

I am very glad I did this race and now I am very excited (and not so nervous) to race more triathlons.


Matt said...

great race Josh! For a first tri, that was very impressive. Cant see what you will do for your 2nd one, maybe it will have wetsuit strippers.......

Michael W. Bergquist said...

Nice work out there. Trailblazer is a great race for all levels. You did well and finished behind two very fast triathletes in Roger Thompson and Mike McCoy (4th in the Military World Championships Master's Division). It's great to have two people at the top of the sport to gauge your performance with from year to year, if you keep coming back. FYI ... 50 minutes is the gold standard at this race.

Steve said...

Great job man. You went flying by me on the bike. I was trying to keep up to no avail. Way to run down the competition. You once again flew by me on the run. You will only get faster at T1 and T2 and everyone better watch out.

Roger Thompson said...


Nice work. I was running scared thinking you were going to pass me. I knew if I had a 5 minute lead off the bike, I would still have to have the run of my life to hold you off. Congrats!


jessithompson said...

You are awesome, buddy! It's been fun getting to know you and see you rip it up out there. You have lots of talent and a bright future in the sport! :)