RACE REPORT: St. Mary’s Triathlon

Event: St. Mary’s Triathlon

Distance: Sprint Triathlon – 0.50 Mile Swim, 15 Mile Bike, 3.1 Mile Run

Date: August 4th, 2013

Location: Huntington, West Virginia

This past Friday night, my friend and I traveled from New York City to West Virginia to compete in a sprint triathlon as a co-ed relay team. We arrived in West Virginia around 1AM on Friday night after a painfully, long 8-hour drive out of the city. The next day, we had little room to spare/sight-see. Aside from the race, we also happened to be attending a wedding on Saturday evening which made this a dual-purpose trip. The wedding began at 5:30PM on Saturday night. When we arrived, we made our rounds to greet everyone and left around 9PM to drive an additional 2 hours to the location where the triathlon was taking place. The next morning (Sunday), we woke up at 6AM in order to make it in time for packet pick-up at 7AM. The race took place at 8AM.

As I was watching the competitors file in line, it was a much different experience than just a regular running race. Seeing people with their bikes and wetsuits made me feel like somewhat of an underachiever (quite a bold statement for me to say after running my first marathon in April) I was only competing in one leg of the race, the 5K, which was the last leg. I was getting progressively more antsy while waiting for my teammate to finish the swim AND bike portion. The 0.50-mile swim was in the Ohio River and the 15-mile bike was a 2-lap loop around Marshall University. Once my teammate finally tapped my hand, I took off as quickly as I could. The 5K was a simple out and back; a flat course with a turn-around point once we reached an orange cone with a volunteer directing us. I started my watch late and was unable to time myself, so I had to just wing it. After reaching the finish line, I was confident that I did well (especially after having attended a wedding the night prior)

During the awards ceremony, we were anxiously waiting to hear our team name to be called. We were hoping to make it in the top 3 out of the relay teams, but unfortunately came in 4th place, only a minute after the 3rd place relay team.

Overall, I wasn’t disappointed with our performance. The weather conditions were fair, but the competition was stiff. I enjoyed competing in a new location and an event that didn’t involve simply running (even though that’s all that I did) The pitfalls that came with this race centered more around the mis-communication with the people that were involved in the execution of the race. A lot of participants, including myself, had questions that the volunteers were having trouble answering. It was, however, a smaller race with less than 200 finishers.

After this experience, I’m more than convinced to compete in a triathlon on my own. It’s much harder to train for a triathlon in the city, as opposed to a running race, but I know that hundreds/thousands of people do it, therefore it will be my next short term goal. Finding a decent pool and buying a bike will be a challenge, so hopefully those things will come in time.

I want to constantly push myself to the next level and become more well-rounded in various types of races.

Coming up next is a race that I’ve been wanting to participate in for quite some time: a fun run. I’ll be running the Electric Run in Brooklyn this September with a group of people from Nike Run Club. It will definitely be a change of speed for me (literally), but I look forward to it. It will also be nice to remove my competitive nature, but I can’t guarantee that will happen.

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