Ahh yes, the famed Triple T: 4 races, 3 days, 2 teammates, 1 crazy experience (and yes, for this race, very appropriate to start with a Finish Line picture as we just seemed to keep seeing it!). Plenty of hills and unique challenges. Back in May 2010 Mike and I traveled to Ohio (me via New York and my sister’s graduation) and left through Canada, passing through his family’s area.
Day 1: registration and a sprint tri — over in under 30 minutes
Day 2: morning olympic, afternoon olympic where not only did only the slower teammates time count, but drafting was allowed in teams, and it was bike swim run! Yes, putting on your wetsuit was part of the race.
Day 3: half iron — again with your teammate as only the slower time counted and drafting was allowed. Looking back, I’m not sure drafting mattered, as I think all of it was up or down.
And we extended Day 3 by driving a million hours to Canada. But it was a great trip! Here are some race highlights:
Day 1: Sprint
- I found the perfect spot to stop and take off my wetsuit. It was just a long run to transition since the suit is so hard to get off once it is emptied of water! However, although a short swim and fairly warm water, it was worth wearing the suit.
- Boy was that lawn muddy.
Day 2: Morning Olympic
- Crazy wind/rain/hurricane weather kept us up a bit, and made for some course changes. So we did the afternoon oly course twice, instead of two different routes.
- The water went from pretty warm, and wetsuit not so necessary, to OMG Cold! It also rose a couple feet.
- I felt really pukey for a bit, but never got to get it out of my guts.
- Bike had some decent hills, as did the run. We’d get to know the run course well, using it not only in the afternoon race but twice during the half the next day.
- The dumb part? The transition was closed for an hour between the morning and afternoon races… so you had to haul everything back up a hill to the hotel and then back down again.
- Finish, sit in the river, and then go try to eat and rest because before you know it, it is time to do it all again.
Day 2: Afternoon Olympic
- Bike, Swim, Run! Time trial format start.
- Race numbers were based off your best half-iron time ever… so Mike’s 4:12 had him #11, while I was #280… a full 269 numbers apart. This became fun since teams started together, at the highest ranking person’s spot. So I was the lead woman for a bit 😉
- I stared at Mike’s butt for the bike ride. Made me glad I’d already seen the course in the AM.
- I descend well… I passed a lot of people here, and they were a blast. However, plenty of people passed me back on the climbing part.
- I did get on my wetsuit fairly well! And it was awesome having Mike around to help strip it off me! A spectator was heard to say “Now that’s teamwork… someone should get this on tape” as we executed our well-discussed move.
- The run seemed less hilly. I wonder if it was the swim right before since it was basically icing my legs. I heard that the next day it would feel twice as steep to make up for it…
Day 3: Half-iron
- The swim course got longer for the second loop, as one of the bouys was floating away.
- Again starting in the #11 spot, I think I was passed by about 1 million people during the swim.
- But again Mike helped me strip and the crowd went wild (wetsuit strip… where is your mind?)
- Time for the bike course from hell! Rolly, CLIMB, down, CLIMB, rolly, steeeeep hill, and one last climb…. and repeat that loop!
- I thought of my Trifuel buddies and the TGGW (Tri Girls Gone Wild) when I had a chocolate gu encounter. A flask of it had fallen from another competitor, and Mike hit it juuuuust right — sent it spiraling through the air and striped me (no, not stripped this time) like a candy cane! But with sticky chocolate gu. When we got home and looked at the bike you could even tell where my hands had been based on the lack of gu in spots on the aerobars.
- The run was beautiful again, but tough! I walked some of the steep hills, and loved having Mike’s hand on my back to help me up some of them. But we ran much of it. The mile 4 sign became the dark at the start of the tunnel as that lead into a big climb. But the mile 6 sign was then the light at the end of it (and again for loop 2!)
- There were TUMs delivered on the run, as my guts still were a bit unsettled, and my head and ears felt stuffy. It was nice having a mid-race sherpa! And Mike of course could always catch up to me.
- During the run, I kept hearing Marky tell me to have Gracie feet, and it helped keep my feet light and turnover good for the downhills. And it made me smile 🙂
- And then…. what was that in the distance?? Could it be??? Ahhhh yes… a real finish line! And we were done… for good this time. Time to pack up the bikes and drive to Canada!
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