By: Laurie Ellis
If you had asked me 3 weeks ago if I’d be driving to Middleboro at 5:30AM on a Sunday morning, I would have said you were crazy. So there I was, driving a little over an hour to compete in a distance I had never done before – I had only done sprint triathlons before. What was I thinking?! Maybe sometimes thinking is over-rated. At least I knew I’d have a personal best!
Just under 200 participants showed up to do the Old Colony Y Olympic Distance triathlon and aquabike (just the swim and bike legs) event on July 10th. The swim was 2 loops around the buoys – I have to say it was weird to run out of the water through the arch and then back into the water between the loops – to make up a mile (a VERY short mile!), then 4 laps of a 6-mile bike course which was pretty fast and flat, although the couple hills there were felt a little bigger each time I went around. And for those who were doing the full event, the 10K run was one loop of the bike course done in the opposite direction.
I arrived with plenty of time to set up and check out the area. There was a separate rack for Aquabike racers – nice: no losing my bike! It was a beautiful warm sunny day, I had remembered to bring tinted goggles, and I was wearing my Team EnVision tri top. I was ready! I knew the swim wouldn’t be a problem, but I wasn’t sure about the bike. I definitely knew I could make 24 miles. But I wasn’t so sure about the doing-it-fast part. I had an acceptable (to me) average speed in mind, and just hoped to do that.
And I did! Actually I went faster than I expected. And it was a really pretty ride, what I remember seeing of it. The event staff was great: the turns were well-marked and all the water station kids yelled encouragement as the bikers passed. Some were more exuberant than others – cracked me up.
I was really glad to be done after the bike leg, but I can’t help but wonder if I could maybe do the whole Olympic distance at some point… Considering that I almost passed out after crossing the finish line, I think the aquabike was just right this time! Team EnVision has been helpful in moving me from “no way could I do that” to “maybe I could do that” to “sure, why not?!” Well, I’m still working on that last part.
I was thinking about Rachel’s “finish with a smile” mantra as I rode. It’s gotta be fun, right? I ended up placing 5th out of the 9 female aquabikers (1st in the swim – yeah!).