By: Jenn Hughes
Last year I went to watch my sister compete in the Maine Cancer Foundation’s Tri for a Cure Women’s triathlon and it was so inspiring that I decided “next year I’m going to do that!” Competition was tough even just to get an entry… The race sold out in under 15 minutes! Now the day had finally come; all the training and fund raising was done and all I had left to do was finish the race.
We got to transition a little late and had to head down to the beach for announcements without any time for warm up. We were all welcomed and told that together the participants had raised over a million dollars! I was amazed, just 850 women had raised that much money. Then all the cancer survivors were called up to read a poem and start the race. I just thought “Wow, these women have battled cancer and are still ready for the tri, I guess I shouldn’t complain when I don’t want to get my workout in just because I had a tough day of work.
Soon enough they were in the water and then it was our turn. I would have been a lot more nervous if it weren’t for my practice as part of the TE relay teams. I had already done the bike and the run portion of two other triathlons so now all I had to do was put it together.
My sister and I were in the same age group so we decided to stay with each other. Once we were in the water I just focused on getting to the next buoy and not losing my sister. There was some congestion around the buoys but other than that the biggest challenge was avoiding the waves in the bay… Maybe it wasn’t the best idea to do an ocean swim for my first tri.
Soon enough we were out of the water and back on the beach where there was a team of “wetsuit strippers” waiting, basically you lie on the ground like a beached whale and they pull your wetsuit off for you it was very quick and only slightly embarrassing, I definitely think we should suggest it to Max Performance for next year’s race series:)
After the quick wetsuit removal I ran to my towel and threw on my shoes. From the beach to transition was a short jog away so we ran with our wetsuits over our shoulders and swim cap in hand. I had a relatively quick change into my bike shoes and then we were out for the 15 mile ride through Cape Elizabeth. It was a beautiful ride rolling through pastures and marshlands and then along the coast. After several hills, eight to be exact, we were back at transition, my legs were a little tired but I was excited for the run.
It was a flat and scenic course out past the lighthouse and back. Before we knew it we were back approaching the finish line with lots of spectators to cheer us home. Finally we were done! We crossed the finish line and were awarded awesome finisher medals which I wore around for the rest of the day everywhere I went much like a five year old might wear a superman costume to the grocery store with his mom.
All in all I accomplished my goal of finishing the race with a smile on my face and raising some money for a good cause. My first triathlon was an awesome, empowering experience and I definitely felt much more prepared thanks to all the tips and team workouts with my Team EnVision ladies, and everyone loved my TE uniform, I got lots of complements 🙂