Four years ago I decided I was going to sign up for St. Anthony's 5150 race. It was in my hometown and I had done relays for many years with my dad and friends at this race. I would usually do the swim and run or just the run. It was fun, but I was scared to bike so I settled for relays. I had competed in many sprint triathlons since the age of 13. I didn't mind biking 10-12 miles. I never trained for the bike ride, just rode on race day. A 25 miles bike ride would be different! I needed to start biking. One of my friends was also training for the triathlon so he was going to help me get started on the bike. My dad gave me an old K2 road bike to ride and I got started. Race day came, I was excited to race. First time riding 25 miles! I figured if everyone else could do it so could I. I finished that day in 8th place in my age group. Not too bad for my first time.
This week I am back at St. Anthony's 5150 race. This time I am in the pro wave. How did I get here? After seeing the starting line up I wonder if I should have signed up for this race this year. This is my first year racing pro so lining up with former Olympians, Ironman World Champion and many other fast ladies was a bit intimidating. What if I get last place? What if they drop me in the swim as soon as we start? I decide this is going to be good experience no matter what happens and it doesn't matter what place I get or how fast they are, I am here to have fun, this is a great race and I have raced it now for 4 years. I know the course!
I hear the gun and we are off. I just can't seem to get going in the swim, I try staying on some feet but within 20 seconds they are fading into the sunrise. Looks like I am going to be swimming this mile alone.
Finally I reach the steps and run into transition. My bike is waiting for me, all alone on the rack. Yup! I am in last place :(
I start the bike with no one in site, after a mile I can see the lead vehicle. "So there is a race going on!"
I ride for 10 miles and I finally see another bike! I didn't think I would ever get out of last place! Woohoo!! Another mile and I pass a couple more girls. Looks like I am back in the race.
I start the run, find another girl to pass. I hear so many people cheering for me along the road, it was awesome! Hometown races are the best! Its great to see familiar faces, teammates, coach and even my sister was racing. Finally to the finish...what was my time? what place did I get? It doesn't matter to me, what matters is that I gave it 100% and had fun! I ended up in 11th place and was happy I decided to take on the challenge and not let fear stand in my way.
Thanks to my coach, Jon Noland for getting me ready to race this year, would not be where I am without him, thanks to Flying Fish for keeping my bike happy and Xterra wetsuits for keeping me afloat :)