"TRI"ed It, Loved It

Way back in 1991 I did a duathlon. Actually, back then they called this particular event a bi-athlon. It consisted of a 3 mile run, 15 mile bike ride, and a 2 mile run. It was fun to combine running with cycling and I starting thinking about adding in swimming and doing a triathlon. I bought a book about triathlons, “Scott Tinley’s Winning Triathlon”. I bought a new road bike, a Specialized Allez. Before I could do a triathlon I moved to Indiana. I thought this would be a good move because triathlons being relatively new were not all that common back then, but there seemed to be lots of triathlons in central Indiana.

The years ticked by and I never did a triathlon. In many of those years I didn’t even do any running, cycling, or swimming. In 2002 I started getting serious about running. I started doing marathons and ultra-marathons. After a few years I started thinking about the triathlon again. Lots of thinking, but not much doing. In December 2008 I finally made a decision, in the summer of 2009 I would do a triathlon. I wiped the dust off the old Allez, took it into a bike shop to get the bearings greased, wheels trued, and rusty cables replaced. In January a friend who didn’t know of my decision asked if I would do him a favor. He wanted to get in shape and do a triathlon in the summer and wanted me to do it with him for moral support. I just laughed and told him it was funny he asked me that because I had already decided to do a triathlon. Along the way there were some setbacks. In February I lost my job. From March through May I struggled with a calf injury. It was starting to look like I might make it through another year without doing a triathlon.

In June I ran a 50k and didn’t have any ultras planned until September. That was just too long to go without a challenge. My friend had said he was signed up for the August 22 Indy Sprint Triathlon. In late June I took the plunge, I signed up for the July 18th Indy Sprint Triathlon. Well the 18th has come and gone and I am at long last a “triathlete”. It was spectacular! I loved it. It was about 59 degrees at the start, so between the cold and nerves and I was shivering almost uncontrollably. The water felt great, just about the right temp. I was a little worried about being able to finish the swim, but I made it. I won’t say it was easy, but the swim wasn’t as difficult as I had feared. As you can see from the times below my swim and transitions need a little work, but I’m pleased with my bike and run times. My overall time was 1 hour 13 minutes 27 seconds which put me in 206th place out of 555 finishers. Not bad for a beginner.

Swim 14:11.7 (432nd) Transition 1 02:34.5 (398th)
Bike 0:32:19.3 (18.6 mph/202nd) Transition 2 02:33.0 (523rd)
Run 0:21:49.0 (07:16.3/ 83rd)
Total time 1:13:27.4 (206th)

This year the Indy Sprints have changed from wave starts to individual starts. This is supposed to relieve congestion at the start and I guess it works. There was a little bumping along the way, but the start was pretty smooth. Having survived the first attempt, I signed up for the August 22nd event. My son who went along and took pictures decided he wanted to do a triathlon and so he also signed up for the August 22nd event. He even bought himself a road bike yesterday. Should be lots of fun. I can’t wait.

Having bib number marked on arms.

Entering the water.

Running through transition to the bike start.

Starting the run.

2 responses to “"TRI"ed It, Loved It

  1. Nice job! Wow, 555 finishers?!!! a very popular event — and now you can say you're a part of it all! The individual starts sound like the way to go, I'd prefer that on entering the water — not that I'll ever do it either way . . . I don't have the gump-tion to attempt a tri.Great action shots — luv the pix!

  2. Thanks Ed. My son took the pictures. It was nice having him there to cheer me on. Anyone who has done a 100 mile trail run can do a sprint triathlon. Swimming 500m in open water can be intimidating though. Fear of the swim is what kept me from trying for a long time. There are a half dozen or more of these sprint tri's around Indy. I'm sure they have some around Louisville. If you were to watch one you would be surprised at some of the people who do them. One of the pictures I didn't post was of me coming out of the water. Just in front of me is a woman who is easily 50 pounds over weight. She doesn't look like she could run a mile, but there she is.

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