Saturday, August 30, 2014

Columbus Challenge Triathlon – Recap of my Husband’s Race

August 9, 2014


As part of my husband’s upcoming Full Ironman training he has signed up to participate in a few other distance triathlons, if they fit within his schedule.  He did the Olympic Distance of this event.

FRIDAY, AUGUST 8th:  We decided to drive down the night before to pick up his packet.  So glad we did because the GPS in his car wasn’t very accurate and we had some trouble finding it at first.  That would NOT have been a good thing on race morning. 

The small parking lot of the Marina was already full but we found a place on the street very close.  It was drizzling so I took an umbrella.  I probably DIDN’T need it but since I wanted to take pictures, I had it just in case.  I was not just being fussy or high maintenance.

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Packet pickup was super easy.  Racks for the bikes were assembled and staged in the grass, there was a place where you could get you bike tuned up (the line was long!) and registered athletes could get food for free.  Others could buy food à la carte but we were supposed to stop for dinner on the way home so I didn't get anything.  “Supposed” to stop…more on that in a bit.

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There was ONE chocolate chip cookie on the tray and he was going to get it for me but the lady in front of him took it.  Sadness. Crying face2014, 08-08 (14)2014, 08-08 (15)

And that was pretty much it for packet pickup.  Since he was offered free food, my husband got a sandwich, some chips and a cookie (but not one that I was interested in – good thing/bad thing) and ate in the car as we were driving back home.  But since he was eating that meant HE didn’t need to stop for dinner on the way home.  Long story short…our going out to dinner after packet pickup ended up with stopping at Wal-Mart so that I could get a sandwich and something to drink.  Definitely not what I had in mind when we said we’d get something to eat later.  Once we got home, he started getting his stuff stage for in the morning – so much more to organize than just doing a half marathon – and then it was somewhat early to bed.

SATURDAY, AUGUST 9th:  It is only a one hour and 15 minute drive from our side of town to Columbus, IN and since the race started at 8:00AM, we wouldn’t need to leave super early in the morning…or would we?  Totally understandable to he wanted to get down there and set up and not be rushed so I was instructed the night before that we’d be leaving the house at 6:00AM.  When I asked if that allowed time to get my coffee (which was on the way), I was informed that we would be leaving the house at 5:45AM.  EEK!  Since I wanted to take a shower in the morning that meant getting up at 4:30AM.  So early.

The weather forecast for the day had cleared up a little from what it was showing on Friday night so that was a good thing.

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By the time we had arrived parking was already crazy but found a spot just down the road and didn’t have very far to walk.  I left most of “my stuff” in the car and helped him with his gear.

He got his transition area set-up and then walked over to the body marking area.

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We randomly saw our neighbor there which was fun.  We wondered if he would be doing this event.  Transition area was starting to fill up.

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After the pre-race meeting, he went down to the lake and got in the water for a bit.

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An announcement was made during the meeting that the athlete that was competing with her son (who has spina bifada) was already starting the swim to alleviate the potential challenges of getting caught up with the other athletes.  You can read more about their story HERE.  I’m always so impressed with folks that can do this.  I get very emotional when I see them on the course.  I took a few pictures as well which I’ll post at the end of this recap.

The swim was NOT a mass start and although it takes a little longer to get everyone in the water via a time-trial start, it’s a better option.  I have pictures of him starting the swim but I am not allowed to post those (because “no one looks good in a swim cap”) so here he is already in the water.  Since you can’t really tell its him, I think its safe to post!2014, 08-09 (81)

While he was in the water, it was my opportunity to visit the porta-potty (…those just aren’t as tolerable when you aren’t the athlete needing to use it but at least it didn’t smell bad) and then went to the car to get my chair and lunch bag.

Here he is coming out of the water. 2014, 08-09 (24)

Lots of volunteers in the water at the SWIM OUT because it was very slippery there.  I was able to run with him (but out of the way of the other athletes) up to the entrance of the transition area and then positioned myself at the BIKE OUT to take photos there.

2014, 08-09 (25) He is such a serious athlete! 2014, 08-09 (27)2014, 08-09 (29)

I set up my own transition area while waiting for him to return from the bike course.

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Looks like most people are out on their bikes: 2014, 08-09 (85)

I got to see our neighbor come in from the bike course.  Luckily he saw me and hollered at me first.  Its also tough to tell athletes apart when they are wearing bike helmets!

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Next in was my husband.

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Then it was time to run:

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They would be doing two laps of the 5K course so I’d get to see him 4 times. 

Again he really needs to learn to have some fun out there! 2014, 08-09 (43)

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Second loop2014, 08-09 (65) 2014, 08-09 (66)

And then the finish!

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Both of the finishers:

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I am very proud of him but…who wants to hug a sweaty athlete? 2014, 08-09 (88)2014, 08-09 (87)

Overall he was pleased with this event.  He said they really needed more safety personnel in kayaks out on the water and a few more directional buoys would have been good too.  The bike course was a little hillier than he was expecting.

Unfortunately we didn't stick around for the awards.  We would find out when the results got posted, he placed 3rd un his age group which meant he got a medal.  YAY!!  So I contacted them and they FINALLY sent it to us in the mail.

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Here are the pictures that I took of team Booher. (HERE is the link again as well)  What an amazing team.  I highly recommend that you read the article.

When they were coming in from the swim, he was waving at people as they were cheering him on.  As they got closer I could here him talking to some people and he told everyone that he was eating a donut.  And sure enough he had donut in hand as they came out of the water  So funny.2014, 08-09 (15)2014, 08-09 (21)2014, 08-09 (52)2014, 08-09 (62)

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