This past weekend I traveled outside of the mini island of Manhattan to cheer on a couple of friends in their first outdoor triathlon. To be honest, it’s always tough for me to spectate a race when I feel or wish that I could be participating. But, after volunteering in a few races, namely the New York City Marathon, I’ve realized how important the volunteers and spectators are to the race. Not to mention the fact that I had raced in quite a few triathlons during college so I might have an idea of how to help out on race day. 😉
We didn’t leave until midday Saturday so I had enough time to take a run along the Highline and make it to a strength workout at Equinox. After taking a quick shower, I headed north to meet Tracy and Emily at the rental car shop. Our final destination was pretty close to Montauk, about 2 or so hours outside of NYC, but we had to pick up a bike for Emily along the way. It’s safe we were running on “Fuelling” schedule aka cutting it a bit close for comfort – both girls had to pick up their bibs and information by 4:30 that day and we made it just in time at 4:26.
Saturday night was very low key as we went to an early dinner in town, browsed the suburban grocery store for a solid 15 minutes, and then chit-chatted throughout NBC’s Olympic qualifiers in Oregon. Not too shabby of a night if you ask me, especially since we had to get up at the crack of dawn for the race.
I slept hard as a rock and soon enough it was 4:50 and time to get up. Turns out the other girls didn’t sleep as well – mostly race nerves but a little bit of mattress regret too – and were up around 4/4:30. Once everyone had their gear for the morning, we loaded the bikes onto the car and drove the 1/2 to the race spot – Jamesport Beach, New York.
I was helpful in the beginning and then realized I was simply dead weight, just standing there amongst the participants. I then decided to take a walk and head to the beach where they would be starting the race.
Watching everyone get set up and put on their wetsuits certainly took me back to college when I raced in the annual Wildflower Olympic Triathlon. I was reminiscing about the few years that I raced at Lake San Antonio (2013) and even spent my 21st birthday competing. How’s that for a celebration? I would totally love to get back into the tri-game and actually put effort into the sport, but one thing at a time.
^^ Aw, two girls ready to crush their first outdoor triathlon!
^^ Most definitely my LEAST favorite part of racing – the madness of running into the water and initially swimming right on top of each other, kicking one another in the face.
^^ Emily had borrowed a bike and yes, that’s a mountain bike. It may have been a bit more difficult than a road bike but she persevered and dominated it. That much more rewarding of a race, right?
Every racer had their age marked on the back of their right calf, which made it quite enjoyable for me to spectate and analyze all of the racers – how old they were, what type of gear they had, how excited/focused/traumatized they looked, etc. Every time a racer passed by, I would cheer them on and then whip around to see how old each racer was. Man, the ages ranged from 16 to 70! How’s that for inspiration? Not only that, but it seemed that everyone was genuinely supportive and helpful to one another!
Both girls did an incredible job and are of course hooked and ready to sign up for more!
“You will never know your limits unless you push yourself to them” – Unknown