Monday, November 16, 2009


Rick and I decided that we wanted to train for something together and somehow I talked him into doing an off-road triathlon with me at the beginning of May. I had done one in 2007 and figured I could do another one especially if I had a training buddy. So we printed off a training schedule we found online and put it up on the fridge.

Then, we started looking for an event to sign up for. I just figured we would do the same one I had done a couple of years before, which was at Saguaro Lake, so we wouldn't have to travel anywhere. Well, it turns out that one wasn't being held this year, so we looked for the next closest venue...Vegas! Perfect it was a Saturday event (most are held on Sundays)! We even have some fabulous friends that would let us stay with them for the weekend. So we went ahead and signed up.

Yeah, perfect until the course description and all of that was posted a couple of weeks later... First off, it was the Western Cup Championship Race for off-road triathlons. Great tons of pros competing in it...and as time went on that was their big advertising ploy, naming all of the INTERNATIONAL pros that were signed up for the race. I'm talking ex-Olympians, former professional mountain bikers, the winner of Ironman Canada...the list goes on. Then comes the course map and description...with parts labeled things like "dangerous descent". Ok, so our goal by now is just to finish the thing. I was thinking of setting a goal time, but that flew out the window when we started getting all of this fantastic information.

We trained for a few months, nothing super-duper strict, but made sure we did a couple of swims a weeks, got a good ride in every week and did some running. This was an Olympic distance race, which means it was about a mile swim, 17 mile mountain bike and 10K trail run.

We got up to Vegas with no problems and hung out a little with Megan, Carl and baby Aidan and then got up the next morning to pre-ride the course. We did one lap of the bike course (we would have to do 2 laps for the actual race), which turned out to be the most difficult ride either of us had been on. Bad choice. I would have been just fine not knowing what I was getting into on race day and having fresher legs.

Race day arrives, we get all of our things set up in the transition area, get our wetsuits on and head down to the beach of Lake Las Vegas. Rick's group leaves first and then my group leaves about 3 minutes later. Of course it's windy and the water is super choppy...that is always helpful. I love swallowing large amounts of lake water! We finally make it out of the lake. Rick's stuff is still at the transition point, so I figure I must have beat him out of the water (which was expected). We see each other for a brief moment at transition and then I take off on the dreaded bike course. Rick catches me pretty quickly on the bike (also expected), and I figure I won't see him until the finish.

I am hating every second of the bike leg, except for the fact that these pros are passing me (I'm on my first lap and they are on their second) and giving me encouragement! Everyone was so nice out on the course. Pretty cool. Also, it made me feel A LOT better to see the professionals walking up at least 3 of the hills as well (I'm not that big of a wuss after all).

We struggle our way through the bike and I think I had seen Rick not more than a mile a head of me at one point. Now, I head into the barren wasteland known as the run course with hopes of catching up with him, and surprisingly I do! However, when I catch up to Rick he is sitting in the dirt stretching his legs...not the way I wanted to catch him. He had been cramping up for a while. So we end up doing the run together. We walk some and run some and end up going across the finish line holding hands :) I know, super cheesy, but it was fun to hang out and finish together.

How did we place....let's just say that they gave out awards for the top 3 finishers in each age group for both men and women, and the person we finished closest to that actually got an award was a woman in the 65+ age group. (Ouch! haha!)

All-in-all it was really hard, but fun to have the memory and be able to tell our kids one day that we did a triathlon together. Will we do it again? Rick confessed afterwards that he never would have done a triathlon if I hadn't have brought it up and that he hated it and had no desire to do anther one. That is until a couple of weeks later when he told me, "I keep thinking about how bad I did and it makes me want to do another one." haha! So maybe we will do another one someday, but probably not a Championship course and more likely a sprint distance :)
Here are some of our "battle wounds".

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