Okay... I promised you I would blog about the Triathlon after I finished so here are the details. The event was the "Danskin" triathon held in Seattle. The hubbie and I left for Seattle early Saturday morning (it is a 4 hour drive) and arrived around 11:30am. It was mandatory that I pick up my registration packet and also rack my bike the day before the event. At registration and they also have a little "expo" with exhibitor booths and such. I walked right up to the registration booth (no waiting!!) got my packet with my number and my timing chip. My number was 414 and I had a sticker to put on my bike helmet, another to mark my bike, and then one to wear during the bike and run portion of the event. They also marked my arm with a black marker after checking my ID.
I walked into the expo and was warmly greeted by volunteers. I received an event t-shirt and some other goodies from vendors such as snack chips, nuts, a journal, and other little jim cracks.
I made it in time to attend the course orientation talk and q and a session. The speaker was a SEVEN time Ultra Triathlon finisher. An Ultra Triathlon is a 7 mile swim, followed by a 212 mile bike ride and a 56 mile run. Can you even imagine?? It is double the length of the Ironman. The Danskin is a Sprint level which is 1/4 mile swim, 12 mile bike and 5k run. It is 1/2 the length of the Olympic triathlon so really a good level for beginners.
After the expo, we drove over to Genessee Park and found the area where I was to rack my bike. I was in area C and I found a great spot on the outside edge by the porta potties and next to the fence. Only event participants are allowed in the transition area so my hubbie was able to find a place to be on the other side of the fence and see me while I got set up. There are 10 bikes to a rack and I found a rack with only one other bike. Since I was setting up later in the day I figured that there might not be any other bikes on the rack and I would have more room. As luck would have it,,,, it actually worked out that way! I had plenty of room to set up my gear.
When we got to the motel I sorted through all the items I had brought with me and made decisions on what to take with me to the event the next day. I tried on my tri outfit and then my wetsuit to make sure it all was workable. My hubbie told me if nothing else I looked the part lol.
I had been going back and forth about wearing a wetsuit. The water temperature wasn't cold enough to require one but since I am a weak swimmer I figured it would give me some float.
Sunday morning's alarm was set for 4:30am. Had to be at Safeco field to catch the bus to the event. They don't allow any parking at Genessee Park on event day so shuttle service is used and they said to allow 45 minutes to get to the park on the bus. My start time was 6:58am so figuring I should be there an hour early to get set up, get my wetsuit on, and I also wanted to have time to see the "elites" start. There were 8 "elites" and they were the 1st wave off. I was in the 5th wave and in total there were 27 waves. With 3000 participants you can figure they started around 100 at a time. By the time my wave left I saw some of the elites coming in from the swim. Wow were they fast!! The swim portion had me most freaked out. I am a weak swimmer and my goal was just to do whatever needed to be done to get through it. Swimming in open water is also a bit scary... not like in a pool at all. Here is a picture of my wave. I'm in the picture on the far right toward the back. You can see a bit of my blue top peeking out from the wetsuit under my arms.
The swim course was really safe with lots of volunteers monitoring the water in kayaks. They also had swim angels with noodles and such for people that ran into problems.
I can say that I was able to do the swim without any help. Since my adult swimming mostly consists of just paddling up to the pool bar that was an accomplishment for me. Note to self: Next year use water shoes. After exiting the swim, I could have saved some time and gone faster if I didn't have to cross asphalt and such in bare feelt. 2nd note to self... take some more swim lessons. Your time really sucked!!
I'll blog tomorrow about the bike and run portions of the race. Overall the event was a challenge for me and rewarding experience and I'm going to plan to do it again next year.
Thanks for stopping by and chat more later.