My mother always told me that I didn’t know how to look for things. I think she was right. In early July last year, I was leaving a Tim Horton’s coffee shop in my town with family in tow. My wife asked me to go back in and grab a pamphlet on summer kids programs that was on the counter. I went back in and grabbed the only pamphlet I saw. My wife noted that I had gotten the wrong one, so I took a closer look. The one I had picked up was for the 2007 Windsor Triathlon.My friend Dave had moved out to B.C. after studying at the university and had gotten into triathlons. Of course, I only found out about it when he told me he had signed up for an Ironman event in 2007. As I stared at the Try-a-Tri division in the pamphlet, I thought “why not?”I had about five or six weeks to train and I can see now that I did not use the time wisely. On the morning of the tri, though, I was ready to go.I arrived pretty early. I was the first Try-a-Tri person there, which was evident just by the bikes people were unloading. I had a full suspension mountain bike, tricked out with road tires and aerobars. Everyone around me had rear wheels that cost WAY more than my entire bikeThe swim course was only 300 meters and the water was shallow enough to walk. I setup on the outside of the pack because I was concerned about being boxed in, and when the horn sounded, I swam like mad. I quickly noticed people walking and/or dolphin diving the course. Was this legal? I had no idea. Not wanting to be left completely in the dust I stopped kicking and started pushing with my legs. I felt like a tool, but it really didn’t seem like a good time to ask questions. I finished the swim in just over 5 minutes and headed up the beach into T1.In this race, T1, the bike leg and T2 were all part of the same time segment. Socks and shoes went on quickly as did the shirt which already had my bib pinned on. The bike leg was the most fun for me. I made up a lot of ground on the pack, but had no idea or interest in where my age group was. The only thing that really stuck in my mind was that I could feel the shocks absorbing my energy as I pumped away. I made a note to myself to ride a different (rigid) bike next time.Again, not knowing how things were supposed to be done, I came to a COMPLETE STOP at the dismount line and got off. I am glad I did it this way since my legs were still pumping in circles, and as I began to run to T2 I stumbled a few times. I made a note to myself to practice bike/run bricks next time. The bike (11k) and both transitions took 31 minutes.The transition was easy enough. Bike down, helmet off and run. My left leg started cramping during the first 250 meters, but I worked through it. I broke into a walk a few times on the way out, but found new strength as I reached the aid station at the turn around point. I took two cups of water, one for the mouth and one for the head. On the way back in I was actually able to catch up to a few people (let’s not talk about how many passed me). I even managed to pick off a guy in my age group in the last 200 meters.The finish was amazing. I had never been to one of these events before, so the carpeted chute, the announcer calling my name on the PA and my family at the line, cheering me on, made me feel like a champion. I loved it. I knew I wanted to come back for more.That was about nine months ago. As I type this, I am less than two weeks away from the first of five sprint triathlons that I have scheduled for this year. I have been training for three months already, and have lost more than 20 pounds from my triathlon weight last year. I am returning to the Windsor Try-a-Tri this year, using it as a training race for larger tris later in the year. I won't get the same welcome when I cross the line this year though. My wife won’t be waiting for me…unless, of course, she finishes with a better time.
Triathlon, Aikido, Music