The transition into the run went really smoothly, much better than I expected in fact. After I dismounted the bike, I sprinted across the still damp grass into my transition spot and made a quick change into my Hokas, threw on my number belt, and grabbed my hat and before you know it I was headed out of the gate with a total transition time of 1:41. Most of this was due to the run from dismount to my location and then back out the gate into the run.
Getting the Legs Back
Just like the bike, the run starts on that same incline for the first 1/8th of a mile or so and then veers right taking a southeast track on relatively flat terrain. During transition, I made a conscious decision to grab some of energy chews to get some calories back in. I downed those quickly and got into my pace, marking up against a competitor that was running at about the same pace. For the first two miles, I kept up pretty well, but things were definitely rougher until I got my legs back from the ride. After making the U-turn at the 2 mile mark things picked up, my pace increased dramatically, and I felt much better and started passing folks. At this point in the run, we get to the 4 mile mark and merge with the sprint distance competitors which increased the group size dramatically. I decided to take the same tact I did during the swim and moved to the outside and found my own route.
Over the Bridge and Into the Finish
Those last 2 miles were a bit misleading as you think you are close to the finish line, but then you turn and head over the St. John’s bridge making another U-turn and then have to return. This means there is a little bit more climbing and the legs were starting to feel it. The quads also started tightening up a bit and I could feel some cramping coming on, but instead of playing it safe I decided to turn it up a notch. I knew the last mile and a half would be all downhill and I could just let my legs go, so I committed and went for it. The last several hundred meters was a mix of joy and tenacity as the legs were definitely read for it to end, but it was countered by seeing my family’s faces and hearing their cheers and that alone got me over the finish line.
In those last 50 or so meters, I grabbed both my sons hands and they ran across the line with me. It’s a moment that I will not soon forget and one that I will treasure for the rest of my life. It represented not only the completion of this journey, but hopefully it showed them what you can do if you put your mind to it. My total time for my run was 47:38, giving me an overall time for my first Olympic Triathlon of 2:23:16. I was just happy to be through it.
Wrapping It Up
When people ask me now how I did, I responded that I had two goals. First, to finish, and that seems simple enough but that’s where the second part comes in. I am very competitive with myself, so the second goal was to be able to say that I finished while performing to the best of my ability. I feel like I can definitely say that I did this given that I had PR’s in every category. Also, I never let the race stop me, I never walked, slowed, or wavered. When asked if I would do it again, I think it’s a lot easier to say yes now and to even look forward to greater distances. When you know what to expect, it easier to control your mental state beforehand, something I didn’t have before this started. Overall, I look at this as just the beginning and while I won’t only be doing triathlons going forward, I definitely will be doing many more.
I would definitely like to thank our sponsors for this because without them it wouldn’t have been possible. When we first spoke to the folks at Zoot Sports about this idea, they were supportive from day one. The gear was unbelievable and performed very well whether it was everyday training or during the actual event. TYR provided some amazing swim training gear that now has a ton of miles on it. Vega provided nutrition throughout and helped me keep my weight in control and kept me regimented in my routine. Rudy Project kept my eyes and head covered throughout and the results were phenomenal. On the bike, Argon 18 helped with a beautiful ride with their E116, ISM helped out providing us world-class saddles for training and competition, and XLAB provided us the hydration system. Lastly, the folks at The Swim It kept us safe in the water. Detailed reviews of many of these products will follow in the coming weeks.
Finally, a note about our sponsors, when we started this site our goal was to only work with companies that we truly believe in. We love their products, we use them personally, we trust them, and we would be happy to hand them to a friend. These companies were amazing to work with and we sincerely appreciate their support throughout.