So I did my first triathalon. Or at least first since the mid-90s. My friend Dave runs this little shin dig called the Friendy Tri; a very low-key sprint distance triathlon in Louisville. Fourteen of us gathered for 500 meters in the outdoor community pool, a 12.4 mile loop on the bike (most of which is on my regular commute anyway), and then a 5k loop on foot finishing at Dave’s driveway followed by beer, BBQ, and tall tales of all sorts.
Let’s get one thing straight: I am not a swimmer. Oh, I can swim well enough to get from point A to point B (eventually), but it’s not fast nor pretty. I can pass muster as a cyclist if you don’t look too closely (my legs aren’t shaved and my jersey is unadorned by corporate sponsorship, real or imagined) thanks in large part to my spanky new bike. The running, well, yeah, I’ve done some of that. So okay, why not tri something new (yuck yuck).
As I said, I am not a swimmer. This was made abundantly clear as I walked, dripping and alone, out of the pool, in last place by over five minutes. I’d thrashed my way (with breaks between every two laps) through ten laps in the pool in just shy of 16 minutes and, frankly, I was pretty pleased about that. Still, there was a lot of time to make up.
The bike leg went a bit better as I set off hell-bent for leather on catching at least one of my competitors. Up the big hill on McCasslin, then down the bigger South Boulder Road hill toward Cherryvale, I chased one cyclist after another only to find that they were Sunday riders not racers. I finally passed Kelsey and Sadie, Dave’s teenaged neighbors at mile seven, but they were on mountain bikes, so it doesn’t really count. Back east on Baseline and up a long climb before turning into the bike paths of northern Louisville. I caught Casey, Matt, and Tracey at the top of the steep, switchbacked “Alpe d’Louisville” at mile 11, then bombed down the sidewalks and paths to Dave’s house.
The second transition went a lot faster than the first as I ditched bike gear, put on running shoes and set off, determined to get this over with and maybe catch someone else. The course didn’t go where I expected and it was starting to get hot. Still, 3.1 miles is pretty tame by my standards even at a faster-than-usual 8:12/mile pace.
I could see Renee in the distance and was slowly reeling her in, but never quite made it. Gratefully, I collapsed on Dave’s lawn at 1:27:38. Not bad. 8th overall (out of 14). It’s clear where my strengths lay. I was 13th in the swim (one of the teenage neighbors didn’t swim), 5th in the bike, and 3rd in the run.
Swim (500 meters): 15:45 (13/14)
transition #1: 3:33
Bike (12.4 miles): 41:56 (5/14)
transition #2: 0:58
Run (3.1 miles): 25:25 (3/14)
Total: 1:27:36 (8/14)
While I’m all about being a jack of many sports, master of none, I like to stick to single sports at least from one day to the next. Also, my forte is endurance, not going like a bat out of hell and hoping I can hold on. But anyway, it was an interesting and super fun time. Many thanks to Dave for his meticulously planned and marked course and all the other Friendies for their, well, friendly attitude of good fun.