I completed my third triathlon of the season this last Friday night. It was called the Lunatic Triathlon because it was held the night of a full moon. There were 166 single participants and then 21 teams. So there were always 187 people either running, biking or swimming. I know that one person travelled all the way from Illinois and Arizona just to compete in this race.
It's not very common to have a triathlon at night, and that is why I signed up to do this triathlon. I'm always up for a challenge, so a couple of months ago I signed up for this triathlon.
The triathlon was held in Price, which is about 2 hours away from where I live, so I got a motel room for the night so I didn't have to drive home after the race.
I had to work the morning of the race, so like any other week day, I got up at 4:30 a.m. and went swimming and was up for the rest of the day. I worked 1/2 day and then came home and got my mom and loaded up the car and headed down to Price.
We got down there, checked in to our motel, relaxed for a few minutes and then we headed out to drive the route so I could see where I'd be running, biking, and swimming. Even though we had drove the route before going and picking up my packet and stuff, we got to the park early and went on a van tour that the race officials had coordinated for us. That was super helpful. The driver of the van was telling us everywhere there would be police and where there would be volunteers and stuff directing traffic. He was very helpful.
I always get nervous before a race. No matter how many races I've done, I still get nervous. After we had figured out the routes that I'd be running and biking, my nerves just got even worse. Alot of the run was uphill. It wasn't a giant steep hill, it was a gradual hill and that actually makes it a little harder. I can run up a hill, but it's hard. I'm better at running on a flat surface, but honestly, who isn't, ya know? Lol. Plus, I think I started the race out too fast. There were many a times during the run that I wanted to stop and walk, but I didn't. I knew if I stopped and walked, I would be disappointed in myself. There was one point during the run that they had a water stand for us, but it was up on the sidewalk and we were all running on the street, so not very many people took advantage of the water. We didn't want to jog out of our way and up on to the sidewalk to get the water. It was really cute though, when we turned the corner, you could see the cups of water that people had thrown on the ground after they had drank the water, and there was a little girl, oh she probably couldn't have been more than 5 years old shouting at all the runners "watch for water, watch for water". It was really cute.
I successfully ran the whole 3.2 miles and got back to my transition area and picked up my bike and headed out. This part was the scariest part of the whole race. When we picked up our packets, they gave us 4 glow sticks to attach to our bikes, 2 for our wrists and 2 for our shoes. They told us prior to the race starting that we were encouraged to wear light clothing and to get a headlamp or a headlight for our bikes. I got a headlamp, but it SUCKED!!! I seriously might as well have not had a headlamp at all. If I do this triathlon next year (which I want to), I will invest in a MUCH better headlamp. There was part of the race where there were no street lights and I was the only person on the road and it was darker than a stack of black cats. It was scary. So I kind of just rode down the middle of the road so I didn't go off in to the brush or anything like that. There were a couple of nice sized hills on the bike too, but overall not too bad.
I got back from the bike and stripped down to my swim suit and ran across the street to the pool. They had warned us that since the swim was last, if the pool was becoming bottle necked, they would slow the swimmers down as they were getting in the pool. The girl that was in front of me, she sat on the edge of the pool for probably a full minute before jumping in. That made me think that I had to wait a minute before getting in the pool, but the volunteer at the pool quickly told me that I didn't have to and so I jumped right in the pool and took off. I passed a couple of people in the first and second lanes and I got done with the swim fairly quick.
One thing that I found was odd about this triathlon was they didn't have timing chips like they did with all of my other races. I'm still not exactly sure how they recorded our time. As we hit the wall on our final lap of the swim, a volunteer leaned down and handed us a laminated card that gave us our overall placing in the race. I placed 129th. Then we took that laminated card and walked up the "beach" of the wave pool we swam in and walked through a balloon arch and gave the laminated card to another volunteer who wrote down our bib # and then we were presented with a metal. I always wear a watch when I compete, so as soon as I finished the race, I looked at my watch and it said 11:25 p.m. So I knew I finished the race in about 1 hr and 25 minutes. Alot better than I had anticipated, because I remember thinking during the run and the bike that this race was harder than I thought and I just wanted to finish the race. I didn't care if I didn't improve my time from my previous races. I just wanted to finish the race and I didn't want to finish last.
Saturday after I got home, I got on their website and found out that my official final time was 1:26:31. I was SO happy.
One other thing that I found kind of odd about this triathlon was their transition area. Normally a transition area of a triathlon has actual bike racks where you basically hang your bike by it's seat. But, in this triathlon, their transition area was weird. What it was, was on the campus of the College of Eastern Utah, they painted squares (probably 2 yds x 2 yds) on the grass with your bib # and that was your transition area. You laid your bike down in the transition area and everything. Kind of odd.
One thing that I did think was WAY cool though was, a week or so before the race, the officials of the race sent out a letter to the residents who lived on the routes saying that there would be a triathlon and that some of the streets may be blocked off or whatnot and to remind them of their leash law and that their dogs, etc., needed to be on a leash. Well, alot of these residents set up chairs on their driveway or front lawns and were cheering everybody on. They didn't know who we were, but they were cheering us on! I loved it! That's what keeps me going during the races.