Cay-See and I headed up to Georgia on Friday afternoon and of course had to stop a few times to fuel up on random snacks and freebase Skittles! And my fave, Cheez-Its. Since we were in Georgia I felt it necessary to grab a photo with the pecans, peanuts, and Cowboy hat.
Since we arrived pretty late we were both excited to sleep in until 7 AM. (Sweet Jesus when did I turn into my grandma?) After a light two mile run we headed up to the host hotel to meet up with our peeps, get our packets, and peruse the expo. A few folks decided to test out the river and their wetsuits. Apparently, the water was just cold enough for wetsuits and only had a billion pounds of marshy muck. Yum!
At the expo I finally got to meet Summer! Why yes, I am hugging her leg. The story here is that when we were chatting via Facebook I told her that it’d only be weird when we met in real life if she hugged my leg. To which she replied about being a sneak up leg hugger and thus, the challenge of leg hugging was born. Let it be noted that this should now be a rule when meeting other bloggers for the first time. Leg hugs all around!
After much leg hugging, Cay-See and I headed to the transition area to rack her bike. Since I was the running relay member I got the benefits of going in and out of transition without all of the work. Yay for not schlepping a bike!
Cay-See was ready to go and as you can see there were a LOT of racers. Having never competed in an official Ironman event, I can see why they cost what they do. Honestly, they have thought of everything and really try to make it as safe and as efficient as possible. To that end, I’ll point out that we did go to the pre-race briefing at the expo and it was absolutely worth it to a noob like me. I didn’t know that the USAT drafting and WTC drafting lengths were different or that men had to wear shirts. I was also surprised to learn about this….
No one ever told me about this whole penalty box deal so I was really surprised when I heard that if you got a penalty for drafting you had to go wait in this tent while they held a stop watch for you. I find this hilarious and crazy all at the same time. I imagine with so many racers it could be tricky to stay the appropriate length behind. I won’t have this problem since I can’t catch anyone to draft off them. Ha ha.
So, fast forward to big group dinner. Pasta was had and everyone got a good night’s sleep. Well as good a night’s sleep as you can knowing you are about to be ONE HALF IRONMAN. Or in my case, ONE THIRD OF ONE HALF IRONMAN. Heh.
Race day morning Cay-See and I headed to the swim start and met up with my teammates, their significant others, and Tiny Tish and her hubs. We had about eleven friends completing the half and the three of us doing the relay as Two Chicks and A Rick.
Sweet shirts right? I love them.
As all my buds and my teammate, Aloha Kris, lined up for the swim start I trekked it back to transition. Since the swim was point-to-point we had walked quite a bit that morning. Great job to teammate, Aloha Kris, on her swim! She rocked! I definitely walked more before this race than any other race I’ve done and did a ton of spectating. I watched the pro’s take off in the river and then I watched all my buddies start. I got to transition in time to see Aloha Kris come in and hand off to our cyclist, Rick. And then I waited.
Fifty-six miles is a long ride. (Thank you Rick!) And it was getting warmer and warmer while I waited. I tried to relax but I kept seeing people come in and I was getting amped and just wanted to run. As soon as I spotted Rick I was jumping up and down and cheering for him. I grabbed the chip anklet and headed out for a run. It was about 1 PM and the angry sun was out in full force.
I started the 13.1 miles with the intent of keeping it easy and staying as close to a 2 hour half as I could. I would have no trouble with this because it was super hot and I was feeling it. I say this honestly, I felt bad being on a relay team. Here I was moving past people and thinking about how effing hot I was when they had been busting their humps since 7 AM. I had fresh legs and felt like crap when I passed people. I felt the need to explain that I was on a relay team even though the big letter “R” on my calf was a give away. Everyone was really cool on the course and I helped where I could. I walked through water stops and when I met up with Tiny Tish we chatted for a few steps. I’m pretty sure I told her how amazed I was by her and everyone else doing the entire half IM because I was sweating and panting and here I was, just doing the run portion. Hats off to everyone who raced!
Needless, to say I finished just under 2 hours and my team came in 25th out of 51 mixed teams. Not too shabby for Two Chicks and A Rick! I really benefited from doing this race as a relay because I learned so much about the event. I had a great time spectating and I was happy to be a part of the team. Hopefully next year I can complete the distance all by myself. I’ve been bitten by the tri bug and the bite’s only getting itchier…wait. That sounded gross.
Congratulations again to Cay-See and Tiny Tish on their first 70.3! You gals kick butt. And of course congrats to all who raced on a hot day.