I am proud to announce that I have officially completed another successful triathlon! Though not as pretty, and definitely not as tasty, I completed the Hervey Bay Triathlon as finisher #40 out of 86!
Now on paper, 40 out of 86 doesn’t sound so shabby, right? It seems as if my “training” prepared me to put in a good race and finish in the 50th percentile.
Hahaha boy oh boy does that make me laugh!
Now let’s back track to when I signed up for this race. I had seen some folks training for an upcoming tri and so I went home to investigate. The bigger more hyped Hervey Bay 100 Triathlon takes place here in late November, at which point I will have continued on with my travels. So, when I had discovered that the Hervey Bay Triathlon Club was to be holding one in just nine days, I jumped on the opportunity.
I had access to a bike, the starting point was just 5 miles away from where I am staying, and I had the day off. Everything seemed to align perfectly!
I arrived at transitions at 5:30am for a race that I believed was to begin at 6am. So I was a bit wary when there was only two other bikes set up and I only saw kids ready to compete.
After checking in (and being asked if this was my first Tri based off of the 20 year old bike and helmet I was sporting), I had learned that there were 86 senior athletes and that the race was to begin “Roughly” at 7:00am. One thing was for sure, I wasn’t in Chicago anymore. All I could think about was what a contrast this would be from the 8,000 man Tri I had participated in back at home just 2 months prior.
After the course briefing and everyone walking down to the shore, I noticed that the water was black! Dark, cloudy, salt water mixed with seaweed and other ocean gunk. Yuck! As the first heat of athletes started their race, everyone began running through the water. Not a single person was swimming with their face under water. As the blow horn signaled my turn to start, I quickly realized why this was the case. The foul taste of fish mixed with the already unpleasant sea water made this one of the most unpleasant things I have ever tasted. But once we got deep enough into fresher water, I thought I’d be golden.
I thought I would fly through the rest of the swim and be in good standing for the start of the bike transition. As I jumped on my bike, I very very quickly realized this was not the case. Though very grateful to even have access to a bike at all, I was a bit wary that the screws were going to fly off and the bike was going to rust apart throughout the ride. This was apparently very evident to everyone else as well, as after I got lapped several times, I was always passed with a “Keep it up Mate” or “Good on ya!”
For obvious reasons, I couldn’t get off that bike quick enough. I finished up the run without a hitch, while keeping up with all of my “friends” I had just made previously.
Though it may not have been pretty, I sure am glad I crossed that finish line!
Now as to whether or not I will seek out another triathlon as I continue on with my travels, I am a bit skeptical.