An admitted shoe geek waxes philosophical about running, triathlon, and life in general.
Comments welcome!

Monday, July 2, 2012

The view from the back

I did my first tri since Labor Day this past Saturday. Quite a different experience than my normal race, to say the least.

This event, the Five Mile Lake Triathlon, put on by BuDu Racing , was a sprint (400m swim, 14 mile bike, 5K run) in Federal Way/Auburn, Washington. I've done this race several times, but this was the first time I did it this way -- I raced with my wife.

WITH her, as in by her side the whole way. Well, okay, I couldn't be "beside" her through much of the bike, or risk a blocking DQ...

We had decided to do the "Retro" division, which doesn't allow wetsuits or any aero equipment on the bike, and also has a retro-spirit award for the one who most exemplifies the origins of the sport. Speedos are definitely worth bonus points (Lisa, my wife, nixed that idea almost before I'd completed the thought), as are neon and down-tube shifters. This division also is a direct benefit to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). But we had signed up for this division so we could start together. In fact, the Retro division had its own start wave (last), and cheering/support section (the folks from JDRF, who did an awesome job making us feel like pros).

My daughter loves to help with body marking, and so she gets to take a few liberties with us. I added my own homage to my "retro-ism"... Retro? Hey, I was RACING in those days! Lisa added her own, in an inspiration taken from my "Hammer pants", with a "Too Legit to Quit" on her calf.

Pre-race, the JDRF folks were asking for poses and taking pictures... My wife posed with Squirt, who is both her mascot and the name of her bike (because it's a size XS). The "I <3 D.T." was my daughter's addition. I had a matching "I <3 L.T." on my shoulder.

Wading into the water sans wetsuit is something I rarely do in Washington. The water was even colder than the night before, when we went to packet pick-up and took at dip in the lake to "prepare" for the next morning. I don't know if that was a good thing or not -- I think the only thing it "prepared" me for was dreading a cold swim. You know, that point about mid-way up when things start REALLY getting cold...

With an already 3-minute deficit from the get-go on the rest of the field, it was pretty certain we'd finish at the back as well.

And yes, we made the whole distance just fine. My wife made it out of both T1 and T2 ahead of me, and we did the "family finish" with my daughter running in with us. JDRF gave us a tie for 3rd in the division, and we celebrated with a kiss at the finish line. Yes, we finished DFL, but we didn't care.

 And we got a growler of Mac & Jack's!

 It was a fun morning, with much less "game face" and worrying about having the perfect warm-up, lining up for the right start position, getting the primo transition real estate... It's too bad that there won't be a Retro division at the Bonney Lake Tri...


Unknown said...

That's awesome! I'd love to race with my husband. I think he'd be great at it. Congrats!

Tim said...

Love the jersey. I worked at Gregg's years ago; still one of my favorite shops! said...

Hey Jon here I am your fellow "Retroer." I never got the pictures for this event! and you seem to have lots of good ones! Could you email them to me! This was a lot of fun and it's cool that you have a blog this actually ties in to my blog and my email is Also did you get the email from the JDRF lady? if so what was it? :) well hope to see you next season at some tri's!

brider (aka David) said...

Hey Jon, it was a great event. I think my wife got the pics from JDRF directly.