Background:All I can say is that completing my first sprint tri was an emotional experience. I finished the event on Saturday with an overwhelming feeling of satisfaction. I was able to get a group of guys together in 2003 to compete in a sprint tri, but the swim was cancelled so it was not the full experience.This past spring I realized a few of us were heading in the wrong direction physically. We were getting together for poker games and kids’ birthdays, but that was it. I decided to get six of us together to train for the Dewey Beach Sprint Triathlon, and so it began. The following few months were tough going, but we were able to get together for bike rides and occasional runs. I was able to train strong for the run and bike, but my swim training was limited to weekends in the pool with the family. I am not a great swimmer to start with. I know, you’re supposed train your weakest event the most. I did the opposite and did not spend time in the pool or the ocean. Race Day:By the time race weekend arrived, my run times were where they needed to be, my biking was progressing and the swim was a frightening thought. Two of our group of six did not make the event for medical reasons. The remaining four of us showed up on race day with mixed emotions and goals. Some of us wanted to simply finish and some had times they wanted to beat. I was one of the "simply finish" group, as the half-mile ocean swim was a terrifying thought.
We were all in the first timers’ wave and waited patiently for our turn at the race to the first buoy in the ocean. When the horn sounded, I took my time getting through the waves, and reached the first buoy. The water was relatively calm and I was able to keep a slow constant pace throughout the swim. I reached the final buoy and headed to shore. I was drained, but felt energized by the fact that I survived. As I passed my girlfriend on the beach I said, "Why am I doing this?" The transition from swim to bike was slow going as I tried to gain my balance. Once on the bike I was able to maintain the speed I was looking to achieve.
The transition from bike to run was relatively quick and painless. The final leg of the run was tough as my legs were done. It felt like the faster I tried to run, the slower I would go. When I heard a volunteer say that I had less than a half mile left I kicked up the pace. The last hundred yards I sprinted and finished strong. My overall time was not great but for my first time I am proud!Thoughts:When I crossed the finish line I was physically and emotionally spent. This was an emotional victory. I hope that I have the same sense of satisfaction for all future events. I was excited that I completed the event and enjoyed my girlfriend’s support all through the training and race day. As I continue my training for the next event, I will get the proper swim lessons and train accordingly. My goal now is to improve my times and become stronger physically. I recommend the Dewey Beach Sprint Tri to all as the event coordinators and volunteers provide great support and go out of their way to make you feel relaxed and safe!Greg