13-year-old girl's first Olympic triathlon

author : Mandoline
comments : 6

The epic adventure of my first Olympic Tri at 13 years old.

An Olympic triathlon. I guarantee you...it's harder than it seems. I was about 9 years old when I was introduced to the triathlon. At 11 years old, I did my first Kid's Triathlon and at 12 years old, I was prepared to do a Sprint. It wasn't too bad. So then the next year, I decided to try the one and only ... Olympic triathlon. What an adventure.


I had a simple Olympic triathlon based plan and I followed it for about 9 or 10 weeks. My whole summer was devoted on training for this event. Let me tell you something: Doing each individual event is a piece of cake. When you put them all together ... it is something completely different. My dad would always tell me: "No amount of training will prepare you for what an Olympic really is." So true. Racing and training are two completely different things. In what ways? Well.. the pain of racing is never experienced while training. Guaranteed.


The week of the race, the race director called to make sure my parents had my permission and also to make sure I knew what the heck I was getting into. Trust me, I was fully aware. To be honest, the phone call from the director threw me off a little bit. My thought process was something like this: "If he doesn't think I can do it, then am I getting ahead of myself?" But then my parents would tell me that he didn't know me and how hard I had trained for this. Thank goodness for reassurance. The day before the race, we headed down to get packets and all that fun stuff. Then on race morning, we got down to the reservoir and waited for the madness to begin.

Swim: (38:16) [1 mile]

I love open water swimming. Just being alone with your thoughts is definitely enough to keep me swimming for infinity. I had no problem with the one-mile swim. We got in the water, the gun went off, and we went with it. ("We" being my dad and I; who thankfully stayed with me throughout the whole race.) Arms flailing, legs kicking, breaths breathed. Exhilarating. Reaching the turnaround buoy, we had already caught up to some of the slower males (the males started 5 minutes before). We continued to go on. About 3/4 of the way done, the madness began. By that time, the Sprinters showed up. The kicking and flailing arms was now multiplied by two. Yay. Nevertheless, the race goes on. But my cap and goggles had a different idea. My cap decided to slip off my head taking my goggles with it. Luckily, we got my goggles back on and let the cap go. (It's kind of sad to think about my race cap in the bottom of some reservoir... oh well) As soon as I could touch, I ran out of the water and into T1.

Bike: (1:33:38) [24 miles]

Sadly, biking is my weakness. I am by no definition, a good biker. But life goes on. We started off at a pretty good pace (between 18 and 21 mph). About a third of the way in, the Olympians turned and headed towards massive hills. My pace slowed down and I got tired, I must admit. Then, as we're turning, I see this insanely ginormous hill. Woo Hoo. I switch down to my lowest gear and start climbing. The hill wouldn't have been so bad ... if I didn't have a giant semi driving right behind me. But it all worked out. Then on the way back to T2, we hit some more hills and I didn't have the greatest pace but I was relieved to see the transition.

Run: (1:04: 32) [6.2 miles]

I love to run. I've been running for as long as I can remember. I did elementary school track and even went to the state championships. Then in Middle School, I continued to do track and I also joined the Cross Country Running team. Running is my passion. But running after biking and swimming ridiculous distances was not ideal. But hey, I had fun! To be completely honest, my run was all over the place. Fast, walk, sprint, pace. Whatever I felt like. Towards the end of the run, I tried to stick to a constant pace so I could finish strong. Coming into the finish line is the best feeling you can ever experience. Nothing beats it. The feelings of accomplishment, success, everything paying off and being worth it just overwhelm you. The cheers, claps and cowbells literally make you want to go faster. But I was glad when it was over. Right when I finished, I got welcomed by my mom and my sister who were constantly there, cheering me on. I couldn't have done it without them. Or without my dad. He is the best. I love him and all that he does for me.

Post Race:

I came out with a total time of 3:22:46 which was fine by me. We went over to the awards ceremony where I was named Idaho State Champion Triathlete Females 13-14. That was worth it. So was the trophy. Everything was so accomplishing and it is definitely the hardest thing I have ever done ... so far.


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date: August 31, 2011


Triathlons (duh), my dog, reading and spending time with my family


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