In my last blog post, I mentioned sharing the story of my first triathlon, turned biathlon. Read on…
If any of you are from the Philadelphia area, you’ll likely recall the torrential rains, flash floods, wicked lightening storms we had in late July and early August. One such storm occurred on the morning of August 2nd. This was the morning I was racing in my first triathlon, SheROX, taking place in Fairmount Park. On that morning, I woke up before my alarm to a familiar sound. “What’s that”, I thought? “No, it can’t be thunder. It’s not going to storm today.”
Fast forward a couple of hours. I’m standing in the field at Fairmount Park, wearing the rarely seen triathlon ensemble, a hot pink swim cap, my trisuit, and my running shoes, awaiting a decision by race officials. The decision in question was whether to allow the swim or to cancel it. If canceled, the half-mile swim would be replaced with a mile and a half run. Standing there looking at the Schuylkill River, I have to say, I have no idea what took race officials an hour to make the decision to cancel the swim. I will spare you the details of what was floating down the river. Though I did not personally see it, news reports said that a dead body was one such item. Even so, I was disappointed not to finally conquer my first open water competitive swim.
Fast forward another couple of hours. I finished the first run portion in 11-minutes, grabbed my bike, and ran out of the transition area. I have a really great road bike that I was lucky enough to score from a female Hawaii Ironman Champion living nearby. So I’m flying along on my bike, having a blast passing people, when all of a sudden it starts raining. No, let’s make that pouring. I was still having fun until the spills and crashes started to happen (not me thankfully). I decided I should probably slow down (a little). Which I did and safely finished the bike portion and was off for the final run. I crossed the finish line with my husband and kids cheering me on!
I was standing in line for a leg massage, when the STORM hit. Thunder so loud it shook the ground like an earthquake; Lightening bolts struck seemingly within feet of where we were standing. And the rain! It was like having buckets dumped over your head, one after the other. News reports said that Philadelphia received 5 inches of rain in 2 hours that day! That’s a month’s worth of rain in 2 hours! Fairmount Park quickly turned into a bunch of ponds with some grassy areas in between. Race officials eventually closed the racecourse and urged people to return to their vehicles, which were parked literally a mile away. Not feeling like taking chances with my two small children, my family and I huddled inside a trailer for a while. Eventually, the worst of the lightening passed and we began our long walk back to the car. And to an eventful ride home. One road after another was closed due to flooding, rockslides, bridges out. Ironically enough, by the time we got home, the sun was beginning to shine.
Later that evening, I went online to see my race results, which were pretty good. Until I began to think, had the first run really been a swim, it would’ve easily taken me 15+ minutes longer to complete. And I would never have made it through the transition area so quickly either. I still hadn’t completed a triathlon! I immediately searched TriMax Triathlons website and registered for the Blue Marsh Triathlon on Sept 20, 2009. Please everyone, do your sun dances and send prayers out for clear skies!