My thoughts? I'm glad you ask...besides thinking they were partially crazy, I thought that doing an Ironman is a life goal that a lot of people train their whole lives for. If you finish one at 25, what's left to do? It is the pinnacle of all races! They didn't listen to me, of course, and carried on. With that came intense training and a lot of discipline. They had 3 checkpoints on the way to meeting their goal: Sprint Tri, Olympic Tri and Half Ironman.
1st checkpoint: Completed
2nd checkpoint: See below...
Yesterday was the much anticipated event, the olympic triathlon in Waco consisting of a 1500 meter swim in the Brazos, 25 mile bike and a 6.2 mile run. I don't know if that registered just now, but that is a long way! I was nervous for them. Swimming that far in a pool is one thing, but in a river where you can't touch is something else scary. Then follow it up with a lengthy bike ride and wash it all down with a nice, long run...in July.
Sunday morning came early, 4:30 AM to be exact. They did great, awesome actually! The guys got up to get their gear together and head to the race site early enough to get their bikes inspected and situated in the transition area. This is the designated area for the participants to transition from the swim-bike and bike-run, hence the name. The bikes are hung neatly on racks displaying their racing number and towels are stretched out on the ground to mark their territory in the transition area. The faster you transition, the better, and the veterans have it down to a science! Their shoes are already clipped on their bikes and they get dressed while they ride. Impressive, especially considering I can't even ride without hands.
The race began in waves dictated by age group. Each group has a different color swim cap and your age is written on your leg in permanent marker. This made it fun for us to guess how old someone was when they ran by. We got pretty good at guessing; however, the 54 yr. old with dentures threw us off a little. Apparently, this wasn't as much fun for the racers. Tate and Dad said someone would zip by you then you would look at their leg and see "60." A bummer or motivator depending on how empty/full your glass is.
Mom and I slept in 2 hours longer and got the race right before the first wave went off. We found our triathletes. One in a green swim cap marked "24" and the other in a blue cap marked "50." They were pumped, but trying to remain calm. Tate's motto is "swim smart, bike hard, run tough." After wishing them good luck, they took their place in the Brazos and Tye, Katie, Mom and I found a good spot to sit beside the river.
The first group was off! Then Tate at 7:18, and Dad at 7:24. They looked very profesh with their heads down, pacing themselves. It was fun to see the colored caps passing each other. You could see who was fast and who was not so fast. After A LOT of swimming, they exited the water under their designated goal time.
On to the bike! They transitioned into their shoes, jersey, helmet, sunglasses, number and were off! As they turned the corner to start their 25 mile trek, the fan club (Mom and I) took pics, held our sign and cheered on #142 and #147. We had plenty of time to grab a pastry and coffee before seeing our triathletes finish the bike.
Now the run! They took on the hills of Cameron Park before crossing the Suspension Bridge to the finish line. The hours in the pool, long rides and runs in the humidity must have paid off. They both finished in under than 3 hours, beating their goal! The fan club was so excited to see them cross the finish. Way to go Team Barrett and Team Nicholson! We are so proud of your hard work and accomplishment!
2nd Checkpoint: Completed
3rd Checkpoint: Half Ironman 70.3, coming soon!