This past weekend Janell, Debi and two exceptional women (Katie and Amanda) traveled to Forrest City, Arkansas to compete in the 30th Annual Mighty Mite Triathlon. Adventure is the perfect way to describe this trip. It was a trip full of fun and laughter!
The Mighty Mite Triathlon constitutes 1/3 mile swim, 13 mile bike, and 3 mile run. Since it was a point to point race (both of the transitions and racing legs were at different locations) it required a little extra planning so we decided to book a hotel and give ourselves some extra sleep time before the race.
First stop of the day was packet pick up, transition 2 drop off and body marking.This was just one of many funny events of the day.
|Mess up, scribble and circle it?|
Next, we went to the swim location and set up the bike transition and get ready to race. Again, this was a day of patience and planning as Amanda got a flat, but luckily it was repaired quickly by some very kind racers.
Janell and I (Debi) then proceeded to walk down to the water to get acclimated and see the course. And this is where I lost it! Seeing the actual swim course, and realizing the distance was overwhelming. Tears flowed out of control, and fear rolled in. How can I do this? I've never swam that far! What do I do when I loose my breathe? Many dear friends tried to calm me down and encourage me, and for each of you I am so very thankful. Thoughts raced through my head and most were to quit right then; why try for something you know you cannot complete?
I didn't know what to do next, so I just lined up with everyone still unsure if I would start. And then it came time to jump in and I did it not knowing what would happen. I realized I was in trouble before crossing the first buoy, and swam to a nearby lifeboat. I thought I was done, disqualified! They were so supportive and said I could hold on to catch my breathe as long as needed and continue...I had hope!! So I continued on and struggled, I stopped at another lifeboat, and realized some swimmers were doing the same. This was ok! A special friend then called out some words of encouragement as she passed and that did it for me, I was finishing. It was tough, but whenever it got hard, I just rolled on my back, slowed down my heart rate and kicked.
The rest of the race was great, the bike portion had rolling hills and beautiful scenery. As for the run, so many people were out to cheer racers on, and they had their sprinklers and hoses on ready to spray us down with water if needed. With the run taking place in the heat of the day it was so refreshing. The finish line was a tease where it looks like it is right in front of you, but oh no, you have to run 4 more blocks till you get to cross that bad boy and enjoy some fluids and fresh Arkansas peaches.
New to the race this year, were finisher medals for all participants to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the race. It was a nice surprise and think they turned out great.
As always, Start 2 Finish did an amazing job planning the race as well as on course support. All of their staff are always eager to help and not afraid of the hard work it takes to put on a race of this magnitude.
Something that was really special about this day, was that each of the 4 of us came out there with a different goal that we had met by the end of the day. As for any race, it takes a lot to mentally prepare yourself to plan for, remain in the moment and then to complete. Our good friend Amanda completed her first race post baby (7 weeks out I might add) while my goal was simply to complete it which I proudly did! Janell and Katie had a great race experience as well! It was a great day for everyone and as always so much more fun when you are all reaching your goals with some great friends.
Finally, we want to commend everyone that raced, way to go! We saw and experienced a level of camaraderie of epic proportion. Everyone was so supportive. Even as the final racer was coming in, everyone cheered them on as they crossed the finish line.