For purely selfish reasons, I woke up at 3:30 last Saturday morning – after coming home from booty shaking and a little bit of boozing on Friday night at midnight and seriously considering just staying up – to drive 30 minutes to work for free in the hot sun (well, technically there was no sun that early, but eventually it got sunny and HOT).
Last weekend, I volunteered at the IronGear Sports Rio Salado Triathlon!
Since I’m planning on completing my first this year, I thought it would be a good idea to see what they’re all about and instead of going as a spectator, I loved the idea of actually being involved.
I started with marking the athletes before the race and then had a chance to watch the start(s) in the Tempe Town Lake before heading into the transition area to encourage, direct and hydrate the participants as they headed out for the run. Technically I was also enforcing the no headphones rule. THEN I did bike check outs.
Whew, long – but FUN – day! I was inspired and motivated by every athlete I talked to. I love the fact that so many people – I heard the number was about 600 – choose to DO LIFE in this way, choose to jump in a cold (official temp was 71) lake at 6:30 on a Saturday morning, choose to push themselves physically and mentally during training and the actual event.
I’m just gonna say it…triathletes rock.
A lot of my questions about joining the awesome ranks were answered, but a few more were raised. As I watched swimmers start of in close packs and some get pulled out of the lake at different parts of the swim for different reasons, I wondered if I could do a lake swim – for the cold factor and the freak out factor. That’s something you really don’t know until you actually try it anyway, I suppose.
Then I wondered if I’d be satisfied with completing a tri with a pool swim. I’m accomplishing this life goal for me, myself and I, so I’m the only one who can decide that.
As I said, I was the enforcer for no headphones on the run course, but I had NO clue this was a thing! Now I’m wondering if after swimming and biking, I’d be able to keep my butt in gear for the run without any tunes. And after a little searching after the event, I’m wondering if I could even find a tri that does allow it and still meets my expectations.
I’m also wondering how much more fun and awesome training and competing with a group would be after seeing friends and family participating together. Kinda thinking a lot and I’ve joined some tri-focused Meetup groups to hopefully meet some other crazy asses who think triathlons count as fun!