Saturday, August 10, 2013

North Park Kids Triathlon Race Recap

Wow guys, this may be a gusher about my kids.  I apologize, but I am swelling with pride today over my kids' accomplishments.  

We spent all day yesterday at Kennywood (a local amusement park).  That was NOT good planning on my part, but it was what it was.  After a long day at the park yesterday, waking up at 6:15 am was not fun (for them or for me). 

I was so nervous all morning.  I'm not really sure why because I had all the confidence in the world about my kids' ability.  I guess it was just pre-race jitters.  

We go there early and lined up to pick up their chip timers.

And then we headed over to body marking to get their race numbers put on.

Both Nicholas and Ella were incredibly nervous.  Neither of them likes to swim that much, so doing a triathlon isn't exactly on their list of top things to do.  I asked them a long time ago if they'd do a triathlon this summer and both of them told me no, but Ella's swim instructor this year talked them BOTH into it.  Once they said yes, I registered them and never looked back.  Just as an FYI this race was 50 meter swim, 1.5 mile bike and 0.5 mile run.  They were both required to do the same distance as 7,8 and 9 year olds were in the same category.

There were definitely some serious athletes there today.  The age range for this triathlon was 7 to 15.  While I believe my kids are good ATHLETES, they aren't exactly triathlon trained.  We ride bikes around the neighborhood and of course we're running here and there, but I don't actively make my kids train for these type of events.  Ella took 5 swim lessons at the beginning of summer, but other than that we're just swimming around the pool.

I know a lot of the kids are in the same boat as my kids, and I think that's pretty amazing.  I mean how many of YOU would go out and just do a triathlon one day without any training?  So yeah, you get it.  ALL the kids there today were amazing.  I NEVER would have had the guts at their age to do something like triathlon.

Ella was in the 7 year old age group and went off in the first heat.  She was so nervous, but she never said she didn't want to do it or anything.  I know she just wanted to get the swim portion over with.  I encouraged her to swim her 50 meters without stopping, but I never thought she'd do it.

Next thing you know Ella's in the water with 30 seconds left to go.  

My baby grips the wall with her fingers and...

.... she's off.

Her little arms started moving so fast (for her) and she settled in right in the middle of the pack.   She swam the whole length without stopping!!!

I quickly hurried over so I could catch her on the bike-out.  I didn't wait long and there she was coming out and pedaling fast.

 She looked so happy with herself too and that made me happy.

The bike course was out far enough that we couldn't see her, so we spent the next 10 or so minutes waiting for her to come around the corner and into the bike-in chute.  Sure enough, she came around looking good.

As she started out on the run, I could tell she was hurting.  I cheered for her and told her she was doing great.

She smiled and high-fived me as she went by.

The run course was the same.  We couldn't see her while she was out running.  We just had to stand there and wait for her to come around the corner.  5 minutes takes an eternity.

I saw her little face peek around the corner and I told her to go, go, go as fast as she could.  She sprinted to the end.


Ella crossed the finish line in about 20 minutes (I'll add official results when I have them) and she was exhausted.

The first thing she said to me (after she was tired) was that she wants to do another one.  I think Ella's first Triathlon experience (of her own) was a success.

Luckily there was enough time where I could go over and see Nicholas start his race.  He was so, so nervous.  I would say he was even more nervous than Ella.  He's told me before that he didn't want to do Triathlon any more, but Ella's swim teacher was very convincing and she managed to get him to agree.  I think he regretted that decision this morning.

Pretty soon his wave was up and he headed over to wait his turn.  Still looking VERY nervous.   He told me several times, he was never doing this again.

It was so hard to sit there and just watch his nerves because I know exact how he was feeling.  Doubt. Fear.  I didn't doubt him for a minute.  I knew he would do well.  

Then his time came and he dipped in the water...

... and was off.

Nicholas isn't a fast swimmer, but he's determined and he didn't stop the whole way.  Still, he was probably 11th out of the water (out of about 23).

I knew when I saw him coming on the bike, he wasn't messing around.  He was definitely determined to make up his "lost ground".

I waited and counted the number of kids in his wave go by and he came around about 6th (I believe).

Well I said 5th and George said 7th, so I'm going with 6th.  Haha

Still he passed at least 4 or 5 people on the bike, so I thought that was great.

Similar to Ella, Nicholas was hurting a little coming out on the run.  You could tell he had been giving the swim and bike his all and didn't have a whole lot of "gas" left.  Still, I encouraged him to give it his all and go full speed.  He was probably thinking "yeah right".

When Nicholas came around the last corner he didn't have much left to give.  I told him to sprint it out and I could tell he gave it all he had left.

He crossed the finish line in about 15 minutes and some odd seconds.  I think he was just happy to be finished.

I'm so happy my kids did this.  It makes me proud and it's something that I'm sure helps improve their confidence.  I want my kids to know they can do ANYTHING they want to do, even if it's scary or not easy.  Triathlon is a way for both of them to prove to themselves that anything is possible with a little fortitude.

Congratulations Nicholas and Ella, mommy loves you so much.  First place or last, you make me proud just for trying.

Official Results: (apparently my estimation were really off  haha)


32nd overall 10th in age group Swim: 3:21 (this includes run out and transition)   Bike: 7:50 Run: 4:05 Total: 15:15

Ella:  155th overall   15th in age group   Swim:  3:46  Bike:  11:26 Run:  5:09 Total: 20:20


Nichole N said...

Awesome! Congrats to both of them! They really did great!

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