Ella and Jack participated in the Habitat for Humanity Kid's Triathlon on Saturday. This was the first time Jack has ever done a triathlon and Ella's second time. Nicholas decided he didn't want to do the tri this year.
Jack and Ella were both really nervous. We don't do anything to prepare for the triathlon and my kids aren't really swimmers. I mean they know how to swim, of course, but they aren't "swimmers."
We arrived at the venue and the kids picked up their chip timers and got body marked.
It was rather cold out on Saturday morning and everyone was wearing sweatshirts. I wouldn't have wanted to get in that HUGE, freezing pool. It was definitely intimidating and when Jack saw it he immediately started to cry.
I told him he was absolutely not allowed to cry and I told him how much I believed in him and I knew he could do it. He wiped his tears, but you could tell how nervous he was. He kept asking "what if" questions and I just kept reassuring him, he'd be fine.
Jack was set to go in the second heat at 8:06 am...
.... and Ella was scheduled to start in heat three, just 6 minutes later. That was NOT conducive to my watching BOTH kids and my picture taking. I did the best I could.
Jack seemed so little. He's 6 years old (almost 7) and had to race in the 7 to 9 year old category. That meant he (and Ella) would be swimming 50 yards, biking 1.5 miles and running .5 miles.
Jack lined up on the pool deck and you could tell he was a nervous wreck, but he just stood there and waited until it was his turn as we watched him from afar.
Ella seemed nervous, but not as nervous as Jack. She had the first year's experience under her belt and I think that helped put her more at ease.
Soon 8:06 am rolled around and it was Jack's turn to go. (Moments before this picture was taken, I had to have Nicholas run up to him and tell him to put his goggles down. It was 1 minute before the start and he's sitting there with his goggles on top of his head. He just listened to Nicholas and put them down and sat there like nothing had happened.)
When Jack started swimming, I quickly ran off to the "swim out" portion so I could catch him there. He was one of the last ones out of the water. It took him about 1:50 to swim 50 meters. When he got out, it was like he was dazed and confused. He was just kind of jogging and looking around. I think he was taken off guard by all the screaming people. Plus, everyone was saying "awwwwww look how cute he is." Jack also told me everyone all day kept calling him superman and it was "annoying." Once Jack heard my voice he ran toward me and he was all smiles. Just so cute.
After I saw him move to transition, I ran to the "bike out" part of the course. I waited there for what seemed liked FOREVER. Jack's swim and T1 time was 5:26. That means it took him over 3 minutes to run to his bike, get his shoes on and go. When he was coming out, he looked confused again and was going so slowly. The only thing is, he had a HUGE smile every time I saw him.
I told him to go, go, go and he pedaled on by me and up the hill going a tad bit faster.
The difference with Ella is she seemed to know just what she was doing. She didn't seem timid at all. Granted she wasn't breaking any land/speed records, but she was sure of herself and going at it.
Look at her, she even stood up going up the "big" hill.
It seemed like forever (AGAIN) to see Jack coming back on his bike. We watched kids zoom by going so quickly, I thought they would crash. Pretty soon Jack came around the corner and he looked like an old Sunday driver. I just had to giggle. He was definitely just out there on a leisurely stroll. I didn't care, he was too cute and he was definitely having such a good time. ALL SMILES again. His bike and T2 time was 11:31. (I think he transitioned a little better out of T2.)
He seemed to have gained a little confidence coming off the bike. He seemed to be on more of a mission on as he headed out on his run. I wish these pictures showed his BIG HUGE SMILES a little better. He was so darn happy the whole time and just too stinkin' cute.
After Jack headed out on the run, the second Sunday driver came around the corner. I had to just laugh at my kids. I mean did they know it was a RACE? Haha. I honestly didn't care. This isn't Ella or Jack's "thing." This is just something they were doing for fun and to me that's all that mattered-- them having fun.
She finished her bike in 11:58.
After I saw Ella come in on the bike, I moved to the finish line to wait for Jack. When he came around the corner, he was still all smiles. I told him to sprint it in.
He received his very first race medal and guess what?
He was all smiles.
I'm so proud of Jack. He really is still so little. When George and I joked and asked if he was going his fastest out on the bike, he said "nah, I didn't want to." Again, I don't care if he was first or last (he was last BTW in his age group) I just care that he had fun.
Ella also seemed like she was on a mission for her run. She was looking good and didn't seem tired.
It seemed like she was gone forever, but of course she wasn't. She said she walked a couple of times on the run. She did the half mile run in 5:28.
Ella crossed the finish line in 21:50 (clock is started and running with the first wave) which wound up being just 7 seconds faster than Jack. Ella had a goal to beat her last year's time (20:20) but she didn't do that. She was a lot faster last year on the swim and T1. She had to deal with shoes that tied this year and not velcro like last year so that might have been the difference. She was slightly faster on the bike and the run last year also.
Nonetheless, she was pretty proud of herself for completing the race and I was proud of her too.
Triathlon is definitely outside of Jack's and Ella's comfort zone yet they both jump right in and do it. I know they're not the best, but they try and they have fun and truly that's all that matters to me. I guess they learned that from me!!!
I hope they'll look back at these events and be glad they did them. I hope it's a source of pride for them as it is for me. Congratulations Jack and Ella!