[If the font is showing up weird or small for you, sorry. I can't get it changed on the first section]. 

Brent has been participating in a triathlon in a nearby town for the past couple of years, and it is one of his favorite events that he gets to do. "Gets" is in italics, because I would have to be forced. [I have let Brent know that this event is off limits to all future bets we make with one another.]

This year:

Brent was pumped about this year because last year he convinced my dad to give it a go, and he was going to be back out on the course, and together they had convinced Paige and Torri to race. They spent the past couple of weeks finding bikes and "fitting" them for the girls [road bikes are in a league of their own and involve "fitting", I guess]. They had swam together, run on their own, and even practiced their transitions to try and get their time slivered down as much as possible. 

So when 5:30 rolled around Saturday morning, Brent was decked in spandex and loading up his stuff. 

Mom came to pick the girls and me up around 6:30, and she was wise and brought me coffee. My girls are wonderful, wonderful children and don't get up at this time on a normal basis, so it was a little rough and slow moving for all of us. We got there around 7:10 and Brent had just jumped in the pool and Torri was already almost done! 

This event is a super- sprint triathlon, meaning the swim is 200 meters, the bike is 8 miles, and the run is 2.1 miles. No matter how you look at it, that is a lot of movement. 

I snapped a picture of Brent in the pool, and then got one of Paige, but Torri was already out and I had to head over to the bike transition before I could get one of my dad swimming: 

Swimming is no joke. If you have ever gotten in a pool and done more than lay on a float [ahem, that's me], you understand it is a workout! They all said the last 50 meters basically feel like you're drowning. I felt like I was drowning just watching them, so I believe them. 

Torri had a ridiculously fast swim time, coming in fourth overall for the women. Dang. 

They then had to jump from the pool, run over to their bike station, put on shoes and a helmet, and take off on their bikes [uphill!]. 

Brent claims he couldn't find his shirt, but I think he just wanted to be shirtless ;). Just kidding. He hated it. Cause that's the kind of guy he is. 

FYI, if you ever see me in spandex shorts like these girls you will realize just how good they make them look. 

They all did really well on the bikes. Paige and Torri hadn't been on road bikes until the week prior to this event, and they take some time to figure out, so this was impressive. My dad is like a professional bikesman, so obviously this was his best event. [He left a few hours after the triathlon for Iowa to ride 140 plus miles over two days in RAGBRAI. Like I said, professional. He owns spandex and bike jerseys and DVRs the Tour De France. So there's that, too]. 

At this point Becks finally got to eat for the morning… but was not very happy it came in the form of a bottle. Girlfriend, softball season is around the corner and you better get used to it!

My mom was a tremendous help because, honestly, I wouldn't have gotten there and unloaded and squared away with the girls until they were all crossing the finish line without her. 

 Not only did I have to wake up Blythe about an hour and a half before she normally gets up, but she had a cold. She didn't mind being lugged and wheeled around all morning. She finally started to wake up at about 9 or  so for the awards ceremony [mainly because there was food]. 

Blythe wore a Nike onesie to Brent's first tri, and it is still packed away so I had to bust out the Under Armor for Becks. Who knows, maybe she will be our little athlete? [It's okay if she's not… as long as she doesn't become a cheerleader ;)] 

Okay. Where was I? Oh yes, they were on the bikes. 

After the bikes, another quick transition [Brent looked for his shirt again, to no avail], and they take off on the run. [I must note here that Torri was the fastest female and only had three men ahead of her, Brent included, for this transition]. 

For most normal humans, this is the dreaded last leg. 2.1 miles after swimming and biking? No, thank you. But for Brent? This is his dream. As soon as he took off running, I knew I should start making my way to the finish line because I didn't want to miss him. Translation: it would take me about as long to push a stroller a half a block as it would take him to run sprint two miles. 

And sprint he did. He finished his run in 12 minutes and 52 seconds, for the fastest run time of the day out of all 117 participants. Without his shirt on. He would tell you, "The numbers were down this year…" ya da ya da ya da… but I think, no matter how you slice it, running six and a half minute miles after swimming and biking is a pretty incredible feat. 

The other three would back this up, I'm sure, as they all said quite disgustedly, "The run sucked."

If you've never been to an event like this, the finish line is such a cool place to be. I'm finally almost to the point that I don't get emotional over random people finishing with a look of utter amazement, exhaustion, and pride. And sometimes a vomit-face. I've learned to detect that early and look away.

As these four finished, and several others from our small town, it was so fun to hear their stories from "out on the course" and watch them compare notes with lilts in their voices that only comes from an adrenaline high.

Blythe showing her muscles. I had these pictures pulled up and she saw them and she said, "Papa runned. And Paige runned. And Torri runned. And Daddy runned. And Blythe had crackers and went down the big slide!"

She remembers the important things, people.

It's pretty cool that several people from our small town drive over for this event each year. It's quite an accomplishment.

Torri finished 9th overall for the women, and 2nd in her age group with a final time of 54:02

Paige finished 20th overall for the women, and 2nd in her age group with a final time of 59:43

My dad finished 30th overall for the men, and 1st in his age group with a final time of 57:39

Brent finished 4th overall for men and women, and 1st in his age group with a final time of 43:45

They're already making plans for how to shave off some time next year.

It's incredible to see people tackle things physically, and push themselves just beyond what they are capable of doing. Paige and Torri didn't decide until a couple weeks before that they were going to do this. And look what they did? My dad is 57, and look what he did?! And Brent, well, I never will get over how hard he works and how disciplined he is and he is always incredible to watch. Great job, you guys!

Blythe has also been to this even for three years in a row now:

Blythe's First year:

Blythe's Second year:

This year:

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Valerie Parman said...

Kelsey, You are so right about the finish line. I helped two years ago and missed last year. I volunteered again this year and just feel blessed to be involved. I am like you--it is not for me but love to see the finish of such motivating people.

Barb said...

Never say never, Kelsey...I started doing tris with Scott a couple of years after the kids were born. And I used to be a cheerleader. Imagine that. :)

Kyle said...

Good job as usual Kels. It was fun to see the event from your perspective. And thanks for the pictures!

Ellen said...

"Papa runned. And Paige runned. And Torri runned. And Daddy runned. And Blythe had crackers and went down the big slide!"
I love this. It's like Blythe's edition of this post. :)

Ellen said...

ALSO, some of us were cheerleaders and we loved it. And we turned out okay. ;)