Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Tri for a Cure~It's Race Day!

It's Race Day!! It's Race Day!!

With Lola overlooking the swim area of the tri

Sunday was race day and I woke up all excited to head up to SMCC to watch the tri. I picked out Lola's outfit (pink of course!) and made sure that my hot pink Volunteer shirt made it into the dryer so I could wear it again. It's a good thing PINK is my favorite color. I packed up the camera, pink pom poms, a whistle and other necessities into my super-cool Tri for a Cure swag-bag I got on Saturday.
First things first-get my workout in! I decided that I wanted to RUN to the gym so I did just that~got in a nice upper body workout and then met up with Hubby and Lola to get some errands done.
The original plan was to head up to South Portland with my Mom but when I checked in with her to solidify plans for the day, my Dad was coming too! were my two nieces, Sara and Emma. I was so happy that the family was joining me for the day and there were feeling the same excitement I was about the tri!
I really should have planned to leave a bit earlier (as hubby suggested) than 12:45pm (the race started at 2pm) because the traffic was RE-DIC-U-LOUS. From Broadway all the way to the college it was bumper to bumper~cars could not even get through the changing lights. I witnessed one tri athlete get out of the vehicle she was in and jump on her bike with all her stuff and start pedaling into the campus. I can just imagine her frustration and nerves being held up in the traffic when the race was starting in about 30 mins.
We ended up parking about 3/4 of a mile away from the campus and walking. I was a bit worried about my Mom since it was getting pretty hot and her RA does not really allow for her to do all kinds of walking. I was ready and prepared to give her a piggy back if needed or throw her in the BOB jogging stroller if need be!
I really wanted to get a good view of the open water swim and bike transition areas so once we got close to the campus, I ran ahead to scope things out. Turns out that no one really knew where to direct us so after several (failed) attempts at reaching the swim and/or bike transition we finally found a way to view the swim.

The view over the crowd-I held my camera WAY up to get this shot!
When I finally got there however, you could not really see a thing. The athletes were down near the water and the spectators were up on top of a hill overlooking the area. The crowd was thick and there was no penetrating the crowd to get a good view. My Dad noticed a trail off to the side of the hill, over part of a fort and down that led to the swim area and suggested I do some trailblazing. Good old Dad, always coming up with a way to get in the action.
So I scaled down a very steep rocky hill scraping up my legs on the thorns of the beach roses then over more rocks and past a very grumpy security guard yelling at people to get down off the fort walls. I finally got down onto the swim area and the survivor wave was going for their swim.

Part of the rocks/trail I climbed
over to get a better view of the swim area

Then I noticed a bunch of people climbing the side of the hill to watch the swimmers so I decided to join them. After watching a couple waves, I climbed back up the hill and met up with the rest of the family.

A much better view from the hillside (top) and the Tri athletes awaiting their swim wave (bottom)

There was a short run from the swim to the actual bike transition area~some athletes were running with wetsuits, some barefoot and some covered in sand and dirt from what I assume is a fall during that first short transition. There was one young athlete that stopped several times to fight waves of nausea/dry heaving. My heart went out to this young lady~I can just imagine the mix of nerves and adrenaline following the swim!

The athletes make their way from the swim to the bike transition

Then we made our way over to the bike transition area so I could watch and maybe pick up a tip or two. I witnessed a mother and daughter team dressed alike at the transition -I don't know their "story"-Is the Mother a survivor? Is the daughter?-but the daughter was obviously an athlete and had done this before. She was so patient helping her Mom out in the transition area, getting her gear together, her helmet on and getting Mom onto her "cruising" bike while the daughter jumped onto her very nice tri bike. It brought tears to my eyes. Someday would Lola and I be doing races? Could I get my Mom in a place physically where we could do something like this together? Or even the three of us?

Bike Transition (obviously)

Taking a break with Lola from dancing-we have some sweet moves!

We then moved onto another area to watch the bike portion of the race. On our way there we stopped at the event field where a few of the vendors were set up and got ice cream for the girls. Lola and I danced around like fools to the super loud music because that's what we do!
Then we watched the bikes for a while-cheering everyone on!

The athletes start the 15 mile bike portion of the Tri just after transition

It was getting late in the day and it was time to get going. I really did not want to fight traffic like we had coming into the event. Lola was getting restless, Sara and Emma were getting bored and I could tell my Mom was getting tired too.

Lola checking out the bike portion; she was a great cheerleader!

On the walk back to the car my Mom informed me that she and Dad had a gift for me. I was a tab bit confused but she handed me a rectangular box with a bright pink bow on it. I opened it and it was a framed picture of the open water swim from last years Tri for a Cure. My Mom informed me that this was a gift to motivate me over the long cold Maine winter to prepare for next years event. It was also a remembrance of our day together. Once again I found myself holding back tears and emotions; gratitude, joy, love...I was just so touched that my parents KNOW how much my active life means to me and to give me such a thoughtful gift was really priceless.

The framed pic from Mom and Dad. I have yet to figure out the perfect spot for it!

I will definitely be a part of Tri for the Cure next year-as a volunteer and hopefully an athlete as well. As soon as I find out when registration is for the 2011 event you bet I will be up at midnight to get online. Maybe I will be one of the lucky ones and get a spot. If not, I will be cheering on everyone who does get in.

Oh and by the way, I'm still waiting for a call from Maine Cancer Foundation telling me I won that beautiful green bike! I hope they get their phones fixed soon because that I can't image WHY they have not called me yet!!


SparkyFox said...

Thanks for sharing this. I had tears in my eyes when you wrote about the beautiful gift your parents gave you. That had to be so special. I am happy for you.

Unknown said...

what a beautiful day!