Tuesday, 14 February 2012


On Sunday, we got up at the crack of dawn. It really felt like that to me, pretty sure C didn’t care, and A was excited, so it didn’t make a difference to either of them.  Ate a good breakfast and took off to Altoona Lagoon to take part in the VI Traithlon Federation and Rotary Mid Isle Kids Duathlon.  I needed TWO cups of tea to make it out of the house, let alone remember gear and kids!

Warming up before the race start - can you tell who are serious?
A started “getting into sports” about a year ago. She is on the swim team, used to do running club when she was in school, LOVES to bike, and generally likes to be outside doing stuff.  I guess this whole triathlon, duathlon, swimming races, was just natural progression, but still, leave the house before 7:30??? On a SUNDAY??? Actually, I couldn’t think of anything I would rather do, and it makes A happy, and a happy kid is one that I want to live with J

So, here we were. Loading up the bike, the tire pump – that we borrow from the Crazy Neighbor Lady (she gave herself that name), the helmet, the water, the second breakfasts, and C starts crying that he wants to take his bike…..S I G H – did I mention it was about 7 at that time? Off came the bike, the rack, out came the tire pump, the helmet…. In went the plastic toddler trike, the tire pump, the helmet, the water, and snacks, on went the rack, and the racing bike! Whew! Are we ready yet?? Better be, it was 7:12 and we needed to vamoose!
So, this duathlon, was awesome! There were tons of kids, it was cloudy, yet didn’t rain.  Almost all of A’s sporty friends were there, certain “fast” kids had aged up, and A was raring to go.  The Rotary gave out goody bags with awesome T-shirts, the kids racked their bikes, adjusted helmets, cljmbed trees, and played in the mud – oops, that was C, not the kids who were racing! Actually, C discovered a “real” tricycle, I think we are in trouble, because he promptly turned up his nose at his old plastic one.  Oh, well, it was bound to happen at some point.

Let me tell you about the duathlon for a moment. There are different age groups for the kids, 5-6, 7-8, 9-10, 11-12, and 13+.  Each group has its own distance requirements, but it basically goes like this: run, bike, run.  A had to run a ¼ mile, bike a ½ mile, and run another ¼ mile.  While A is all arms and legs, she HATES to run because she gets cramps. Seeing as I had her same build and always got cramps too, I don’t blame her. I still don’t like to run. I’d love to be able to because it seems like such a beautiful sport when you only really race yourself, but I’d probably get about ¼ of the way into a race and end up tied up in spasmatic knots, flailing helplessly on the side of the road while the slower yet crampless runners passed me by….

Notice the feet in the air so as not to get her shoes wet!
We had figured out that A needed to pace herself, and run slowly in the first loop, bike like a bat out of hell in the biking portion, and then run as fast as possible without killing herself in the last loop.  All the way to Altoona, she chanted slow, super fast, don’t die. I tried not to laugh, really I did.  

She did just as she planned on, and ended up beating her time from the last duathlon and coming in 3rd in her age group(in the females division).  A had her best transition of her racing career yet, she got a volunteer to rack her bike and took of running with her bike helmet on.  Before she even cleared the transition area, she had taken it off and, literally, flung it aside for someone(who would that be, hmm?) to pick up and dust off later.  I guess watching the pros race around STX during the ironman in May, has paid off.  She looked good when she finished, and she had so much energy left of that she and all her sporty girlfriends rode around on their bikes for another hour after the race finished.  So proud of her, that words just can't express it.

100 mega watt smile! So proud of her.
I love events like these because it gets kids out and participating in a sport that will last them a lifetime, it celebrates the breaking of their previous records, and it is so low key that they don’t get turned off because of the stress.  If you are here on STX and your child is 5 or older, there is a kid’s triathlon at Cramer’s Park in March. Drop me a line if you want more info, if you think your kids can’t do it because they don’t have a bike, think again, there are rentals for umm, free or $5 – with helmets – so no excuses!

Now, if I could just figure out how to not get cramps when I run, A could be as proud of me, as I am of her for finishing her race with a smile on her face. 

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