Have you ever watched or attempted to complete an Olympic triathlon? They are exciting to watch; difficult to take part in, and extremely rewarding once you have finished. The race consists of three parts; the swim of 1500 meters, the biking of 40 kilometers, and the run of 10 kilometers. I did my first triathlon last summer and here is how it went.
The swim is first. Fifteen hundred meters is not easy to visualize but if you can think of sixteen football fields in line with each other, you’re on the right track. Aside from the actual length of the swim, some fears that you might encounter during it are: drowning and not being found until the end of the day, being one of the people who gets pulled out of the water and brought back to shore in the rescue boat feeling like a complete failure, and finally, being the last soul to exit the water. All of this is running through your head while people are swimming over and around you in a very unnatural way.
After the swim, get ready to get on your bicycle for the next forty kilometers. For those who need a visual, imagine the distance from Devry in North Brunswick almost to the Holland Tunnel. If I were to describe this portion of the race in one word, it would be “Monotonous”. I felt like I rode by the same cornfield at least a dozen times. I never imagined there would be a time that I was looking forward to running in 95-degree summer heat.
Finally, I get back to the bike rack with legs like spaghetti and here comes the 10 kilometer run I was wishing for. Ten kilometers is a little over six miles. It doesn’t sound so bad but believe me, it isn’t easy after the swim and bike portion. Most races have signs with mile-markers letting you know just how much is left. Each one you approach and pass is a blessing.
The Finish line is now in sight and all the aches, fears, and pains I experienced in the past four hours were numb. As loud as the crowd was, I heard nothing....