Last Sunday, I participated in my second Ramblin' Rose triathlon. The Ramblin' Rose series is a triathlon celebrating the empowerment of women. I did last year's event as my first triathlon ever, and it was nice to have this year's event as my final tri of the season.
The morning started early with my fantastic crew chief, hubby Bill, and I heading over to the race site. The worst part of a triathlon is that you have to get there early to set up your transition area before the race starts, then you have to stand around waiting for your individual race to start. We arrived around 7:20am, and I had to wait until about 9:30 for my swim time. Luckily, it was not nearly as cold as it was last year, and there were more vendors around as well. I got to see the first several finishers cross the line before I even headed to the pool.
My swim was pretty good. I got very lucky and had a young girl behind me. With only 10 seconds between swimmer, it is very easy to get caught up to the person in front of you. I had no problems whatsoever. I felt like I had a great swim up until I was ready to get out of the pool. Then, racer 464 was standing in my way. It was clear she was a first timer, so I resisted the urge to yell "Move your ass, 464!" at her. I finished by swim in 6:30 which was pretty consistent with my 250m swims this year.
My T1 time was a little slow (again, 464 stood in my way when I was ready to get out of the bike rack area) at 2:43, but I was soon off on the ride. I was just behind 470 (my number was 471) heading up the first big hill. My goal was to keep up with her, but she was a bit too speedy. I wound up trading places about 4 times with 469 on the bike. It was cold (being wet did not help), but I had a good ride. I bested my time on the same course that I did the UNC Wellness sprint in August. I finished the 9 mile bike in 36:30, which was 169 overall. It was much faster than my 332 place finish in the swim.
Racer 464 was nowhere to be found when I returned to the transition area (thank goodness). I re racked my bike and changed shoes to head out for the run. After a 2:30 transition, I was on my way. I was determined to run the best I could for the 2 mile course. My legs were definitely tired after the bike (must do brick workouts next year), but I kept moving. I got some encouragement from my yoga teacher who was cheering on the course. I managed to keep a slow run for the entire two miles with the one exception of a short uphill after the turnaround. I did feel like I finished strong coming in at 23:17 for the running section of the race. My time for a mile on fresh legs at the beginning of the season was 11 minutes, so I was very happy with my run.
At the finish, I got a first that I have never had at a triathlon. Each finisher received a necklace. The pink cord held a metal ring with Swim, Bike, Run engraved on one side and Ramblin' Rose 2009 on the other. Medals are common for marathons and half marathons, but this was the first time I have ever received anything for a triathlon. It was a great surprise.
Overall, I finished 296 out of a field of 473 with a final time of 1:11:27. I was very happy with my race. I am a little sad to see triathlon season over, but now is the time to focus on the next big challenge - The Philadelphia Marathon.