Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Race Recap: The Tremont Triathlon = Pure Awesomeness!

5:30 a.m. self-portrait! :)

The alarm went off at 4:30 Saturday morning and I couldn’t believe it was finally time for my first Triathlon. I was so excited I couldn’t stand it! I planned the right pre-race breakfast this time. A touch of coffee, water, and a toasted peanut butter sandwich. I was feeling good. I loaded my bike and took a self-portrait of myself at 5:30 a.m. leaving my house. Thank goodness most people are not up in my neighborhood as they would think I was completely nuts or vein! Who takes a picture of themselves at 5:30 a.m. in the morning?! Um, this girl. Ya know, the one leaving to do her first triathlon!

The drive to Tremont, Illinois was a breeze. It was 30 minutes door to door. I pulled into town and found the race easily on my right. Beautiful. I even got a front row parking place. Being a newbie I looked around and decided to follow the pack. The “pack” at Tremont was friendly and helpful. I even asked some girls what to do and they giggled and said they were tri-virgins, too. Instantly, I liked these girls. We took each other’s pictures throughout the day.

All racked!
There was no need for me to arrive in Tremont at 6:00 a.m. since I was in the later heat, but I did not want to miss a moment of finding out what to do and observe. After racking my bike (yep, first time I have ever done that and it sounds a lot harder than it is. You literally just put your bike seat on a rack. Seriously. J). I placed all of my transition clothing on a towel under my bike. Of course, I was following everyone else’s lead on this one. I asked a volunteer if “my stuff” (yes, this includes my catch all big red organic food bag that goes everywhere with me) would be okay? With a trusting, “absolutely” (Did I mention how much I love the people of Illinois? Honest, trusting Midwesterners! What’s not to love?). Next, I was off to the park pavilion to be marked and pick up my race packet. To be marked means you get your race number put on you with a thick sharpie on both arms and your age on your leg.  Actually, my age is still on my leg as of yesterday. Yes, I do shower. I am sure all of Peoria wonders why I have 37 written on my right calf. I just like to keep people guessing!! J

Off I went back to my bike to put my bib on my transition clothing. At this point I am all set! I decided to observe the “fast” triathletes with their swim and ran into one of my favorite people, Marianne! This absolutely made my day! Having Marianne in your life and at a race means you have the biggest, most positive, cheerleader with you! She is an incredible athlete and person. She is always helping others achieve their goals. She was a race volunteer for the day. She was in charge of distributing our timing bracelets.
Me, Marianne and Bill!

The infamous swim caps!

My race partner, Kathryn arrived soon. We had so much fun that morning figuring everything out. The best thing was that  neither of us knew we had matching pink swim caps. Hilarious! Awesome, we were twinkies that both looked like we had big pink condoms on our head! I loved it! Before we knew it, it was almost time to start. We downed our GU and off we went to wait for our swim lane.

One of the awesome Race Participants!
Loved his shirt!
His wife said to not encourage him! :)
One of the biggest highlights of the Tremont Triathlon was the race participants. As we waited to swim everyone talked, smiled, encouraged you, and was happy to help with any questions! This is HUGE for a newbie! I never felt uncomfortable or intimidated. I felt excited the entire day!

Thumbs up!
Before I knew it my lane was open! I crossed the transition mat, my bracelet beeped and off I jumped into the water. The Tremont pool was clear, crisp, and clean. The temperature was perfect. It felt great. I shared a lane with a fellow athlete. The swim flew by and before you knew it the race volunteer stuck the orange stick in my lane, said “Great job! This is it!” and I was out of the pool running towards the transition mat to my bike. The swim was awesome and the best part of my race that day. This cracks me up as the swim was the heat I was most intimidated with and it was the most fun! Want to know the best part?! I completed my swim in 11 minutes and during every practice it took me 13. Pure awesomeness!

I was at my bike in no time! Now to change clothes. This takes time when you are wet. That is unless you get one of those awesome Tri-suits! I am seriously considering the T3 suit as it is Florida State Seminole colors! Woot!!! Now when I notified T3 of their awesome color choice with a “War Chant” this brought about “creative” differences and possibly a switch to a “Crimson Tide” design in the future. Hey guys, just let me get one before you change the colors, k?! J

As I looked up (while struggling to get my race shirt on over wet skin) from transition came my friend, Kathryn. She finished her swim in 10 something! Wow! She started changing and we were off together on our 13.22 mile bike ride. One of the best things about this race is that Kathryn and I decided to stay together. We talked, laughed, and made a very special memory on Saturday.

The bike route was generally flat, although it had a slight steady incline on the way back and we had to cross a very hilly overpass both out and back. It was an out and back course and a little bumpy on the way in, but what do you expect from country roads? It was fun to watch the farmers in the field and fellow athletes as we passed each other. Many “Good Jobs” and “Good Lucks” were yelled across the road to and from fellow athletes. I love Illinois! My friend Cyndi’s bike just zoomed. I love that Specialized Alex! Wow! It was light as a feather! I crossed the bike transition mat at  54:58! Now I am off to get ready to run.

As, I am taking a drink and throwing off my bike helmet I watched Kathryn come in from the bike and she looked like a rock-star! I wish I had a camera to take a picture of this beautiful, new grandma who looks like she is 25 gliding in! We took a breather, chatted and we were off on our 3.1 mile run. It took quite awhile to get our running legs. We decided to take it slow. We had a nice time visiting and stopped at the hydration tables both out and back. They had the nicest young ladies volunteering there. We talked and enjoyed the moment. Before we knew it we were close to the end. Of course I said, “Let’s sprint it in!” and we did! The best part was at the finish the majority of the race participants were still there cheering everyone in. I thought this was awesome! Of course, Marianne was there too! J

Tremont Triathlon 
Proud finishers!
Kathryn and I cheered others in, took some picture with our medals, and enjoyed the post-race refreshments. They had sub sandwiches from La Gondola, chips, water, and Starbucks coffee. It was such a nice spread. I was very impressed!

This race was an A+ in my book and I can’t wait to do it next year! Anyone considering a triathlon in this area should sign up for this one. It is small (250 participants), the people are friendly, and it is challenging enough to make an awesome PR! The race director James Nissen covered every base. He facilitated the beginners meeting, the pre-race meetings, was throughout the course the entire day, and was announcing participant’s names as they approached the finish line. He answered all of my pre-race questions when I called him months prior and he communicated with all participants via email. There was not one question that he did not address thoroughly and politely. He never made you feel inadequate, either. This race was top notch and it is on my calendar for next year!

For more information about the Tremont Triathlon visit their website here. I would definitely put this on your race wish list for next year! Why wouldn't you give it a Tri?


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  1. Awesome job! I too recently fell in love with triathlon. It is so much fun and you are right everyone is so helpful and friendly. I have done 3 outdoor tri's this summer and 1 indoor tri this winter (Iowa) it has been a blast and I am signed up for another on Aug. 12th!

    Have you signed up for anymore? :)

  2. Jen,

    That is so awesome that you have done so many! I haven't signed up for any more, but once the Chicago Marathon is over I plan to. It was nice chatting with you. I am going to check out your blog next! :) Good luck with all of your future races! ~Danyelle

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