My first race in Mississippi was last weekend! The Race Of Grace in Philadelphia, MS. Short swim, only 1/4 mile, 18 mile bike and a 5K run. I was warned by my new triathlete friends in Hattiesburg that it was a hilly course. Great.... I'm still pretty much a flatlander from the beach.
Pre-race was pretty uneventful - except for some reason (and the first time I've ever done this) I started setting my bike up in the wrong place. What's up with that?? I wasn't nervous.. must have just been scatty. Moved my bike and stuff and all was well. Pre-race warm up run and swim - check.
A few days before the race I was checking the participants list and saw a name I recoginzed from long ago. Back in 1987 I lived in Jackson and swam with the local triathletes, there was a super fast woman who won everything. And I saw that she was registered - I swear when I saw her name my heart rate went up 20 beats while I was sitting at the table! I'd actually found Pam on Facebook last year and we'd exchanged a few messages. I was looking forward to seeing her.... racing against her.... no so much.
I saw Pam on race morning but we didn't get to talk until we were lined up for the swim start. She was 4 places behind me. I didn't really know her well back in 1987, she was quiet and shy. We greeted each other like old friends - just how awesome is this sport where you can find people you knew 24 years ago!
The swim was a time trial start - we were set off about 5 seconds apart. I felt like I had a good swim. I've been improving a lot since I've been swimming with the Masters group at USM. I concentrated on my left arm entry and slowing my turnover - it must be working because I had the 2nd fastest women's swim time and 6th fastest swim overall!! Thank you Coach Steve!
Out on the bike... hills, hills and more hills. I felt like a turtle. Even had to shift to the small front chainring on one hill. At the turn around I saw Pam - she was flying! Transition was fine and I was off onto the run.
The run course was an out and back. I saw Sam Hudson, a triathlete from Hattiesburg leading the race as I was heading out onto the run and saw Pam again just after the turn around. Sam won the race and set a new course record! The run finished on the dam - I just pushed as hard as I could and hoped for the best. With the time trial start you have no idea how you've done until the results get posted.
Bill and I went to the car so I could clean up and change and I grabbed my bag of Aquaphor samples to pass out! What a great reception to Aquaphor here! I had one girl ask me about getting onto the team, so I gave her the information about Active Ambassadors - I hope she applies next year! Almost everyone that I gave a sample to already knew about and loved Aquaphor!
I ended up finishing 2nd Overall Female!!! Pam was right behind me finishing 3rd Overall! Not to shabby for us 50+ year old women! The time difference between us.... THREE SECONDS!
My next race is the Sunfish Triathlon in Meridian in less than two weeks!!