Last Sunday I ventured out bright and early for the Grand Haven Festival of Races. The triathlon consisted of three distances: Sprint, Olympic and Half-Ironman (one of only a few in the country)….I did the Sprint 🙂 500m swim, 12.4 mile bikeand 3.1 mile run…(people often respond w/ an “oh, that’s not so bad” whenever I tell them the distances….I say that comment can only be reserved for those who’ve actually done them all strung together!) 😉

One of the best parts of the day was doing it with two of my friends, Elizabeth, who did the Sprint with me and Kelly, who rocked it out by doing the Olympic distance. This summer, we started a lil’ women’s triathlon club – Triple Threat: the Velo/Valeo Vixens (V3 for short):) and have about 13 women involved to train and race together.

One of the best, but challenging, parts of living in west Michigan are the unpredictable and ever-changing conditions….and that morning was no exception! Strong rip tides, 4 ft waves and 20-mph wind gusts met us at the beach — and they still made us swim. Ask me how I felt about that later… 🙂 Though my knees were shaking and stomach turning with nerves, we made the best of it and actually had a blast. The “swim” (which actually turned into a “water-run/wave-jump/get pounded by whitecaps and try to not get pulled under” adventure) was nicely cut in half…which meant that we had to run the rest of the way to the pier through loose sand and barefeet! After finally reaching the boardwalk, I strapped on my Chaco sandels and ran the 1/2 mile transition to the YMCA, where we jumped on our bikes and took off on the Grand Haven roads. Despite some pretty steep hills, the bike went well and seperated the pack a bit more. The run was beautiful, winding along the boardwalk, water and parks – but I have to say the finish line was a glorious site! I was pumped to find out that I finished 4th among 103 women overall and 1st in my age group! Elizabeth and Kelly also topped their age groups…I think we represented the V3 Vixens well! Yea!

We had some fabulous photographers and cheerleaders throughout the race (THANKS Lee, Carmen and Marlene!!!) – whose cheers were more encouraging than you’ll ever know! Turn up your speakers and enjoy this little picture video to give you a glimpse of the morning! 🙂

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