I have done some triathlons before, but I always swam, biked, and ran myself. Yesterday at Ludington I participated in my first relay triathlon, which consists of the same events as the individual triathlon, but a different person does each event! I named our team Trois Amies (three friends) when I was filling out our registration card and needed to come up with a name on the spot. Here we are before the race.
Julie (the swimmer) and I drove to Ludington Saturday morning, where we set up camp in Christy (the runner) and her husband Tim's pop-up camper. This was an unexpected luxury since I waited too long to book a room and we had anticipated sleeping in the tent (again!). After setting up, we all went to multisport 101 since this was Julie's first event. Then we had dinner and ice cream. Christy and Tim went back to her parents' house for the night and Julie and I went for a swim in Lake Michigan before heading back to the camper.
Bright and early Sunday morning we showed up at the park and prepared for the event. Preparation of the transition area was much simpler with three participants! Usually the triathlete has to set up an area with the bike, helmet, gloves, etc. and a towel and running shoes and hat, water and race food... This time all that was in our transition area was my bike and biking gear!
Julie was pretty game about jumping in the water with a bunch of other people. She found the noise and churning water distracting since she usually swims alone... she also was too hot! Can you imagine being too hot in Lake Michigan? The water temperature was 66 degrees, and she wore the wetsuit. I would have needed the wetsuit in that water, but she is used to swimming in Lake Huron where it is even colder.
Julie swam the 1000 meters in 32 minutes, more than acceptable for a first timer! She staggered up the beach and into the transition area where I took the timing chip off her ankle and took off with my bike. I gave it my best, since I did not have to save any energy for running, but I still only averaged 17.5 mph, finishing the 40K ride in 1 hour and 24 minutes. There was a brisk north wind and the 7 miles that we faced into it along the lakeshore killed my average.
Christy was waiting for me in the transition area, grabbed the timig chip off my ankle and away she went! She finished the 10K run in 1:05, a personal best for her! When they gave out awards, they did not mention us, so I went up to the officials afterwards to see where we placed. It turns out we were coded into the system wrong and actually came in second place in the Olympic distance relay division! We were thrilled! You can see us below wearing 2 medals each--one for finishing the event and one for coming in second place.... Life is good!