19 September 2013

That Time I Stalked a Triathlon

I've heard that triathlons are not the most fun thing to watch.

I beg to differ.

At least I beg to differ about the Kiawah Triathlon.

Saturday afternoon, we biked out to Night Heron Park to check out the festivities and things being set up for Sunday. Triathletes were checking in, picking up their race packets, and setting up their bikes in the transition area while a band was up on stage performing and volunteers were trying to persuade people into buying merchandise.

{It's not that hard to persuade me to buy something... helloooo new hat!}

I scoped out the scene, studied the course map, figured out which bike paths would be off limits on Sunday, and made sure that my camera was charged and ready to go. I was ready to go watch/stalk my first Triathlon.

Here's the fun thing about the Kiawah Triathlon: Kiawah is a spectacular place with a lot of different scenery, and the Triathlon did a really good job of making sure that all aspects of the island were covered. You had the beach, the bike pathways, the streets, marshland areas, everything.

Sunday morning, my mom and I woke up at some insane hour in the morning and biked to the beach to watch the triathlon begin. It was dark and overcast but those are the kinds of days that lead to the best sunrises.

The triathletes were broken up into waves based on age, gender, and triathlon experience. We were able to watch about 6 waves get in before we walked down the beach to see the first person scramble out of the water and head to the transition area.




Here's where we made our mistake: our bikes were way down at our boardwalk, about 3/4s of a mile from where the swimmers were coming out of the water. We didn't go watch the transitions or much of the biking, instead we spent most of the time getting back to our bikes and then deciding that breakfast at Southern Kitchen was a good idea.

My mom and I swung by the house to get my dad and we all biked to Southern Kitchen. Their pancakes are delicious! We left Southern Kitchen and were biking back down Eugenia to catch up with the Triathlon and this guy comes running up one of the boardwalks from the beach and runs down the street.

Oh. No.

I wanted to see the first person finish!

I stopped and asked one of the volunteers if that was the first guy. He said yup, he was the first one, and here comes the 2nd one, they're about to finish!

Seriously? 

People can complete a triathlon that fast?

I peddled my bike as fast as I could trying to find the quickest route back to Night Heron Park. Hint: don't go down Eugenia. There is a direct path to the park from there but it was closed off for runners only.

Sigh.

I did miss the first person crossing the finish line but I did get to see the first female finish & the first relay team finish. 

{I love how excited she gets not just because she's at the finish line, but because they had brought out the ribbon for her to run through since she was the first female}


And I did get to see some of the cycling {the ones finishing up} and some of the runners {right as they were starting and some on the beach}.



Next year, I'd love to volunteer for this. I'm not crazy enough to run it but I love how all of the volunteers stationed throughout the course were not there just to provide direction, but they were all there cheering people on. That might have been one of my favorite parts... these people are swimming. They are biking. They are running. They deserved some cheering & they got a lot of it!

But I'm not that patient.

I might sign up to volunteer for the Kiawah Marathon in December :) 

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