As with the death of my father that thursday morning, so was the passing of participating in the Trideltathon, a sprint triathlon held here on the UT campus with the money going to support th East Tennessee Children's Hospital. It is sponsored by the Tri-Deltas here (yes, delta delta delta can I help ya help ya help ya) on campus. In addition, my good friend Gray travels from the metropolis of Richmond Virginia to compete in the event with me. Our gentlemen's (loosely call us that) bet is that the LOSER has to buy the winner's choice of beer. Gray has been the winner each year he has been here in Knoxville to participate. I won't go into the details of the “Rain Incident” which precluded him from participating.
The other significance to this event is that it was one of two events that I have participated annual since I became a runner/triathlete on February 28, 1998. The other is a 5k race in August. So, with this year being unable to attend, I was unable to see my friend Gray nor have him buy me my beer (for the first time). Being a great friend, Gray didn't want to come to KNoxville just to participate in the race without me, he decided to contact the company that puts on the triathlons and see what he could do about transferring the money that we used to register for the trideltathon for another race. That race is the Tellico Sprint Triathlon.
For those who are unfamiliar with triathlons, the Olympic Distance is the standard distance of 1.5 km, 40km and 10km (those are kilometers) and anything shorter than that is a “sprint” or “short course”. The Tellico Sprint Triathlon consists of a 800m (0.5 mile) swim, 17 mile bike and 3 mile run and is held near the Tellico Dam on the Tennessee River in Vonore, TN. I have done this race before wayyyyy back in 2002 when I finished in 1:57:32 165 out of 187 finishers. A handful of the people I finished in front of were people I over took in the run.
So, what advantages do I have now? Well, for one, that was my first open water swim (i.e. not in a pool) and so now I have some experience with that event. I can prepare better for the swim as I can now swim 800 meters in the pool in around 18 minutes which is faster than my 21:27 swim in 2002. I can also take more preparation for the bike aspect and not total SUCK when I am out on the road. I swear that girl in a kid's bike that had a bell on it passed me on the hills. I had a really slow pace of 14.2 mph over the course and I think I can improve that some. My run was a strong 24:30 which is a 8:10 pace, something that I think I can manage.
So, there it is… oh, and this is on July 9th.