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Trying a Tri

By: Keri Niles

I completed my first (sprint) triathlon on Sunday, July 17th at Branbury State Park in Salisbury, VT. This was the second race in a three-race series put on by Vermont Sun. I’ve been swimming, biking, and running for years, but was very nervous to try my first triathlon. Being very familiar with the running race “culture” I was mildly worried about not knowing what to do or where to go for a triathlon. I watched several videos on YouTube about “transitions”, talked to people I knew who had done triathlons in the past, and I had a great friend who signed up for the race with me and helped me set up – both my equipment and my mental state. When I arrived, I was one of few people not wearing a wetsuit or a triathlon race suit. I couldn’t find my bike rack. I was quite intimidated, but the race gun was going to go off with or without me, so I headed down to the beach and tried to take some deep breaths.

The swim – This is the portion I was most looking forward to. We were swimming in Lake Dunmore and I had been training for many months. Sadly, this turned out to be my least favorite of the three disciplines. I was not expecting the women in my heat to kick me, hit me, swim over me, under me, through me, and to push me underwater. Lesson learned.

The bike – I was most nervous for this portion. Anyone who has biked with me knows I am all about the leisure on the bike. I just used clip-in bike pedals for the first time a few years ago and have probably only gone on 10-20 “real” bike rides since then. But I surprised myself and ticked the miles away one by one and finished much faster than I was expecting!

The run – You will be happy to hear that this was my best event of the three. Of course, my legs were tired, but I had trained and knew what to expect. I was very happy with my 5k time and ended up finishing in the top 20 overall for the women. 

I think it’s always hard to try something new as an adult. It makes us vulnerable, but I think in the end it can make us stronger. I’m very glad I finally signed up for a triathlon and am already looking forward to my next one in August!

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