i had the night off on saturday but had to work sunday night, so i went to bed early and slept in late (aside from my mother calling me at 7am ((i ignored the call)) then calling again at 7:45am ((had to answer cuz i thought something might be wrong)). "oh are you sleeping? i thought you had to work last night" (this coming after i had been at her house for dinner the night before and told her i was going home to go to bed and trying to sleep in so i wouldnt be tired at work sunday night..... gotta love moms).
the tri didnt start until 2pm.... a seemingly strange starting time for a tri in the middle of august, but understandable when you have to swim in the ocean and wait for high tide. dont want to go losing swimmers! (please note: i will never, EVER do an open water swim tri. pool only for this girl, thanks).
my volunteer check in time was at noon, so i packed up my marathon hunting orange bag and started walking (we only live about a half mile from where the race was... which is a good thing cuz traffic sucked). on my walk down to the volunteers tent i snapped some pics of just some of the many bumper stickers i saw:
i checked in and got my volunteer shirt and assignment, then realized i had left my engagement ring on the bathroom sink when i had been putting my sun tan lotion on. i knew if ty got home and saw it he wouldnt be too pleased, so i ran back home to get it. this did not make my legs very happy coming off my long run from the day before. but i got my ring. shut up and deal, legs.
ever heard of the "epic man"? check him out. pretty epic. and here he is:
im pretty sure that one of my new years resolutions for next year (yes, there might be a few) will be to do a sprint tri. that being said, i will need a bike. having little to no money means no bike. having no bike means no sprint tri. so how psyched was i when i saw this raffle for a road bike!! i bought 3 raffle tickets for $10. im still waiting for the phone call....
and look who i just happened to find along the transition area.... andrea, hard at work for trimaine! (yes, surprisingly her job was to stand around and look pretty!)
i roamed around for a bit before settling into my assignment. i had a pretty sweet volunteer spot, and stood on this rock for close to five hours. we became pretty close bff's.
i took this pic for jeri cuz she enjoys the color accent option on my camera about as much as i do
this sweet pink arrow was strategically placed right at my rock incase i forgot to tell runners where to go. phew!
the race ended up starting about 10 minutes late since there was a huge traffic jam to get to the start. people were actually getting out of their cars and biking to get there in time. (note: i would FREAK OUT if i was running late to a race because of traffic. would.not.be.happy.camper). so finally when the gun (was there a gun? maybe a bull horn) went off to start the triathlon, a simultaneous duathlon also began and they ran by me first. over 1000 participants in all (85% of whom were first time triathletes)... here are the pics:
swimmers getting ready and taking off (1/3 mile)- (1st photo courtesy of kevin mitchell, i told him i would give him credit for this awesome shot. the pink swim caps signified survivors)
swimmers transitioning to their bikes.... i love these pics
bikers starting out (15 miles)-
shortly after seeing the pink tu-tu lady, i started getting a little crazy (i think the sun/heat had something to do with it). i had my cowbell going, i was screaming... it was like reliving the boston marathon all over again. my arms were so tired! but i had to keep these ladies motivated so i worked really hard to try to do so. i just kept trying to make everyone smile, and most people did. i got lots of thank yous, and got some funny quotes as well.
someone ran by me and told me they couldnt breathe. well, thats probably not good! (she was really alright, but little did she know she was telling the right person if she really did have that problem... yay respiratory therapy!). i also had someone tell me their legs felt like concrete. probably not a good thing to be feeling during the run portion of a tri, legs are pretty important at that part i think.
one of my favorite parts was seeing/meeting elizabeth, the sister of one of my brothers friends. id met bobby (brothers friend) before, but had never met elizabeth. so im just standing up on my rock, clanging my cowbell and screaming for everyone to smile and telling them all they love it, when elizabeth stops right in front of me. heres how the conversation went:
e- are you a speckman?
me- ummmm yeah?
e- do you know bobby?
me- ummm yeah (thinking- arent you doing a triathlon right now? why are you stopping?keeeeeep runnnning!!!!)
e- im his sister! thanks for volunteering!
me- oh cool! thanks! great job! (thinking- start running again! KEEP GOING!!)
haha i had no idea what to say but it was so awesome of her to stop and chat with me for a sec :)
and while watching the bikers i heard one of the ladies say "i am so glad that $**t is over!!!" thanks, really makes me want to do a tri now!
then you see something like this.... brings tears to your eyes. everyone is out here doing this for a reason.
at one point andrea left me to go and get us some food since we thought we were going to miss our free volunteer cheeseburger meal.... she scored us some carbs with a side of sugar. and this is what happened to said food. fail.
shortly after our food fail, the finishers arrived at our spot. we cheered like we had never cheered before, then promptly ran to the cafeteria to get our burger and make it to the finish to watch them cross.
meredith (a survivor herself) volunteers to be the very last person to cross every year. the support this woman got and the strength she showed was so awesome.
there are really no words to adequately express all of the feelings i had throughout the day. watching this event gave me a whole new perspective on what it is to be a woman, an athlete, and (although im not one myself, but my step father is) a cancer survivor. i must have cried at least ten times throughout the day for various reasons. the strength of human will is amazing, and i was able to see it first hand. congrats to everyone who competed in this remarkable event. over $900,000 was raised from this one event. heres to finding a cure.
and last but not least, i swear i put sun tan lotion on (remember? i left my ring on the counter?) guess i should have reapplied at some point. glad my wedding isnt this weekend!