The race was designed for, and encouraged to be for first-time triathletes - those of us training for our first "real" event. The 40 racers were pretty evenly split between Peachtree Tri and Team in Training (TNT) members. This was not a USAT-sanctioned event, and was merely for practice and fun.
We started off pre-7:00am Saturday morning at Marist School in Atlanta. With the sun just starting to rise, and at a chilly 47 degrees, we had the joy of stripping to our swimwear in order to be body marked. This consists of having your race number and race category written on your arms and legs in the EXTRA WIDE black Sharpie!
After race instructions and a transition clinic to teach us how to set up our transition areas, we headed across the parking lot to the indoor swim complex. The race began with a 200-yard swim in the pool. A time-trial start was utilized, with swimmers starting 5 seconds apart so as not to cause a traffic jam in the pool. I started about 2/3 of the way back in line, but managed to pass several people during the swim! Out of the pool (and out into the cold air), we ran across the parking lot back to the transition area.
T1 is the first transition, where you go from swim to bike. This involved removing my swim cap and goggles, then putting on socks, cycling shoes, headband, cycling jersey, windbreaker vest, bike helmet, and sunglasses. I decided not to waste time putting on my cycling gloves, since the ride wasn't going to be long. You have to walk your bike out of transition until you cross the "mount" line. I felt pretty good coming out of T1 and headed out of the parking lot into the neighborhood across the street.
The bike leg was somewhere between 6-7 miles, but consisted of several winding hills, both up and down! It was way hillier than any of us expected. With about a mile left in the ride, my chain came off my bike. Luckily I was able to put it back on without too much of a delay. I later found out that most of us on TNT lost our chains at least once on the course. As for the Peachtree Tri folks, I'm not sure how many lost their chains, but I saw several of them walking their bikes up the hills. It was that hilly! Here I am coming into T2:
You have to unclip from your pedals and dismount the bike before crossing the chalk line heading into the transition area. T2 involved putting my bike back onto the rack, removing my bike helmet and cycling shoes, then putting on my running shoes, visor, and race number (on a race belt). Took a quick drink of Gatorade and ran out of transition.
The run was a little over a mile, on the school's infamous cross-country trail. The school has a race each year called the "Double Dipper," and I soon found out why…. the run course was an EXTREMELY hilly trail run. In fact, it was not unlike Muddy Buddy or the Xterra Trail Run series' that I love! However, I've never run a course like this after swimming and biking. In fact, at one point during the run, I said to a fellow racer, "since when did hiking become part of a triathlon?"
Coming down the last stretch and hearing the crowd cheer was a great feeling! We all got little finisher medals and a goody bag with some good loot! My total time (from the time I hit the water until I crossed the finish line) was a little over 55 minutes. Not too bad, all things considered.
I'm "TRI"-ing to save lives...want to help?http://pages.teamintraining.org/ga/IronGirl09/alisejackson