This weekend is kind of a big deal for me. Last year a friend and I decided to train for and compete in a Half-Ironman triathlon. We swam, we biked, we ran, we stretched, we practiced, we made hotel reservations. When we got to Racine, the site of the race, the weather forecast looked perfect, no rain and moderate temperatures. The night before the race we got to Racine early, had dinner with our support crew, and were back at the hotel to try to get some rest before the race.
The next day everything was going according to plan. The weather was cooperating and we got our transition area set up.
Then we heard the announcement, "Please do not walk to the swim start yet. We're tracking severe weather and will keep you posted." That's when the previously calm waters of lake Michigan started swelling and waves began crashing onto the beach. The rain started coming down in sheets. We were promised a race update in 30 minutes.
Always the optimist, I was reassuring my training partner we would be racing. But then we got the announcement that the swim would be cancelled and they would give us another update at 10:00. Eventually they decided to cancel the swim, shorten the bike, and do the full run. The storm was still in full swing and we decided to go home foregoing the race.
A Half-Ironman distance triathlon is a 1.2 mile swim, a 56 mile bike, and a 13.1 mile run. Training for this race takes dedication, time, and lots of sunscreen. By the time race day comes around, anyone who has been part of the training is offering well wishes and hopefully congratulations after the race.
Last year we got the well wishes but missed out on the congratulations.
I could easily make my peace with not racing that day as I've done many Half-Ironman races before. This would have been my training partner's first Half-Ironman distance triathlon. Her disappointment remained for weeks.
On our drive home we looked for other races in the area that we could still register for. Unfortunately, most of the races in our area at that distance had already taken place so we would have to wait until next year to do our race.
This weekend is the "Take-2" of our quest for a Half-Ironman finish.
The race is in Geneva, NY in the Finger Lakes region. We have been training all summer preparing for the 70.3 miles we'll cover during the race. We are ready and we are excited.
And we have a contingency plan -- if the race is cancelled, we are doing the Seneca wine trail.