I have a Groundhog Day conversation at work at least once a week. Customers generally ask me if I road bike, which I do, and then I’ll say that I mountain bike, and then they’ll ask if I run, which I do, but then I’ll say, “But I’m really a swimmer.” So they’ll say, “Oh, so you’re a triathlete.” And I’ll have to respond, “No, not really. I do all three sports. I just refuse to pay exorbitant amounts of money to do them all at once.”
Which, by the way, is absolutely and completely accurate. It is highway robbery what triathlons charge. No offense to those of you who might consider a sprint (generally in the neighborhood of a 400-750 yd swim, 12-15 mi bike, 3.1 mi run) or even Olympic distance (1640 yard swim, 25 mi ride, 6.2 mi run) tri a challenge, but I consider them to be a joke. If I can complete an event essentially off the couch, then it shouldn’t cost me more than $35. In general, just based on my normal activity level, I am consistently over trained for both of those events. Just to give you an idea of what I’m talking about, the upcoming Iron Girl Women’s Sprint Tri in Tahoe: $95. The MARATHON I’m going to run in December: $85. I’m not sure if you realize, but that’s RIDICULOUS. A marathon is considerably more difficult and has considerably more participants than a sprint tri. It’s just not equal. I’m not okay with it.
As a result, I’m a runner, a swimmer and a cyclist but not a triathlete.
So when my friend Meghan told me that she wanted to hold an informal free triathlon in town for our friends, I said I was in. The course was as follows and a little unorthodox but we don’t care because its our triathlon: ride from Kiva Beach to Angora Lake, which was about a 5.6 mile climb, run from the parking lot to the beach, about 1 mile, swim across the lake, jump off the 20 foot cliff, swim back, run back and then ride back to the beach. Our wonderful amazing slightly injured friend Sarah was kind enough to be our volunteer and parked a car at Angora with our running shoes in it and watched over our bikes while we ran and swam.
There were four participants on race day and we were very serious.
There were so few of us that instead of bib numbers on our legs we had serious race drawings.
I knew that because of the nature of the course, the first person to the parking lot at Angora Lakes would essentially have it in the bag. There is a significant climb up to the ridgeline of the lake. I also knew that no matter how tired my legs were after the climb, I just had to run a mile and as I like to tell myself when things really suck, “I can do anything for a mile. It’s ONLY a mile.” So, I pedaled hard, despite having done a pretty significant run the day prior. I will admit though, that first run, which is almost entirely uphill to Angora Lake, was absolutely brutal. I actually walked most of the uphill. Even walking, Trish, who had sights on me the entire time, couldn’t catch up. Brutal.
We were all a bit concerned about how cold the water in Angora Lake would be but with the outside temp already at 75 by 10:30 AM, a long road bike climb and a 1 mile run uphill, it felt downright refreshing. There was a two minute time bonus for doing a trick off the cliff, but not so shockingly, after sprinting uphill on my bike and legs, I felt not so stable when I started climbing the cliff and simply jumped off. The run back to the car felt immensely better after being in cold water. The ride back to the beach was a breeze since it was downhill the entire way.
At the end of the event, we all collectively decided that it was the MOST FUN EVER. Trish even suggested that we do one every single weekend. Big thanks to our volunteer Sarah who was so kind to meticulously write down transition times as well as our bike and swim/run leg times.
Afterwards we spent the rest of the day lazing on the beach, eating lots of food (special thanks to amazing boyfriend who brought me a breakfast burrito from my favorite place afterwards), jumping off the pile-on, listening to music, talking with friends and drinking lots of beer. We also BBQ’d that night at Sarah’s house for her birthday but I’ll write another post on that later.
If you’d like to see the rest of the event photos (again, thank you Sarah!!) you may do so here.
It was, essentially, the greatest most fun Tahoe summer day ever. I loved it. If only triathlons cost a reasonable amount of money instead of a whopping ridiculous amount of money, I might consider doing them. Until then, I will instead continue to challenge myself by signing up for reasonable priced events, like runs. Oh, and by the way, as I said above I registered for another marathon so, we’ll see how that goes.