Disclaimer: This post is all in good fun. If you have some easily offended conservative tendencies please avoid this post.
A few weeks ago I vowed to never race a skinny tire triathlon again. I changed my mind. I had planned on taking on the knucklebuster in Midland but could not swallow the 2 and a half hour commute when there was a local event 15 minutes from the house. The 2nd attempt at the Calgary Reformed Church's Race to Rejoice was born.
I woke up before the sun for packet pick up. I was not phased by the rain drops on the windshield since we had storms rolling in and out of town for the previous three days. What did have me a bit nervous was the bright strobe light sky about 1 mile north. It was as if the Mighty JC and mother nature were having a R2R pre-party with disco lights and loud music.
At registration I was told they could delay the start but would not cancel the event. I drove home to pick up my support crew and gear then make the trip back to set up my pit. The rain picked up and the clouds looked angry and I pictured my soggy wife and dogs with frowns on their faces as I finished the race. I loaded up and ventured back alone.
As I was setting up my dork station the clouds broke and mother nature treated us to a bit of sunshine, even after a late night of disco drinking and dancing.
Athletes walked to the beach and the promoters warned us if lightning came back into the area that they would pull the plug. Then we bowed our heads to pray. A reasonable request. The event was put on by a church to benefit a church encouraging their church goers to participate. There were a few strangers in the crowd, myself included, with little to no pre-race praying experience. Aside from funerals, I had not attended a religious service since I was a teenager. I noticed a few darwin stickers on cars and some akward gazes among the skinny athletes which told me I was not alone.
The gun went off and dove in under sunny skies and sparkling water. 11 minutes and 58 seconds later I exited the water to dark grey skies with darker grey skies rolling in. Someone stirred the mighty hungover JC with fake prayer and he was not happy.
I threw my leg over purple passion for the 12 mile bike leg. She was geared with a 42 x 16 fixed which would be plenty for pushing the pace at 20+mph. My pedals turned as the the clouds swirled and I came into the transition sitting 11th as the rain started. 11th position with 5k to run. Things were looking good. 1 mile in the sky's grumpy rumbles started and the rain increased. Lightning was flashing, thunder was shaking and visibility was poor. I started to feel like a poser. Was this amy fault? I was surprised at the risk the promoters were taking. I had no idea they had closed the course 5 minutes prior and were pulling athletes back to the church. Only the top 30 athletes out of 100 were left on course to battle each other, themselves and a hungover prophet.
I kept striding, losing positions on the run as usual and enjoying my first thunderous triathlon. I made it to the finish without getting struck by lightning in 19th position. Not sure on my time splits since the power went out at the timing tent.
A special thanks to my supporters including Swiftwick, Headsweats, Brooks and JC who decided it was ok for me to race a church sponsored event without attending church on a regular basis. I will be back next year to see what you can throw at us.