Well it wasn’t pretty, but I did it in 2 hours, 15 minutes, and 44 seconds. I finished 799 place out of 857 participants and 31st out of 38 in my age group. All I can say is, I was NOT last!!!
Starting with the 400 meter swim, they started the race by splitting us up by our age groups. By the time my group hit the water, several other groups had already taken off. The swimming event was much different than I practiced for. First of all, I was swimming with 37 other women and trying not to get kicked in the face was a real challenge. The other challenge was with all those women in the water with you kicking and splashing, the water became quite choppy. I hit the shore in 13 minutes, but the swim portion wasn’t over yet. My swim time didn’t end until I hit the transition area. To get to that area, I had to run approximately another 400 meters barefoot and uphill on a concrete path. Luckily, I wore socks in the water and that helped protect my feet during the run up to the transition area. My total swim time was 16:12.
Once in the transition area, I had to quickly dry off and change into my cycling gear. Still in my swim suite, I put on my shoes, helmet, riding gloves, and sunglasses and off I went on my 12 mile ride. I was off to a great start and felt that I could gain a lot of time during what I think is my strongest event of the triathlon. About 5 miles out, I felt my back tire begin to wobble and then start rubbing on the break. I immediately knew that I had broken a spoke. I can’t tell you how upset this made me. I thought for sure I was out of the race. I could not ride on a broken wheel and there was no support around to help me.
Determined not to give up, I twisted my spoke around one of the other spokes so it wouldn’t caught in the other spokes. Then, I disengaged the brakes so the wheel would not rub so hard on the break. I climbed back on the bike, switched my bike into the lowest gear I could and took off. With my tire wobbling and rubbing on on the break I peddled as hard as I could and completed the ride in what I think was still a pretty good time of 59:17
Exhausted and a bit overheated, I entered the transition area to start my final event of the 5K run. With no regard for the people around me, I ripped off my swim top and put on a lighter t-shirt, slipped my shoes on over my drenched socks, grabbed my iPod and walked quickly out and across the starting line of the 5k.
At this point, my legs were a really tired from the ride and the temperature was starting sore. Instead of running, I chose to walk at a fast pace through most of the 5K. About a quarter of the way out, I past Deena on her way back to the finish line, we slapped hands, yelled some words of encouragement to each other and kept on going. About 5 minutes later, Cat and I crossed past, and about few minutes after that, along came Cortney sporting her Short Fat Girl shirt.
Making the final turn, I started making my strides towards the finish line. At this time I have picked up the pace to a slow jog and can feel my excitement growing as I hear the crowds at the finish line. I picked up the pace even more and ran as hard as I could the last 1/4 mile and after 52 minutes and 37 seconds of run/walking, I heard the announcement “Here’s Lisa Getzinger from Decatur, GA crossing the finish line”
After 2 hours, 15 minutes and 44 seconds of my life had past, I had become a triathlete!
I want to end this posting by giving my love and thanks to my partner Kristy who stood and trained by me from the very moment I decided to do this. If it wasn’t for her love and support, I probably never would have completed this. My thanks also go out to my fellow triathletes, Deena, Cat, and Courtney for believing in me and seeing me through this journey. Thanks you to Noelle and Kristy for helping out with the training support and raced day photography you guys are the bomb. One more thank you to Susan; thanks for your motivation and support through our training