#8 … check! {Denver Triathlon}

8. Race in a triathlon.
Woke up Sunday morning in my own bed (a luxury these days), then walked 3 blocks to Sloan’s Lake at the start line of the Inaugural Denver Triathlon. As my first real triathlon, I decided to race in the Sprint Distance division with a 800m swim, 20K bike, and 5K run. Swimming runs in my family and I like to run and bike, it seemed natural fit to include a triathlon as goal #8 on my 101 in 1001 list. I’m hooked.

I welled-up in tears crossing the finish link at Invesco Field at Mile High. Such positive energy and emotion! Moments after, I saw one of my Denver wedding photography friends, Andrew Schaefer, who took the photo above of my friends Ryan Otto and his girl, Temple. Having them encourage and support me made the experience even more memorable!

Highlights from My First Triathlon & Denver’s First Triathlon:
+ I felt safe at all times. It’s scary thing to swim in murky water with 700+ athletes, figure out transitions, where to go, keeping nerves cool, staying hydrated, and remember this experience is actually supposed to be fun. Going into the race, my modus operandi: I’ll have a smile on my face, even if I cross the finish line last.

+ Very, well-organized debut event. Excellent volunteer coverage on almost every block. There was never a double at any turn in the course where to go. And if there was a question, there was a volunteer close to answer. Lots of positive energy will make this race grow exponentially next year.

+ The staging areas for the Denver Triathlon were a bit different than most, as there were two transition areas which allowed racers to cover greater geography. There were a bit of logistics the day before dropping stuff off in the transition area (I was shooting a wedding that day, so luckily one of my good friends could pick up my race packet and place my shoes in the T2 area).

+ The murky water was bathtub temperature, so wetsuits were not needed.

+ Great race sponsors, shade, plenty of ice water, and great music at the finish line!

+ 17 visually-impaired athletes competed in the Denver Triathlon… several of which beat professional elites. So inspiring and encouraging them to see them race!!

+ Visually-impaired artist Luanne Burke created the sculptural awards featuring a female swimmer and a male runner holding two wheels hand-worked with Colorado clay. It one of my prized possessions and piece of art worthy of display (featured below, lower right):
wpid-denver_triathlon_photos_2-2011-07-26-11-45.jpgProud of my second place race results:wpid-denver_triathlon_results-2011-07-26-11-45.jpg
Road my one-of-a-kind moonrise orange Klein Quantum road bike my Dad gave me as an incentive for doing well in high school in 1994. The bike gets the vintage award. Goes to show you don’t need titanium, carbon fiber, and disc wheels to win races, but a solid machine behind it.wpid-denver_triathlon_photos_3-2011-07-26-11-45.jpg

8 Responses to “#8 … check! {Denver Triathlon}”

  1. Kirsten — July 26, 2011 @ 1:06 pm (#)

    Congratulations, RJ! Isn’t crossing the finish line one of the best feelings, EVER? 🙂

  2. Krista — July 26, 2011 @ 6:54 pm (#)

    WhooHooo!!! Way to go. Could not be more proud of you! Glad that you continue to find passion in life and yet were able to take time to enjoy the entire event!

  3. Temple Hayles — July 27, 2011 @ 10:30 am (#)

    You are such a supah star! We had a blast sharing the day and celebrating with you. Thanks for the smiles!

  4. Brooke Summer Photography — August 2, 2011 @ 1:23 pm (#)

    Congratulations RJ, that’s awesome! I have a friend that does them regularly and we like to cheer her on. 🙂

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