“30th Challenge” and “Gas Station Pump-Up”

>> Thursday, March 19, 2009

Here are 2 more stories that the jurors enjoyed, but they didn’t quite make it into the top 10. These are both from tri-bloggers, so you might already know them...

Kevin’s Story
(from http://triaflete.blogspot.com/)

In 2007, I turned 30. I knew I wanted to make 30 a big year. One day I was reading the local paper and heard about a new triathlon that was being held close to my house. I knew right away this would be my big challenge for 30. That morning, my stomach was all in knots and I was afraid of how I would do. I set my bike up in transition and paced through the transition area till it was close to time to line up. I was so nervous. When I walked down to the water, my jaw dropped in shock. The water was so choppy that there were white caps on the water. I had practiced a couple open water swims, but never in such choppy water. I was a little worried, but I knew I was a strong swimmer. The swim wasn’t bad, but I swam in too fast. I stood up and ran out of the water and had to grasp for breath. I learned two big things on that first swim. Tinted goggles are a must and don't sprint in so hard that you're out of breath when you stand up.

As soon as I crossed out of T1, several people were shouting something at me. As I was getting ready to mount my bike, I realized what it was. I had put my helmet on backwards! I was so embarrassed. Of course my wife was right there to get plenty of shots of me fumbling with my helmet to put it on the right way. Overall, my race was uneventful. I had such a great time and had learned so much about myself and the sport of triathlon even if I did embarrass myself.

And here’s an “unauthorized” close-up of the helmet still on backwards:

When I was getting ready to launch this contest, I KNEW I could find someone who had put their helmet on backwards!! I've seen it done before! Thanks for sharing Kevin!

Tri-Marni’s Story
(from http://trimarni.blogspot.com/)

I raced my first three triathlons on a brand new hybrid bike with toe clips and no idea how to change my gears. I just loved my bike!

In 1/06 I participated in my first marathon. My experience with marathon training was painful and I was nutritionally ignorant. When it came time to race the marathon I was really excited and scared! I loaded up with carbs the night before and tapered for almost two weeks for the marathon. Although I bonked in the race, I finished in 3:38. With no running background, my “runner” friends told me I qualified for Boston. What’s in Boston?

After the Boston marathon, it was time to take my triathlons to another level. I bought a Trek tri-bike for IMFL 70.3 (2006). For over a year, I didn’t know how to change a flat, I was scared to clip in my pedals, I didn’t use my aerobars and I didn’t change gears. My husband is a bike tech and cat 1 rider and I’m ashamed that I then, had to go to the bike shop to pump up my tires. I had no spare-tire kit on my bike, I had one pair of cycling shorts and one jersey. I once took my bike to a gas station to try to pump my tires by myself, with air from the car pump!

To some people, qualifying for Boston and Kona after my first marathon and IM may seem amazing. For me, consistent training, progress and a finisher medal keeps me going as a triathlete and when I started, I clearly knew nothing about triathlons, sports nutrition or endurance running. Who goes to a gas station to pump bike tires??

(Side note: March is National Nutrition Month, and Marni [who has a Masters in Exercise Physiology and is a Certified Sports Nutritionist] is spending the week talking about nutrition on her blog. Stop by and check it out.)

If you’d like to read the Top 10 and vote for your favorite (you can vote for up to 3), THERE’S STILL TIME!! Please CLICK HERE to check them out!! The poll will automatically close at 10 pm Central time on Saturday night! The winners will be announced next week!!


X-Country2 9:29 AM, March 19, 2009  

These stories have been so fun! Such a great idea.

Carolina John 10:53 AM, March 19, 2009  

those are great! i have been following marni for a little bit, she's really talented.

i have the same afflictions (without the stellar finish times). i ran my first tri without changing gears on the bike, still can't change a flat, etc.

tfh 11:07 AM, March 19, 2009  

I love reading these. Although I've put more embarrassing things on backwards than the helmet.

Christy 11:09 AM, March 19, 2009  

I've always wanted to do a triathlon, but I'm not really a great swimmer. AT ALL. I know I could handle the biking and running, but swimming? I think I'd need a coach.

Anyway, thanks for the comment on my blog! I don't get too many, and just for that, I'm adding you to my blog list! thanks!

mthead 11:30 AM, March 19, 2009  

The wife of a Cat1 rider who doesn't change her gears made me laugh. good on her for getting over that initial trepidation.

Gotta Run 12:30 PM, March 19, 2009  

Kevin's is priceless!!! Since I have met him in person I enjoyed it even more :)

Shannon 5:43 PM, March 19, 2009  

Great stories, I was going to submit mine but they wouldn't of "made the cut" these stories are 100x better. Maybe you should do this twice a year.


lindsay 8:25 PM, March 19, 2009  

haha these are excellent stories!! love them both, thanks to both you tri's for sharing them via steve!

CoachLiz 5:32 AM, March 20, 2009  

3:38 for a first marathon and not know what "Boston" is???

Oh, I could cry. Marni has such a raw talent and she is going to be one to watch.

Anonymous,  8:20 AM, August 11, 2010  

Rather interesting site you've got here. Thanks for it. I like such topics and everything that is connected to them. I definitely want to read a bit more soon.

Avril Hakkinen

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