One of the best things about the Fox Cities Triathlon Club is the strong drive to share triathlon with newbies. While most triathletes love bringing new people into the sport, the Tri Foxes offers Tri 101. This annual program brings together first timers, experienced racers, coaches, mentors, and training sessions to prepare people for their first race.
If I remember correctly, Jesse showed up at transition around 6 a.m. He was delayed by one of those situations we all fear. His bike had flatted out, and he realized he was out of spare tubes. He decided to head to the race, hoping one of the bike shops would have a maintenance tent. Nobody did.
He got in a good warm-up running all over the place trying to find someone with a tube he could have. We never crossed paths, but he eventually found Mark, who wasn't racing. Mark had the spare Jesse needed, and they were able to get the bike ready to go with about five minutes to spare before the start of the race.
The picture above shows Jesse getting marked up for the race. The guy in the yellow shirt in the background is Mark. Mark is a huge force in the Tri Foxes for reasons just like this. He is always there to help out fellow triathletes.
Our paths did manage to cross just before the start of the race. Jesse's wife took this great picture of us ready to go. This is just after I took care of my own last minute "freak out" issue of a leaking ear plug. More on that when I post my race report.
The sprint starts were after all the half distance waves, so Jesse had an opportunity to calm down a bit from the bike issue. He used that time to wonder about the water conditions, as he'd heard the conditions were a bit rough.
Jesse reported he got through the swim like most everybody else. He floundered his way through like everyone else. The reports he'd heard were accurate. While there were no whitecaps on the lake, there were huge swells the entire morning. One of the pros admitted in a news article that he had almost called it quits during the swim.
Jesse got caught on the very inside of the turn, wrestled with the bouy, and made it back the the swim exit in about 6:36. Not bad for a quarter-mile swim. Faster than me, anyway.
Jesse headed up the hill to T1, hopped on the bike, and headed out for his ride. His biggest concern for the bike was low tire pressure. I pointed out (after the race) that he probably had more pressure than he thought as the temperature increased a great deal. He completed the bike portion in 1:09, another great performance. After a short transition, he headed out on the run.
In addition to being Jesse's first triathlon, this race exposed him to his first trail running. Several areas of the trail had him concerned because of tricky footing. More than one triathlete has taken a tumble along the course, so his concerns were valid. He made it through with no issues, and completed the run with "time to spare."
His second goal, after finishing, was to come in under two hours. His official time was 1:51:25. And he said he wasn't completely exhausted. Apparently he had a little bit more available to give, so knows what he might be able to accomplish in his next race.
Jesse is no longer a "Tri Kit." He's now an official triathlete and fully grown Tri Fox. He's already looking at a couple of races in the coming weeks and months. Congratulations, Jesse!
As if there is any further proof needed that the Fox cities Triathlon Club is THE coolest tri club in the country, nay, the world, here is a picture of our team mascot hanging with seven time Tour de France champion and recent Boston Marathon finisher Lance Armstrong. Foxie was in Boston supporting Tri Foxes participating in the race.
Just who is this Iron Pol?
A former out of shape sailor, who became a marathoner, then a triathlete, Ironman, and ultramarathoner. Now, life has pushed me into short track speed skating. More important than the titles is the lifestyle, and sharing it with others.