Tuesday, August 19, 2008

On the other side... Spectator and Cheerleader

For the second year in a row I opted to not compete in the Take on the Heat Triathlon... one that is only about minutes away from my home. Yes the tri is that close and I was probably more than ready to compete... but pool swims... esp those that take place in long course pools are stinkers. Last year I volunteered... body marking and handed water at the first aid station that was right out of T2... but this year I wanted to spectate and cheer everyone on.

Race morning was typical like a race that I would do... minus lugging the transition bag, bike, running shoes, ect... I got over to the Lewisville ISD Aquatic Center around 6am. Got out of the car and right off the bat started seeing several members of my masters swim team... most of who were doing their first triathlon... and my tri peeps who I hadn't seen since pre IM CDA. I walked around... chatted with friends who were out there to just specatate themselves... and calmed down a few first timers who had butterflies swarming their stomach.

I walked down on the deck of the pool with a friend and we wished all of who we saw a good race. Dave #1 was the first one in the water shortly after 7am hit. He was smooth the whole 350 meters of the pool. I was waiting for #2 to pass... but it didn't happen... he just drafted off Dave the whole entire time. As others hopped in I screamed Go and their name... especially for Anna (former Texas A&M swimmer) and Debbie (lane leader and buddy... it was their first one ever. As Dave was done I ran up the ramp to head outside to watch T1. As the triathletes came out of the natatorium and headed on the sidewalk to go to T1... the scream in my voice got loud... and a smile glimmered on most faces. As Anna and Debbie came out... they were both smiling and told me they appreciated me coming out to cheer them on. One by one... they came out... some tired... some relieved. I now know what I looked like coming out of the swim and have more appreacitiation for those standing there cheering me on into T1 :)

There wasn't much to see on the bike... except when they come around and zoomed by to start the second loop. As they came by I could pick out a few here and there... it was interesting to see the aggressiveness and competativeness of the highly ranked elite athletes in the region... they were fierce. For a bit it was just a whole lot of screaming and cheering... my voice started to go horse.

As they came out of T2 to start the run... my voice got loud once again. I spectated from the point to where they had just come out of T2. Besides screaming my guts out... I gave high fives to those who I knew and wished them well on their run. About 15 minutes after the first runners left T2 I headed over to the finish to watch the finish. I helped the Playtri girl spot the race numbers so she could find out who they were and announce them into the finish line. The finish line crowd started to accumulate. As the runners came in there was lots of screaming... lots of clapping... lots of high fives... and of course lots of congratulations. I stayed to see Dave and several of my swim team mates finish... especially Anna and Debbie... they needed that support. Hugs and congratulations were given to everyone who walked by me... Anna and Debbie recieving monumental hugs.

And as if I were competing... as soon as I heard results were posted... I sped over to see them... see how my friends did... see how I would have stacked up.

Overall a fun experience... again. I enjoyed giving back to the sport on Sunday... being the Cheerleader and Spectator for once.

I missed competing that day... but only a few more weeks till I get to race a triathlon after a long deserved break :)

More to come...

2 comments:

Rainmaker said...

Good to see you went out and just enjoyed the day. Sometimes it's almost...just almost as much fun as actually competing. But - it is a heck of a lot more relaxing!

Kona Shelley said...

And this is why I love to volunteer. It's great to give back to a sport we love so much! Good for you!