My First Triathlon
Your first triathlon - usually a sprint triathlon - should be about having fun. Celebrate the joy of life by playing with three childhood activities – swimming, biking and running.
(And remember... It’s OK if you decide not to sprint from start to finish.)
I fondly remember my first triathlon. I was living in Kona – the World Capital of Triathlon.
However, I was no triathlete. I was a coffee farmer with dreadlocks who loved reggae music and enjoyed non-competitive running. In fact, it was a running injury that originally drove me to swim and bike.
That first sprint triathlon was an annual early-morning Thanksgiving Day tradition – one of the free “Peaman Events” held year-round in Kona. As many as 100 local athletes, (with occasional big-name pros who are in town to train) gather for an informal swim/bike and/or run event at the Kona Pier – which happens to be the official start and finish line of Hawaii Ironman.
Peaman events require no registration form and no fee (exempting us from permits and politics). In the event that the authorities show up, we look at each other, shrug and say, “Race? What race? We’re just gettin’ together to train.” But, I can assure you, many folks show up with racing flats, racing wheels and their best game faces on!
Low-key local events truly embody my definition of “competition”: “A petition for the empowerment of companionship”
Well, by the time I finished that ½-mile swim, 12-mile bike and 3-mile run on Thanksgiving Day of 1998, I was definitely a triathlete – a convert to (as I call it) the Church of Triathlon! There is just something magic in the synergy of “playing” these three childhood activities in one event.
And picture this: In that Turkey Tri, I rode an ancient rusty mountain bike complete with a rear rack and tattered panniers flapping in the wind (along with my locks!) But, I was a triathlete – I had bolted a set of aero bars to that old steed!
Remember to smile! Less than one-tenth of one percent of the world’s population has the health, wealth and freedom to enjoy this wonderful lifestyle.
The very next day after my first triathlon, I began training for Hawaii Ironman. After all, I had less than 11 months until race day and I still had to qualify!
The biggest challenge I faced in my quest was the agony of Long Distance Cycling..
from: "First Triathlon"
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