Updated: Jan 10
When I left playing Division 1 lacrosse in 2006, I took up cycling as a way to keep fit. I subsequently found it to be a way to clear my mind and explore the neighborhoods of Delaware County. I would cycle roughly for 2 hours at a time, while listening to music. I thought cycling would be a great choice for a new sport and quickly looked into teams, races, long rides...you name it.
While I was impressed at the many different teams around the Philadelphia area, I was also quickly put off by the elitism of the sport. Don't have the newest bike? Can't sustain our pace? Don't want to go to the places we want to go? Too bad, so sad. I didn't want that type of relationship with people to make me dislike a sport.
When I moved to Hershey, PA, I continued cycling and shortly also found running. The unique nature of the campus where I work provides trails for running, cycling and just about everything else. It is situated on farmed corn fields with ample open space, trees that line the paved trails and easy access to other trails and roads in the area.
I joined the triathlon community in 2015 after finding a new love/hate relationship for running and signing up for my first 70.3 Ironman race. If you know one thing about me, I like to jump into things without having all of the pieces together and figuring it out later. Why? Well for one, I learn the in's and out's of whatever the challenge is. Two, people's limits only exist in their minds and not in any physical barrier. So, why not say yes? Three, I'm more prepared to handle rapid changes and able to problem solve creatively in the future. Four, it breaks my barrier of communication and enables me to reach out to people to help solve the problem. I get to meet exceptional people who are way more intelligent than me and have also experienced the same problems with different approaches.
With this being said, I also joined an online team. Without going to much into detail, this team didn't provide the support I needed. For me, that was meeting people, hanging out at races and genuinely getting to know each other. Not just by a social media profile.
In 2018, I joined Savage Tri Team. A colleague who I met from the previous tri team, Leann, had started her own club for women and was looking for new members. We had a lot in common and I thought, 'sure why not'. As you could imagine, pulled the plug and jumped right in.
Moving into 2019, this was my first year on the new team and my first year back into triathlon races. The Philadelphia Women's Triathlon is what's considered a super sprint triathlon. It features a 300 meter pool swim, 9 mile bike ride and a 5k run. It is one of the best triathlon's, regardless of distance, I have every participated in. It might be because I'm from the Philadelphia region, but it gives so many reasons to love it. The bike course is completely closed off to traffic-one of the MOST important details in triathlon racing. The bike course rides along the Schuylkill River and your first turn around point is the Philadelphia Art Museum.The swim happens in the historical Kelly Pool. The run portion goes through Fairmount park right behind the Please Touch Museum, Shofuso Japanese Garden, Centennial Arboretum and Smith Memorial Arch.
Race morning transition area set up. Right next to those arches. I was racked close to my teammates which made it super awesome.
Swim start lining up. Most of us started in our respective time spots.
I focused this year on the aquabike portion which included the 300 meter swim and 9 mile bike. Jumped right into that swim!
Why yes, that is my arm. Last lap!
Step 1, remove the goggles. Step 2, remove the swim cap. Move quickly, and run!
This bike course is one of my favorites. Flat with a giant hill at the end. One of my favorite parts was the cheering from my teammates.
Slide to the right: Alayna, Me, Jen and Leann.
What other team do you know that hugs each other after races? No matter the outcome.
I finished this race, 1st place age group and 5th overall.
It never gets old to hear your name being called as champion. Also, I love that medal lady.
Celebrated with a fresh, non-alcoholic craft beer! The best one ever from Athletic Brewing. Try them out!
We ended up having three of us place in our age groups for our races. I love this team and can't wait to crush the rest of the year! Thinking of joining a team? Try us out. We're a ton of fun, support each other and celebrate each other's accomplishments.
Next year...the Delmo Tri Club Cup!