VA Momentum: SUPTri (first annual), Bridgewater, Virginia
25 Miles Total
The day came for me to participate in the last of the three big races I set as my healthy comeback goals for 2017. My mind was in overdrive thinking about the bad weather, the nervousness of doing my first triathlon, and a sadness that the major fitness ambitions I had been working tirelessly to achieve were coming to an end. My friends Beth, Sarah and Leslie were with me to also compete in the triathlon. We arrived at the starting point, and got our bikes and other gear situated in the transition areas. Then, we put timing bracelets around our ankles (which looked like house arrest devices).
Beth, Sarah and Leslie had an earlier wave, so they got on their paddle boards and lined up at the starting point for the first leg of the race. The Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP) portion was one mile on a section of the North River in Bridgewater. The flash floods the previous night caused the water level to be high. I did my best to focus on paddling my arms off, instead of being distracted by the intimidating rough waters.
SUP Completion Time: 16:22, 1 Mile
I hustled to the transition station to dry my feet, put on my socks and sneakers, and hop on my bike as fast as I could to start the cycling portion. This leg of the race was described as a “beautiful ride through the countryside”. The scenery was indeed beautiful, BUT the hills were arduous and the rain was relentless. I never biked for that many miles in that bad of weather before. It truly tested my spirit. At one point I saw a massive brown cow along a fence line and I swear it was giving me the side-eye. That’s when you know you’re tired! Finally, I saw a woman waving in the distance, and as I approached, she yelled: “good job, you’re in the homestretch!” I felt like crying tears of joy.
Bike Completion Time: 1:30:09, 20 Miles
I made my way to the transition station, threw my bike up on the rack and started running. It felt like an out-of-body experience; my legs were still in cycling mode. This final portion of the race was a technical run, described as a one-of-a-kind run on farm property with switchbacks on rough, hilly terrain. The rain finally stopped and I tried to take in my surroundings and appreciate the experience. I kept repeating to myself, you did it, it’s almost over! When the finish line was in sight I booked it with every last bit of energy I had left. As I reached the end the announcer said, “here comes Kimberly Evering from Fairfax, Virginia, way to go!” Then a girl placed a medal around my neck. Beth and Sarah were there waiting, and greeted me with big smiles and hugs. The best way to end a tough race is to have great friends by your side!
Technical Run Completion Time: 45:16, 4 Miles
My overall finish time for the race including transitions was 2:35:58. I am very proud of my time, given the country hills, pouring rain and fact that it was my first triathlon. There was a charming building on the property called Valley Pike Farm Market, where we could go inside to claim our free finisher beer. I opted for a huge hot chocolate instead. We hung out in the market for a little while decompressing and being goofy, before making the drive back home.
Remain fearless and never say never! My big planned races for the year may have come to an end, but I am not one to say no when my friends invite me to join them for a physical challenge. Sooooo I signed up for …
- Philly 10K, Aug. 27 — The race is a 6.2-mile loop through South Philly and Center City, passing through two of Philadelphia’s vibrant corridors (13th Street + East Passyunk), past their historic Italian Market, and along 76 city blocks. It’s a sold out race of 4,500 runners.
- 13 Colonies Ride, Sept. 9 — A Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) annual celebration and 15-mile hilly ride through every Ward of the District and on every avenue named for the original 13 colonies. It’s a sold out race of 700 bicyclists.
- 2017 National Capital Region 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb & 5K Walk, Sept. 16 — Participants pay tribute to FDNY firefighters by climbing the equivalent of the 110 stories of the World Trade Center.
I hope you will keep following my journey and that you are encouraged to live a fearless life, doing healthy things outside of your comfort zone!