Druid Hill Sprint Triathlon: race report (guest post)

A sprint tri is fun. This was my big revelation for the day. I had fun walking lane to lane and cheering Katie on in the swim and watching her run up the stairs of an Egyptian pyramid towards transition. I had fun chatting with the people around me in line for the pool as we watched perfect swim form and muscular bodies devolve into oddly flapping jellyfish, knowing our bad form was yet to come. I had fun swimming to the left of people, to the right of people, making a hole in the middle and going for it. I had a great time having my friend Brian (race photographer for a day) cheering me on as I came out of the water. God bless those who will wake up at the crack of dawn to watch the salmon spawn.

In T1 I received a compliment. The woman who started just in front of me, who was not a jellyfish, who had a kit on and told me about her last 70.3 and used all the right words, said I was fast in the water. Tee hee. Me. Who trained all of two days in the pool. Silly but fun. 
In T1 I also showed why there was a big old N on each of my calves. The race people were yelling, "Cross the orange line before you mount." So, I crossed the orange timing mat and mounted well before the orange chalk line on the ground that read "Mount Here." I was chastised but yelled, "It's my first time!" And kept going.
On the bike I was amazed to get going without incident, and really freaking happy that I was able to get my feet into my rat-trap pedals. Yea me! There were little up hills and little down hills. What can I possibly tell you about the course? I don't know anything. I'm a novice. And then.... the downhill. I saw it coming. I pulled the left lever towards me (big ring) and pushed the right lever away from me (little gear), put my head down and pedaled as fast as I could. Three quarters of the way down the hill I yelled out "Hooooolllllyyy Shhhiiiiiitttttt!"
Luckily I saw the cop at the bottom of the hill or I may have found myself in the face of oncoming traffic. The rude awakening was that what goes down must go back up. Slowly. Painfully. Did I mention slowly. The second time around I had a realization on the way up that hill. This was the Druid HILL sprint triathlon. Druid HILL (Yes, I didn't realize that until the second lap). When I verbalized this to the woman next to me as we worked up this hill with our butts off the seats she claimed there was no way I could be a novice. My second compliment of the day.

I came into transition to get ready for the only part of this race I had any idea how to do, run a 5k. I dismounted (before the orange line) and sauntered into transition saying out loud, "Wobbly legs. Wobbly LEGS. I HAVE WOBBLY LEGS." I went to move my Garmin from my bike onto my wrist. The band snapped and it exploded into pieces. My reaction to this was to look at my Garmin, look at the band, look at the visor and sunglasses I was going to wear, pause for a brief moment of reflection and say, "Fuck it!" and just went to run.
The run course was perfect. I knew exactly where I was because of the big lake in the middle. When I saw Katie and Brian yelling for me I was filled with joy and happiness. When I hit the gas to take off my right leg charlie horsed. In my head I paused for a brief moment of reflection. I offered up a prayer to God that started with, "Fuck it!" and just continued my run.

If anyone has any advice to running after a previous activity (in water or off the bike), now would be the time to offer it. I have not been happy with the two times I have tried it. I am sure I will get better with practice. But my body (or maybe my brain) is pretty much like, "Sir, haven't we done enough today?" But, I had cheering fans and a beautiful morning, and I passed the 9 year old who swam with little t-rex arms in the pool. So, who am I to complain? I just hope to get better over time.
Then it was done. Which is maybe the most fun part about a sprint tri. You are in the water, than transitioning, then on a bike, then transitioning, then running, then eating pizza and listening to stories about the day. You never do any one thing long enough to get deep into it or bored with it or question it or have deep thoughts. It's just boom boom boom. Done. It's fun. You should do one. Go sign up right now. And if you have a hot fast wife, have her sign up too. Then you can share the day.


  1. Way to go! Love how you rock the pink bike and purple shirt. And I'm only slightly jealous that you guys can do things like this together.

  2. Really awesome job, sir. You make this sound a lot of fun. You mentioned that the run specifically seemed more difficult after other activities. Was the same true of biking? I'm interested in giving this a shot, but I never seem to line up with any of the local group training programs, so I'm concerned that even if I get myself to the point where I can do all the individual activities, I'll either make an ass of myself in the transitions or fall apart because I've never tried the activities so close together.

    Regardless, it sounds like you had a great time, which is brilliant. :)

    1. There is not enough time to mess anything up too much, and there is always someone slower and less prepared than you. That is in the fine print of the race guide.

  3. Congrats Poet! You rock!!! Love your enthusiasm!

  4. Fantastic job Poet! Rock on. Now you're hooked, welcome to the new addiction.

    The first time you run off of the bike it feels like you're running on tree stumps, doesn't it? I promise that gets easier the more often you practice.

  5. I love that both you and Katie did this! Congratulations! I wouldn't begin to know what to tell you on running after having done another kind of sport, so hats of to you that you are doing this in the first place!

  6. I'm glad you had such a good time!

  7. Love this guest post! Congrats, Thom! Way to do it up right and have fun!

  8. Congrats! Sprint tris are fun. And I love your team shirt.

    I didn't know there was a sprint there--I run the Celtic Solstice there every year and always look down at that pool, wondering what it's like in summer. And there's nothing flat there, huh?

  9. Very inspiring, Poet. Thanks for the entertaining write-up. Your sign-up goading just got me a leeetle bit closer to a triathlon. So thanks.

  10. This was really fun to read. Did you really cycle in your Kinvaras? If so, that's awesome. (I'm assuming you didn't swim in them).

  11. So cute!! I love it! Congrats on your finish!!

  12. Finally a tri race report that I understand! Ha. I know nothing about cycling or swimming so I could totally relate to "flapping jellyfish" and "rat tap pedals"...Nice work! Congratulations!

  13. great race report and congrats to you.

    so your hot and fast wife never told you to just spin your legs in an ez gear at the end of the bike to loosen them up for the run? Maybe she is just trying to these secrets to herself so you don't pass her?

  14. OMg this was hilarious. I've never come as close to entertaining the thought of a tri as I am right now. I have no hot wife, but still...you make it seem almost doable.

  15. Editors Note: I believe Thom meant to write: "And if you have a hot fast wife with a great ass, have her sign up too."

    Damn novice bloggers ;}

  16. Way to go!!! I love that you had so much fun! You're right - you aren't doing each discipline long enough to get bored or super tired. Congras on all the compliments and on a great race!!!

  17. See this is why I love the tris around here - they are all pretty much reverse so you swim last and get to do the running first.

    Congrats on your first (complete) tri!

  18. Way to go! Sounds like you had a great day.

  19. I always love reading your reports. Please blog again or I will cry.

    rat-trap pedals! Love it.

    And Congratulations!! on your first sprint tri!!

    I will heed your call to do my first tri once I'm done with this Century ride training and actually get in the pool and swim more than one lap across and back. So, Spring?

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