Last year was my first time to ever see an actual triathlon and Ron's first time to participate. It was so much fun! This year, since I was going to be there anyway, I volunteered to help out with the race logisitics. That meant that we had to get there early! WAY early!!
Of course, it seems that this time everyone wanted to get there early.
Once we arrived and checked in, Ron got his things set up in the transition area, while I got my instructions for working at the water stop at the transition area.
It's always very moving for me to watch all the hustle and bustle of a race like this to come to a complete halt and everyone turn their silent attention to the National Anthem and American flag---reminds me every time how very lucky we are to be able to freely participate in activities such as this!
Being, "ah-hem", an OLDER participant meant that Ron started near the end of the pack, but this time, instead of getting really nervous, he was more familiar with the process and was able to pace himself during the swim better. From my vantage point, I wasn't able to watch him "hit the water", but I snuck down before the race began as the racers got used to the water.
I listened for the cannon to signal the beginning of each heat and knew the time he was scheduled to begin.
One of our running buddies caught a few with his iPhone as he was transitioning from biking to running.
I greeted him at our water stop with a couple of cold cups over his head, then worked a bit longer before leaving to watch him cross the finish line.
It was really hot, and I got eaten by ants, but otherwise a great time! I'm not completely sold on volunteering since I didn't get to see Ron as much as I'd liked, but they definitely needed the help and it was fun. After eating a bit and gathering our belongings (mostly his belongings), we headed back to the truck--a little 1/2 mile hike, which probably seems pretty long after doing a Tri!
As it turns out, Ron did set a new PR, coming in 7 minutes faster than last year. Hooray!