In November, my brother-in-law Chris who lives in Milwaukee contacted us because he was excited that he got into the NYC Triathlon. Of course, he spent months training for it, and finally July and race day arrived.
He drove to NJ with 3 of his 5 kids to visit us. Given our close proximity to NYC our home makes a great base for NYC events. He came with his triathlon gear, his bike, and a ton of food. I don’t think there was a time when he wasn’t eating during his stay with us.
Chris and my MIL stayed in a hotel in NYC the night before the triathlon, so it was my job to get all of the kids out of the house and into the car at 5 am so we could drive to NYC, park, and walk to the swim start, and his wave was to start sometime after 6 am but before 6:10 (or something like that). Fortunately, the kids were good sports.
I’ve done a number of races (running races, that is), but this whole triathlon thing is a whole different animal. I have never felt so out of place as I did at the start of the swim portion. Everyone is in either a wetsuit or a tri suit or in portions thereof. I even saw one guy who was only wearing a very tiny bathing suit (and I didn’t turn around when he walked by to see if it was a thong….probably was).
I learned one thing — the waves started by age group and gender, so all the 40-44 year old guys were in one long corral. They were to be lined up on a dock in groups of 15 to jump off every 20 seconds. I guess that’s normal?
We finally found Chris and I got a photo of him with his kids before the start.
His group of 15 made it to the dock and jumped in.
The kids and I walked the 1500 m to see him come out of the water. A couple of snafus though — the current was a lot faster than we expected, so he was swimming faster than we were walking; and my MIL can’t walk so we kind of ditched her so the kids could see their dad get out of the water.
While he made it to the transition area, we found a bench for MIL and the rest of us waited for Chris to come by on the bike. They had to go up a steep hill to make it out of the boat basin area, and we saw one guy totally wipe out and several others who hopped off and walked their bikes up the hill.
We sent my MIL to a taxi so she could meet us at 72nd St. and Central Park West, and the kids and I took our time walking as we knew we had about an hour and fifteen minutes or so until Chris would arrive.
We parked ourselves on the side of the street and started seeing the elite and then sub-elite athletes coming through. We cheered for every one! Then we started seeing the older men coming through as the over-50 men started the race right after the elites and sub-elites.
Finally we spotted Chris running down the street, looking good!
The kids and I made our way into Central Park and kind of guess where the finish area might be. Fortunately, our guesses were right as we eventually spotted the white tents in the distance. We parked ourselves along the finish chute to cheer again, and then we tried to find my MIL. (Long story short, she had no idea where she was and my 15-year-old nephew went looking for her and missed his dad crossing the finish line — my nephew was NOT happy about that).
Several of the aunts came to see the race finish as well!
Group shot of all of us after the race (kids, aunts, FIL, MIL, triathlete). Can you pick out the triathlete and the marathoner in the photo?
Then we headed to the Major League Baseball Fanfest where my husband was volunteering. It was fun, but talk about a LOT of walking in one day!
We all went for pizza and ice cream because that’s what Chris wanted after his race. He had an old photo from when the kids were little where he was holding all the kids at once and wanted to try to reproduce that scene. Unfortunately, the kids together weighted about 500 lbs. You can see how that turned out!
It’s hot here in the Northeast — this is what my car showed me when I left work yesterday afternoon. NOT really doing good things for my training now.