First of all, let me say that I’m working on a project- and craft-related blog post—it’s coming soon. In the meantime, I’m still excited about my new accomplishment of this past weekend… I competed in my first-ever sprint triathlon!!
I’d already been thinking about doing a sprint tri in Bali at the end of June. I told my plan to Queenie, one of my friends here, who’s super-athletic and is involved in planning all kinds of sporting events in Kampala. “You should do our triathlon in March!” he told me.
“No way! I’m not ready! I’ll drown! I don’t have a bike!” I had plenty of good excuses. But somehow, he and Nissim, another ultimate-frisbee acquaintance/friend (who’s also a Canadian former pro triathlete) convinced me to try it. For an entry fee of about $15, I figured even if I failed to finish it wouldn’t be a huge loss.
I drove down to Entebbe with Queenie and Nissim on Saturday, a day early, to help set up the pool and transition area at the Lake Victoria hotel.
Before: super nervous (about the race and how on earth I would manage to fit my hair into a swim cap) (it worked, somehow).
After: happy and muddy!
The race was really fun. I survived the swim (400m in a pool)—luckily, it seems like muscle memory lasts a long time, since I think the last time I really swam laps was freshman year of college. The bike (20 km) was great. It rained torrentially on Saturday night, and I was so glad that I rented a mountain bike to negotiate the potholes and hills and washboard ruts of the course’s dirt roads. The course was lovely, with views of Lake Victoria, and I waved at plenty of friendly and amused people along the way. My only scary moment was when I rounded a turn, going fast, and narrowly avoided colliding with a whole herd of cows crossing the road. The run (5 km) was ok—by then my muscles were tired, but I knew I was almost done.
Hungry and tired and endorphins-happy at the finish line! I don’t know if you can tell, but I’m completely covered with mud speckles from the bike section.
Somehow I got second place! Mind you, that’s 2nd out of 11 competitors in the women’s sprint distance, but I’ll take it. We stuck around long enough to do some celebratory jumping from the dive platform into the pool. Now I’m definitely excited to do the triathlon in Bali!