Settling The Score At The Galena Triathlon
by Jim L.
Wow! What a race weekend. Galena is such a beautiful area. The drive in from Chicago is so cool as you start to feel the hills getting bigger and bigger as you get closer. This was a big race for me. My first ever triathlon was in Galena in 2008, and I came back again in 2009, and I must say, this course owned me both times. Now it was time to come back, prepared and ready to settle the old score!! I felt great heading into the weekend and was so excited about doing this race with all of the awesome teammates that we have. Even the night before hanging out with Jason and Zeb (a newbie who I must say is now hooked :)) and just talking about the sport was awesome.
Race morning was a nervous but incredibly exciting time. The bus ride to the start was a blast and it was great having more than enough time to get warmed up in that cold water. The previous two Galenas have not been fun swims for me, but this one was awesome. I felt calm and confident (the hard work does pay off) and beat my expectations, coming out of the water in around 10 minutes. Then I got to hop on the new ride! That was a thrill. I especially loved that mile long climb in the middle, anyone else get a kick out of that one? No kidding, the scenery was unreal on that course, and I think I remember seeing 46 MPH on the computer going down that last hill!
For me, the run was where the real race started. Mile 1 was a KILLER, almost all uphill. As I crested that hill I had a guy pass me running really fast and I just kept him 10 yards in front of me for as long as I could. By mile 3, I could hear another guy coming up behind me (and at this point there was no one else remotely around us, even when we turned around). So I’m fighting to catch one guy, and trying to fend off another, and I am just hurting so bad! Of course the guy behind me was about 6’2″ and going down hill took a stride for every two of mine! 🙂 Anyway, the tall guy catches me with .5 miles to go and the other guy holds me off. I made one last ditch effort to catch them at the end but couldn’t. As soon as we crossed the finish line, I got to talking with them and we went from fierce competitors doing anything to beat each other to best of friends instantly, talking about how much fun that was. Now THAT is awesome in my book. Even though they both beat me, they helped push me to a run time I didn’t think I had in me, especially on that course.
The best part of the day though, was seeing everyone else finish, especially the ET team. Every person that crosses that finish line is thrilled about what they just accomplished, no matter what the clock says, and it is just so cool to watch everyone do that. Congrats to everyone that raced Saturday! Can’t wait to go back next year!