Transplant Athlete
Saturday, June 25, 2011
  Webster Lake Triathlon

So, I was feeling energized by my surroundings on that bright sunny Sunday. My dad picked me up from Vinny's that morning and we drove over to Memorial Beach. The transition and finish line was in the large grassy area (inside a walking track), we got registered and then set up our bikes in the transition area. The guy next to me had brought a cooler and not one of those small 6 pack coolers, this was about two feet wide and it was smack dab between me and Matt.

We wandered down to the beach, which was about 1/4 mile from the transition area, which prompted jokes like, "Swim, run, bike, run." The swim course was a giant triangle with the base parallel to shore. Dad and Matt waded into the water for the start, I lined up on shore near the point of the triangle. The gun went off and it was a mad scramble into the water. On the first leg, I felt like I was running into a wall of feet, so I backed off the pace. A familiar face popped up out of the water just before the first turn, it was Matt! We were pretty much at the same pace as we swam parallel to the beach. I was really suffering, taking a breath every stroke, people in the later waves were passing me, and it felt like I was out there for hours (in actuality it was 15 minutes). I lost track of Matt on the final leg into the beach. I stumbled out of the water and once I got past the beach, I was able to pick up the pace and actually run.

I had a fast transition and pushed the pace on my bike. The big climbs threw me for a loop. I just couldn't keep my speed up on the climbs and had to spin in an easy gear. I used the downhill to get some food and drink in me. The rest of the course was small rollers and I was able to pick up the pace. The run felt like a disaster. I was getting passed by everybody and I wasn't passing anyone. I kept telling myself that's the last person that's going to pass me and seconds later, I'd hear footsteps and heavy breathing.

With about a 1/2 mile to go, I passed Matt on his way out. I focused on a woman about a hundred feet in front of me and just kept lifting the pace to catch her. I passed her right at the finish line. Yes I know, she started later, which means even though I passed her at the line, she was still something like 10 minutes ahead of me. I ended up 16th (out of 26) in my age group and 116th out of 215 overall. Pretty much mid-pack.

My dad had done a similar swim a week before and it took him 32 minutes to complete it, but he shaved 10 minutes off that time up in Mass. That's pretty amazing. He could shave some more time if he wore a streamlined bathing suit instead of the cargo shorts he wears. I gotta send props to my cousin Matt too, with a couple more triathlons under his belt he'll be able to shave some serious time. He is much faster in his second triathlon than I was in mine.


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I've gone through kidney failure twice. The first time in 2000, my mother donated a kidney; and again in 2008, I'm on dialysis waiting for a breakthrough in immuno-suppression medicines before seeking a new kidney.

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