Saturday, May 10, 2008

Gulf Coast Triathlon

Well - the race was today. Could you tell?

Ah, and what a whirlwind it was.

I had no clue that sherpa-ing was so tough. It's one thing to race, to get caught up in the pre-race jitters, the prep, the race itself, and the recovery. But the sherpa is there through it all: worrying, helping, running around, waiting, doing some more running around, more waiting, answering calls from friends and families of the ahtletes racing, waiting, waiting, waiting...

And waiting.

And today was only 5 hours for almost all of my friends.

Imagine what an Ironman is like

So to all the Race Sherpas out there: Thank you for what you do. Triathletes, athletes, sporty-peoples in general could not do what we do without your support.

Highlights from the day include:

-Ashley literally choking on her oatmeal at 4:30 am

-Mary yelling how she LOVED the water and had a meeting with Jaws, while watching the waves roll in.

-Ashley putting on her wetsuit legs while sporting a plastic bag over her feet. Surprisingly, it slid on fairly quickly. To our complete and utter amazement.

-Standing on the beach and wathing the waves of athletes take off. I was nervous, happy, and tearful. Nervous for my friends, happy that they were spending a day doing what they loved, and tearful because I couldn't be out there. I was THIS close to running in the water as my wave was called out, but Sherpa Joanna held me back. And gave me a hug to help my tears.

-Seeing Mary, Ashley, Ludi, Donna, Amy K., Ryan, Petra, Katy, Stephanie L., Jennifer P-H, and several others that I can't remember out on the course.

-Yelling GO GO GO! at the top of my lungs at strangers.

-Yelling at Amy to "Go get her!" and having her say, "Are you Marit?" FYI: she pronounced my name correctly. Whoever told her - thanks! Had a chance to meet her at the finish after her win. She looked graceful and fast running down the chute, but collapsed into a wheelchair afterwards. First person I've seen give an interview from a wheelchair after winning a race.

Hilarious! But she deserved it!

-Managing to see all my friends on the bike AND get pictures. Yes, Super Sherpa indeed.

-Hugging everyone after the race, inspite of their sweat and grossness. At least they had sweated everything out. I was just a bundle of messy workout clothes, topped off with slightly damp hair. I know, I know - looking like a million bucks. Well, not so much.

-Hearing 8 Mile at the start of what would-have-been my wave

-Seeing Mary smile at every junction I saw her on the course

-Cheering for Ashley and having her yell, "This is for YOU!" Cried again right there.

-Comparing pieces of chocolate cake vs vanilla cake at the store. That was for Liz.

-Sitting on the beach for Mary for half an hour after the race. We were wearing bathing suits and sitting in the surf, and ended up with 3 pounds of sand in our suits. We had to wash very carefully, as we didn't want to grow any pearls in unmentionable areas.

-Letting Ashley pick the movie choice post-race. It was about ballet. I love her, but will never understand her choice in movies.

-Listening to the sound of the surf while reading my book.

-Being so proud of my friends - for going out of their comfort zones, pushing themselves and taking a risk, and pursuing their dreams. I am so proud of these incredible women, and love them all. I am honored to be here, grateful for the friends that I have.

-Our Trio Beach Junk Food Picknic at dusk. We decided to spend the entire time spread on the blanket without talking triathlon. We were successful. And it was the most I've laughed in a long time.

-Watching athletes on the course cheer and support each other.

-Running down the batteries on Mary's lap-

(hee hee hee)

Love to my friends. Thank you for sharing this with me! Congratulations to everyone who raced and who Sherpa-ed!


Amy Beth Kloner said...

Marit you are so sweet!!! Thank you so much for all the positive energy out there today and the kind words. I loved meeting you girls and wish I had hung out more with you. ps: Liz is to thank for teaching me proper pronounciation of your name! Hope to see you again soon. Take care and keep the energy positive. You will be back in the game soon. Amy

Jen said...

Sounds like you had a great day and set the bar for the Sherpas!

susanhaag said...

hey girl. i met you at gulf coast rego line and you taught me the importance of HTFU. i used it liberally thruout the race day. great to meet you and your 2 non sherpa friends.