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My "First Triathlon" Story: I had several "I'd do that differently next time" moments

Triathlon InspirationDone! Completed my first Olympic-distance triathlon, at Fall Creek Falls State Park, Tennessee. I completed two sprint-distance tri's in 2008, and caught the bug to try an Olympic-distance event. Now I know an Olympic tri is do-able. I finished a few minutes faster than I anticipated, and did not have any major problems. Behind the pack, but had a great time, glad to be there.

All the advice on triathanewbie.com worked well, particularly the info on transitions. I used the checklist and practiced transitions with a dress rehearsal several weeks prior to the race.

Being a newbie, I had several "I'd do that differently next time" moments during the race. Here are a few:

  1. Do not camp out the night before the race. This is my first overnight trip for a race, and I saved a few bucks by staying at a campground, rather than at the lodge located at the race site. Mistake. Sleeping in the minivan, crammed in with my bike and all the other gear, is a mess. I woke up with 4 hours of sleep and a sore back. Next time, I'll book a room at the lodge.
  2. Don't buy new goggles the day before the race. Twenty minutes into the swim leg, I had a serious headache. Goggles were too tight. The headache disappeared when I removed the goggles at end of swim.
  3. Bring your friends and family. I noticed several families had come up for the race. Dad or mom was racing, and the other members of the family were there to cheer them on, and just enjoy the beautiful venue. So, next race, I'll try to bring my wife and children, maybe stay an extra day, and make a vacation of it.

Thanks to triathanewbie.com for good info, thanks to the race director for letting me participate as a race walker, and thanks to my wife and kids for patience during the months of training and obsessing about the race!

Jeff from Alabama

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