Sunday, July 15, 2012

San Rafael Classic Triathlon

The 4 of us after our race. I love my Tri fam!
It's the middle of another triathlon season. We've done this for 6 seasons now and every season, we get to do something we haven't done before. This year, for the first time, we were able to do a triathlon where all 4 of us competed!

San Rafael Classic Triathlon is held in Huntington, UT- a tiny little town in central Utah. It just so happens to be the same tiny little town that I grew up in. I did this race once before, back in 2009. That year, I just did the sprint distance because I had an Olympic distance coming up soon after. This year, however, we chose to do the Olympic since we didn't have another tri for 3 weeks.

This race was special to me. My children have never had a chance to see where I grew up. I rarely visit. When we left in 1994, we had no family there. Most of my friends have since moved, and since we were living in Idaho until a year ago, it just didn't seem worth the trip. However, now that we are closer, I wanted a chance to show them where I grew up. It was the icing on the cake that this race also happened to have a junior triathlon that my kids could compete in.

Daniel and I registered for the Olympic distance, along with our good friend Melissa (who grew up in Ferron, a neighboring town. She and I attended the same high school). Two of our other friends, Shari and Sarah, registered for the sprint distance. My two older kids registered for the junior triathlon.

I made plans to meet up with one of my childhood best friends, Melanie (Holdaway) Bernard. While she and I were discussing plans, she reminded me that our other best friend, April, might be coming down, since her husband, Jeff, was interested in competing in the race as well. I got in touch with Jeff and April and was beyond thrilled that Jeff was indeed racing. This meant that April, Melanie and I would be able to get together for the first time since high school. We made plans to meet up after the race on Saturday. April also invited us to stay with them, at her parent's house. I think I spent more time in that house during my teenage years, than I did in my own home. Her parents were like my second parents and I was excited to be able to see them again.

We arrived in Huntington on Friday evening. After checking in for the race and getting our race packets, we spent a little time at the lake. Our kids enjoyed skipping rocks on the beautiful lake, and I was caught up in the childhood memories.
The family skipping rocks on Huntington Lake. I grew up swimming in this lake.

When Jayden saw these Great Danes, he said, "Mom, are those camels?" Love that kid!
Daniel, Jayden and Savannah looking over the lake the night before the race.

It was obvious that our swim would be a beautiful one.

 Later on, we headed over to the Nielson's to get settled for the night. On the way, we drove by my childhood home. I showed it to my kids and told them a few things I thought they might enjoy hearing about. We also drove by my old elementary school, the local grocery store and a few other places that hold fond memories for me. When we arrived at the Nielson's, I was so happy to see Boyd and Maryellen again. They were always so good to me. We spent a little while catching up with April and Jeff and then headed to bed to get some good rest for our race in the morning.

At 5:30am, we got out of bed and headed to the race. The little boys stayed at the house with April and her kids, while her husband Jeff, Daniel and I headed to the race. April brought Mason and Savannah over with her a little later so they could watch some of our race without getting up quite so early.

The race was fantastic. We thoroughly enjoyed the course and felt it was well run and enjoyable. The weather was perfect and the water was amazing. There really was nothing to complain about. Daniel's wave started first. My wave was 5 minutes behind his, and our friends who did the sprint started 10 minutes behind me. It was fun to have the waves so close together because it meant we got to see everyone at some point during the race.

When all was said and done, we couldn't have been happier. Daniel took first in the Clydesdale division. I took first in the Female 30-34 division and 5th overall. Jeff took first in the male 35-39 division. Our Saratoga Springs friends all placed in the top 3 of their divisions as well.

Daniel and I after the race.

Melissa Brown, Sarah Smith, me, and Shari Wycherly- our good friends from Saratoga Springs.

As soon as we were done, we had to rush to get the bikes and transitions set up for Mason and Savannah. They were both nervous and excited. Mason was finally tall enough to ride my road bike instead of his heavy bike. Savannah is still much too small, but she sure looked cute on her pink, shiny bike! Both kids did fantastic. They didn't have the kids divided out by age, which bummed Savannah out (since she knew she couldn't really compete with 17 year old boys), but Dan and I couldn't have been more proud of either of them. Mason ended up coming in 6th overall, which was exciting! There were so many kids this year. They really enjoyed themselves and we enjoyed sharing such a fun race with them.

Savannah coming out of the water- Can you believe that grin?

Mason coming out of the water- he swam strong!

Coming in to T2 after the bike.

Savannah on the very tail end of the run- sprinting to the finish.

After the awards ceremony, we headed back to the Nielson's for some much needed food, showers and rest. Our kids were having the time of their lives playing with the Mower's (April and Jeff's kids). After a little while, I got a message from Melanie that she was on her way over. It's hard to describe how great it felt to have the three of us together again. I moved after our sophomore year of high school and hated leaving them behind. While the move was a positive thing for me, and Idaho quickly became my home, I never replaced April and Melanie. Being together again felt like coming home. I love them both so much.

While there is more of that story to tell, I want to post that in a separate blog, complete with pics from then and now....soooo, that's all the girlfriend reunion talk for now!

Saturday evening, we headed back home. Everyone had a perfect weekend. We enjoyed our time together as a family, as well as catching up with old friends. I am so thankful for a healthy body, a healthy family, and the ability to do these things that we love so much. I am thankful that I can share these things with friends, old and new. It truly was a beautiful weekend.

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