Nevis Mini Tri Series - Race 4
Today we had the 4th race of the Nevis training triathlon series. I woke up to find the weather was rainy and the winds gusty. Two unfavorable factors for a triathlon. I called Reggie down at the Cycle Center and asked him, hopefully, if the race was rain or shine. When I say hopefully I mean hopefully it would be postponed, but he informed me that the people from St. Kitts were on their way so it was going to go on as planned. I knew I couldn’t whimp out now so I headed down there about 45 minutes before the scheduled start. I met our friend Nick at the end of his road and we looked out onto the water as we passed and it was not looking good. All this time I was worried about being on a road bike with slick wheels in the nasty weather and hadn't even thought about the churning water we were going to be swimming in. We arrived at Oualie Beach to find there was only one other bike on the rack and I thought to myself that if there weren't more people showing up I wasn't going to race. As you can see optimism was not my strong point today. I saw Wendy and Sarah who normally compete but they said they are not strong swimmers and decided that they should not risk it today. I was kind of bummed because they are my competitors and it has been fun to have someone around me to try to catch up to or overtake. Actually, Sarah ended up doing the run leg of a relay with a couple of other people and looking at her time she did real well. As they are telling me why they are not swimming they are looking out over at the water and I notice that there are small waves rolling in and crashing up on the beach. This is very uncharacteristic of Oualie Beach which is usually very calm. So...we waited around for a while as people showed up. We ended up with 16 entrants which is better than last time. I got in the water to warm up but it ended up cooling me way down and I was shivering as I waited for the start. The swim was kind of a funny little course going out to the first buoy which was out by the end of the Oualie dock. They had changed the configuration (I think) at the last minute due to the rough conditions of the water. So, out to the first buoy then parallel to shore over to another buoy and back to shore where you had to climb up on shore and round a bunch of sticks and then back in for lap two. At the start I got in and started swimming. It went fine around the first buoy and then the water got real choppy and it was hard to breathe without getting water in my mouth and nose. I could feel someone back there at my feet. Glad I’m not ticklish! I found out later it was Winston doing his best to catch me, but that didn’t happen just yet. So I got in from the swim near the back but not last! Right after I got into transition Winston passed by me because I was slow to get ready for the bike making sure my helmet was on right and my feet were cleaned up before I put on my shoes and hydration pack. I started the bike pretty well. The first half went fine because I was riding with the wind. I knew things would change on the way back as I could feel the gusts behind me. The rain was holding off and that was the one good thing that happened for the rest of the bike leg. Wendy and her kids were at the turnaround doing their best to keep the turn safe. Not always an easy thing to do with people busy trying to get where they are going. So I got turned around and the wind really hit me. Up past the gas station in Jessups I lost my chain so I had to get off and fix that. I was slow going most of the way back and lost the chain 2 more times. Not sure why that was happening. I made it back to Oualie and got off my bike and into transition where I quickly got ready and started my run which went pretty well. I felt ok on the run although going over Hurricane Hill is no joke after all that biking against the wind. I got turned around and headed back to be the 2nd woman to finish! That was out of 3 so not as good as it sounds. Haha. My overall time was 5 minutes slower than last time which was all due to the wind and chain problems on the bike. My swim time was actually good for me and my run time was 3 seconds better than the last one so I'm maintaining at least that. Looking at my times I will be well ahead of what I finished the Nevis Tri last March (my first tri). Although I was not optimistic about this race before it started I had a great time being out with the fun group of people that show up for these races. We even had some new faces which is always good. My thanks go out to Winston and Reggie and all the other people who volunteer to help out for these races. It’s always such a great feeling of accomplishment to finish.