I have a good friend, Kim Truitt that has been doing triathlons for quite a while. She would sign up to Tri and I would go along to watch and join the after party. After watching her Tri a few times I had to get in on the fun. My first Tri was the Reston Sprint 2009 or 2010. I downloaded the 12 week training program and started to prepare. I was well prepared and really enjoyed the Reston Sprint. Everyone that volunteers could not be more helpful or kind. I am not in the Tri to win, rather to finish. I enjoy being able to be around like minded people and the enthusiasm of the event. I will admit, I most enjoy riding my bike around Reston, not worrying about traffic or stopping for lights or cars. It is also fun to train for an event, there is a date and goal!
I guess I talked about the tri a fair amount, so my dad wanted to tri. When he did his first tri he was 72 years old. It was a sprint Tri. He came in 2nd in his age group and everyone applauded when he crossed the finish line. It was quite emotional. My kids came to watch him finish and ran with him over the finish line. (There was only 2 people in his age group, we usually leave that out of the story)
My dad has had a few accidents and surgeries during his life and his leg is not what it could be. If you are looking for inspiration, he is it! He was hit by a car when he was 9 and one leg is shorter than the other. Then, when he was in his late 20’s he was in a motorcycle accident and had 13 surgeries to save his leg, one leg still shorter than the other, his foot does not hit the ground flat. He trains and Tri’s and never complains.
Last year, my Dad wanted to Tri again, so the whole family signed up. My friend Kim, daughter Ashley 23, my son Colin 20, myself, and my Dad 77 signed up. It was a rainy day and we all arrived early for registration – except my dad. He was traveling from Southern Maryland and running late. He came in to the transition area with no time to spare. We rushed and got him set up just in the nick of time.
We did not swim, bike, or run at the same rate and all finished at different times. My dad was the last to finish of our group. It was such a thrill to stand at the finish line and cheer him on as he came in from the run! We all had a water and a slice of pizza, milled around discussing the race with other participants and snapped a few pictures. It is fun to watch younger racers congratulate him, as his age is written on his leg for all to see!
I guess he really enjoyed it because we are now signed up again for Reston Sprint Tri 2019! He is in serious training mode and our phone conversations are usually around how his training is going!
The photo shared includes Colin, Ashley, Me, Dad, Kim
CORE Foundation thanks Nikki Ryan for her inspirational story. We wish her and Dad the best of luck in their training and look forward to cheering them on at the finish line on June 2nd. Won’t you join us and do the same?