Hello SB TRI CLUB Members,
For the past couple of months, Andrew (my 7 years old son) and I have been training for the Santa Barbara Triathlon Sprint Course which was this past Sunday. This is our snap shot of our race together.
We got to East Beach at the Bath House at 0703. Our wave started at 0830. It gave us enough time to set up our gear at the Transition Area and get out my jitters and butterflies in my stomach before the big race. When we showed up, my dad was there waiting for us. He lives in Thailand and is visiting here for a month. I saw my very first triathlon when I was a boy, watching my dad compete in the Police Olympics Triathlon. This was a big, big deal for me to have my dad see my son and I compete.
As we set up our gear, my mom showed up and then my sister, Stephanie. Melody, my wife and MD our 11 year old son were on their way after finding parking. Friends from our church and a coworker arrived as well. We headed to the START line and ready to race. My Father-n-law arrived too. We had our cheering section. It was AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!
The countdown began and we were off running into the water. Andrew had the BIGGEST grin ever. The strong swimmers passed us by and we just plugged along. I was so proud of Andrew. I made deals with him if he got to the next buoy before me, he would get a reward. 1st buoy, a 7-11 Slurpee, then 2nd buoy Pepe's Restaurant on Tuesday night's buffet, 3rd buoy, he got 1hr on the computer. Well, he swam so well that he did the swim in 23:09. You could hear the cheers from the spectators on the beach and the life guards joined in as well. I was so moved by the overwhelming support from everyone.
We got out of the water and ran up the beach to the Transition Area and headed to where we racked our bike and gear was. We pulled the wetsuits off and got on our helmets and shoes and
headed off on the bike course. He dominated on the bike, passing riders, pushing hard to make up some time since we were the last ones out of the water. His bike time was 33:48. Our training rides take us 40 minutes to do 6 miles. He nailed it, averaging 10.4 miles/hr! I arrived at the Transition Area before him to get him ready for the run. He maneuvered through the Transition Area and found his bike rack/ gear area perfectly. He knew exactly what to do and were to go. He was so focused.
We took our cycling shoes off a nd put on our running shoes, took our helmets off, strapped our bib # around our waist and headed out. He pushed through the pain in the legs and sore toes as he pounded on the pavement/ bike path. He passed some runners and then about 0.88 miles he had to use the restroom. Me being slightly competitive, I am in the bathroom while others around us, shouting, "Go Andrew. We have got to go before others catch up with us!" We got back on the pavement and continued to run. We passed another runner, giving High-5s to runners coming back the other way and looking off to the distance, the turn around. We passed the water station, grabbed some water. Now, imagine trying to run fast while taking a drink. I laughed so hard as Andrew (he was laughing too) was trying to take a drink and telling me, "Every time I take a drink I am shaking and the water just comes out and not in my mouth but on me and the ground." We made the turn around spot and headed through again the water station and as I came through, all the high school girls volunteering at the water station had water cups filled to the brim and at the same time drenched me from both sides. It was so funny and Andrew is behind me laughing and trying to get me wet with his water. We passed some more runners, cooled and refreshed. We both could see the Finish Line in site as we approached the Finish Shute. Andrew was determined to beat me and I was determined to beat him. We both crossed the Finish Line, well Andrew appears to have beat me by a toe length. He ran the 2 miles in 25:52, 12:21min/mile pace (including the bathroom break).
Andrew and I finished the race in 1:31:37. I picked him up and cheered for the great accomplishment he had made. I was so proud of him of his training and his race. He is an amazing kid. Many times Andrew wanted to give up during our training days, but he had made a commitment to stick with it and raced that day. I love being his dad. He is awesome and so thankful to have had this opportunity to compete in this race with him.
Hope you enjoyed the "Novel" and photos.
Jason and Andrew George