What an amazing experience participating in my first relay at the St. Anthony’s Triathlon with Jennay Gump and Michael MacDonald. The thought of doing this began on another big race day, Gasparilla, back in late February. I was with Jennay cheering Michael and other members of the RunVie/Total Fitness team racing the 15k prior to my 5k race.
Jennay and I were discussing many things fitness, challenges we both endured over the years as well as our successes. After discussing our strengths and weaknesses, we shared the idea of doing a relay with Jennay, who swam collegiality doing the swim portion, Michael, who is an elite runner and wins many local races completing the run leg , and myself doing the cycling portion. We shared with Celia Dubey, RunVie/Total Fitness coach and owner of Tarpon Total Fitness and she helped secure our entry to compete. Thank you Celia!!!
On the eve of the race, Celia also provided a tour of the bike course followed by swimming the course. Being the cyclist in the race, I rode with Celia and other team members. I picked up several tips from from a riding perspective and course navigation. Jennay, Michael and I also scouted out the transition areas where we would have to perform hand-offs of our ankle strap timing chip. On race morning we were ready to roll.
Jennay started out by having a really strong swim. It’s so cool to watch a swimmer who knows what they are doing, unlike myself where I’m still working really hard and not going so fast. Jennay and I had a quick hand-off and I took off on the bike. It was almost perfect conditions with winds being lighter than I expected and the temperatures being warm but with little humidity. I had a good ride and pressed as hard as I could go on this day. After the race I I reflected and was humbled by how great the competition was and continues to be at these races. Michael finished with a great effort on the run and we finished 2nd in the Mixed Relay Division.
We had mixed emotions after the race. We were really happy with our effort and placing 2nd in a race of this caliber. The three of us share that competitive edge that bothered us by finishing 2nd and not winning the race. We agreed on the spot to return next year to improve our position. After we quickly muddled through these mixed emotions, we celebrated our effort and pure fun we had doing it together. I know I am extremely fortunate to have them as friends and on team JAM, as Jennay coined us.
Special thank you to our close friends Elia and Eva Luti for coming out extremely early on a Sunday morning simply to cheer us on….great friends! They also coordinated our celebration dinner at Ozona Pizza…vegan pizza and garlic knots…great way to finish the day after a race. Running phenom in his own right, Anthony Douaihy, met us there to celebrate and attempt to run the table at Foosball. I’m not sure how many goals Michael had in his own net, but it was more than a few…
Great day and can’t wait for next year’s race!
– Add Health to Your Life