Same Race, Different Perspective

I had a great time coaching and cheering on Team Total Fitness at the Crystal River Triathlon Saturday. This was the third and final race in their annual series. I competed in the first two races and had to pass on this one as I’m preparing for a race in two weeks. This gave me a great opportunity to simply be coach and cheerleader for the day. Here I’ll share a few things I observed that made it a special day.

I arrived early so I could complete a training run before I would begin to meet teammates. Prior to the run I checked the weather conditions to see if they changed from when I checked during the week and to get the most current specific details. They almost matched the race conditions two weeks earlier. It was going to be hot, humid and with a slight wind from the east/southeast.

When I returned from the run the team was in transition setting up their bikes and equipment. The transition area is always a fun place to observe. Lots of varying conversations about setup, race, weather, locating people, etc. I began sharing my observations about the weather and what I felt on my training run as I ran the course.

From there it was warm up time and getting to the start lines. Dan Radde and I gained insight about the swim from two teammates, Peter Skafar and Bob Barlow, who competed in each of the first two races. There had been so much chatter about the challenging swim conditions I wanted to make sure Dan heard any other last minute tips on this particular morning. They added a couple great helpful nuggets.

I began cheerleading mode at this point taking pictures of the triathletes in their respective waves. I then raced back to the start line of the duathlon as we had one teammate racing, Karoline Muehlfellner. We had a quick chat and off she went.

Figuring out the times in my head when they would be coming out of the water and back in transition I raced back to the beach where the swimmers would begin exiting. In every race it’s almost impossible to point out a specific person in the swim as they all have caps on and most of their bodies are not visible above water. So I was paying close attention to when they began to stand up running out of the water to begin yelling and take some action photos.

I ran up to transition to yell a bit more and headed back to the water for additional waves. At the point I realized Karoline would be coming back in from the first run of the duathlon I ran over to the transition entrance area and within a minute she was striding in ahead of the pack…yay!

When everyone got out on the bike it gave me some time to get a drink and consider the sequencing and timing of when our team would be coming back in. I continued to cheer and for a few that I knew what their situation was with the competition around them I shared what I knew or what I thought I knew.

Then it was a bit of waiting on the run out and back. It was great seeing everyone sprint the final 100 meters or so through the finish line. I tried to capture as many photos while greeting teammates. That strategy and execution may be harder than racing…

It was invigorating observing the combination of discomfort and satisfaction of everyone coming in. There is so much work and time they put into this and you could see it in their faces!

After all our racers were done it was time for fun pictures and reflecting. A few went to the Breakfast Station restaurant after and celebrated the birthday of teammate, “Captain” Dave Morrow along with reflecting on the race and what was next.

I lost a bit of motivation after two of my big races were recently canceled and this morning reignited a spark to help me prepare for my final duathlon race of the year in two weeks. Being around this group helped me attack a workout Sunday morning in Clermont without a doubt.

I am very fortunate to be able to coach this group and have them as friends. If you haven’t tried any of this – swim, bike and/or run and you want a new adventure come join us. We have all levels and an incredible group of supportive and positive people. What a boost! #actionsetsmood

Congratulations to following amazing people and their accomplishments from Saturday:


  • Karoline Muehlfellner – Overall Winner


  • Peter Skafar – 3rd Overall
  • Dave Morrow – 7th Overall & 1st Age Group
  • Dan Radde – 8th Overall & 1st Age Group
  • Celia Dubey – Female Overall Winner & 9th Overall
  • Bob Barlow – 4th Age Group
  • Christine Valdes – 2nd Age Group & 3 minute course Personal Record
  • Glen Renaud – 5th Age Group
  • Leticia Benites – 2nd Age Group

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