When you can’t race solo due to injuries, you can find enormous joy participating in a relay and that’s what happened yesterday at the Dunedin Rotary Triathlon for me and a couple great friends. Here I’ll share my fantastic experience.
Saturday night I received a call from Celia Dubey who told me she couldn’t run. This was 14 hours before the race. Celia is one of the toughest people and competitors I know and never complains. She wasn’t complaining. She just wanted to discuss the situation. I wasn’t racing but was going to support the team. I threw out the idea of us doing a relay so she wouldn’t have to run and she considered. I also knew Louise Donato wasn’t racing as she was continuing her comeback from injury and couldn’t run. But Louise could swim…Celia could bike…and I could run… All without pain and aggravating the injuries. I called Louise and she was in! Total Fitness Triathlon Relay Team was born…
We arrived early and organized our plan for transitions. We had that team spirit ready to roll. How exciting! Louise started and got us out to a great start on the swim. It was so nice to see her in race mode again. It’s a special thing to see. Celia grabbed the timing chip from Louise and sped off on the bike hammering her usual top effort bike. When Celia hopped off her bike she had to run to the end of transition for me to grab the timing chip. It was a sad sight as she was hobbling significantly…she just could not run and was in a lot of pain. I sprinted out for the final run and finished the race. We won the relay and the fun was about to amp up.
We cheered our teammates coming threw and in a formal way. Celia helped out the race director by grabbing the microphone and announcing the finishers coming threw. Louise, Gail Hurn, and I were spotting the racers by bib number and giving Celia the names to announce. That was harder work than the relay. Fast paced flipping pages and attempting to pronounce some pretty difficult names…we had a blast!!!
We sang Happy Birthday to Captain Dave Morrow and celebrated Betty Blue’s first triathlon finish! A special shout out to Mike Rymsza who had TWO extra gears with about 50 meters left to finish a step ahead of his direct competitor to win his age group. I’m not sure I’ve seen a more impressive and inspiring final sprint this year. Congratulations Mike! Congratulations to all the Team Total Fitness racers and friends who gave so much of themselves on this day and invested in their health.
– Add Health to Your Life