It may have been a short triathlon, taking place in North Miami Beach, but it was the maximum length allowed to be called a sprint and it was a good stepping stone for me in trying out this new sport. The race was the 25.75 North Miami Triathlon and it felt great to get out there and even better to finish!
First. What is a Triathlon?
A triathlon is three sports; swimming, cycling and running. The three sports are always in that order, it’s pretty logical when you think about it. In this race, the swim was 750 (.46mi) beautiful meters of open water swimming in Miami’s Biscayne Bay followed by a 20k (12.4mi) bike ride and a 5k (3.1mi) run. My job was very simply to do those three events, in that order, as quickly as possible.
But Wait, What about those Adventure Races you used to run?
So yes, the adventure races are far more involved, take a lot longer, and involve lots of alligators. This was NOT that. My best hope for wildlife was a manatee or two but we didn’t see any of those. Last year Jill did an Xterra Triathlon in the same waters and other swimmers did report a manatee in the water, but I digress. In an adventure race, the racer uses a map and compass to navigate the wilderness, sometimes on bike and sometimes on foot or in a boat, in whatever direction he or she chooses. I view adventure races as a more difficult undertaking than a triathlon, simply because of how long it lasts and the mental anguish of poor decision making. But, the events are very different and require a different type of fitness and mental fortitude. An adventure race can last for 6 hours to 6 days, this triathlon took me just over 90 minutes while the longest available – the Iron Man – will take the winner just over 8 hours. Because it is shorter, the triathlon requires a different sort of athleticism and a lot more hustle and no real opportunity to sit down and breathe. Added benefit of the triathlon: finishing in time for brunch!
As I mentioned, I finished in just over 90 minutes, which is fantastic considering my [much too easy] goal was 2 hours. My swim time was tremendously quicker than I had expected, I’d been working on that, while my run, which I did in normal shoes, and bike were right about as good as I could have hoped. Here are my stats:
The setting for the race was absolutely beautiful. Miami’s Biscayne Bay and cycling through Oleta River State Park was a treat as well. What wasn’t a treat was being passed on the bike by more racers than I could count. Basically, if do an image search for the word triathlete, you’ll see what one looks like and the kind of bicycle they have. Sometimes those bikes cost as much as $5,000. My bike, which I use to commute, cost a measly $300 and well, I don’t think I much look like a triathlete. Still, I enjoyed a great morning and have something to build off of. Besides, I had the best looking cheerleaders of the entire race!
IF YOU want to do a triathlon as well the 2575 race series is a great way to start. The races are short, yet still long enough to be a very meaningful distance. Also, the locations are simply phenomenal. Using these races to travel all around the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean wouldn’t be such a bad plan.