Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Hooty's Kids Triathlon

Saturday was a big day.  It was the Hooty's Kids Triathlon which would mark Connor's first ever tri and serve as a warm-up event for Julian.  This is 1 of only 2 triathlons I've found that allow the under 6 crowd to participate and the other isn't till October.  This one was in Decatur, TX, a solid 90 minute drive, which meant the boys got the full triathlon experience complete with 5am wake-up.  They did really well though with nothing beyond standard 5am fussiness.

Then we arrived ....... and the one stumbling block I didn't plan for reared its ugly head.  You see, Connor doesn't like markings on his skin.  Stickers are OK but no temporary tattoos or writing and what's the first thing they do when you check in for a triathlon?  Yep, mark your bib number and race age.  The idea of that led to a lot of crying, some screaming, and Connor walking back to the car.  It wasn't until all of Julian's stuff had been unloaded and set up in transition that he finally calmed down enough to get marked so he could race.  In this photo, they're listening to the pre-race briefing with Tri4SuccessMom behind them and Shannon (IronTexasMommy - Good luck at IMTX!) next to her.  Shannon's daughter was the youngest competitor in a field of almost 40 kids and Connor was likely the 2nd youngest (there were four 4-yr olds).  Check out her race report here.

Connor was one of the first kids in the water.  Swimming has been a struggle for him this year as he grew quite a bit over the winter and is nowhere near as buoyant as he was.  When asked if he wanted his mom in the water to assist he declined --- prepared to take the 25yds on.  Once in the water it was much as we expected with him fighting just to stay afloat.  The fighting spirit shined through, he fought his absolute hardest to make it work, and did eventually make it across.

As Connor was exiting the pool, Julian was beginning his 50yd swim.  I didn't witness this part but apparently it was a struggle too.  Whereas we expected that with Connor, this was a surprise.  His warm-up in swim lessons is more intense so this should have been a piece of cake.

Julian runs to transition where I'm still helping Connor.  I helped him push his bike to the mount line but once again he declined any help on the course, embarking on a 1mi ride alone.  The course was 1/2mi long so the little ones did 2 laps while the older kids did 4.  Check out Julian as he exits and re-enters transition with his bike.  This is one area where he showed his experience and excelled - total pro.  The ride itself was unfortunately a bit rough with a lack of confidence in the turnarounds and just more laborious than it should have been.  Connor meanwhile would coast occasionally as his focus would drift but he completed the route with no problems.

Once in from the bike, it's run time.  This is Julian's natural strong suit and the area I initially was most concerned about Connor with.  One mile for Julian is nothing, but 1/2mi for a 4yr old is not a distance to take lightly.  Julian took off on his first of 2 laps around the hospital before Connor came in on the bike.

Once it was time for Connor to run though, he took off!  This is the one stage where I accompanied him though he did a great job following route signs.  The pace was solid, frequently around 11 minute miles (I checked my Garmin just for grins).  The last 1/4mi was mostly on grass where the pace slowed a bit but he kicked it in for a strong solo finish to the line.

TRIATHLON FINISHED!  Connor crossed that line and got his medal right away.  He asked me if he won to which I replied, "Did you finish?"  "Yes."  "Then you won."  He also gave the classic answer to the question of whether or not he wanted to do one again --- "No ..... eh, yes!"

Julian crossed the line shortly after looking completely exhausted.  Not sure what happened but the event just didn't go as planned for him.  It was a struggle from start to finish even though the distances were all relatively short.  Needless to say, it was a bit of a wake-up call for him in a number of ways.  He's very focused on IronKids in June which will be a MUCH tougher event so I think he's ready to learn from this and move on.  Connor is so proud that he wore the event t-shirt and medal for the rest of the day.  He's also very eager to do another.  Unfortunately I don't know of another event for him until October.  In the end, both boys did a great job completing a multisport event that the vast majority of their peers would never attempt.  A big congratulations to both!


MomSwimBikeRun said...

Awesome job boys!!!!

Shannon (IronTexasMommy) said...

Yay! It was so great to meet you and your adorable family! Your boys did an awesome job and looked like they had a lot of fun! :)

Tri4Success said...

Thanks Susan!

And likewise to you Shannon! On Facebook my sister, RacingItOff, commented that the girl in the photo standing by the pool looked like she didn't want to get in. When I pointed out that she was actually fighting to get INTO the water and that you were the mom holding her back, she found that hilarious. BTW, I'm emailing you a photo from transition.

Lesley @ said...

Woo-hoo!!! Go Connor and Julian!!!!!! Auntie Lesley is proud. Yes, Connor, you WON!!! Totally... Now go hang that bling up and begin the collection.

When's IronKids?

Tri4Success said...

@Lesley - June 12th in Round Rock .... and it's an open water swim!

Mike said...

Very cool and nice race report!

Kevin @ Half TRI-ing said...

How cute!! It looks like he had a blast.