(Fair warning, this is Kulani posting). Lilia did her first triathlon today at the Murray Youth and Family Triathlon at the Murray City Park, which included a 100 yd swim, a 2.6 mile bike, and 0.6 mile run.
The night before the race, Lilia was already starting to get nervous. It didn't get much better in the morning. This is Lilia's nervous look. As we sat waiting for the pre-race meeting, I asked her what she was most nervous about. "I'm a little scared I might not be able to finish it all," she confided. I then explained to her that her rides and runs with the family were each several times longer than the race, which calmed her down almost immediately. Then she told me her strategy - "When it gets hard, I'll just do like in the book. I'll say, 'I think I can, I think I can.'"
The thing I was most nervous about was the swim - Lilia only learned the freestyle stroke about two-three weeks ago. And that was in shallow water. I was amazed by her tenacity. She swam the entire time, passing several kids along the way.
As she came out of the water, she had her game face on.
I hadn't planned on riding with her along the bike route, but brought a bike just in case. After I saw several parents riding out with their kids, I pulled out my bike and rode after her. I was surprised that it took me nearly a mile to catch her. She explained to me that her strategy on the bike had been to pick out a kid further ahead and then try to catch them. Doing so, she'd been moving along pretty quickly. After walking part of the second of three hills, she powered up the last hill. As she was coasting down toward the bike finish, she shouted, "I can't believe I'm doing it. I'm almost done. This is so awesome."
Lilia started out quick, but steady on the run. After passing a couple of kids, she came upon a girl who was walking. The girl took off sprinting, and Lilia rose for the bait. Both tired quickly, and Lilia had to walk for about 50 yards to recover. Once she did, she kept it steady and picked off several more kids. She stayed steady until she saw the finish line, then sprinted for the finish. In the end, Lilia showed a lot of toughness, seemed to have fun, and picked up a blue ribbon as the fastest in the six and under category.