Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Mne Nravit'sya Triatlon

Triathlon is more than swim, bike, run.  It's a way of life, a community of friends, and for some a full time job.  Washington DC triathlon took place this past weekend and featured a field of more than 3,000 competitors, from 433 cities, 43 states and 11 countries, including 41 professional triathletes.  A couple months ago I decided  not to race this weekend and instead volunteer for the race and use it as a chance to meet some awesome people. 
Left everything on the course...

I change my mind everyday, more like every minute, about joining the DC Tri Club or another multisport club in the area.  So I figured this would be a great chance to meet folks in the clubs and see what they have to say.  A few weeks ago I noticed DC Tri Club was liking for people willing to host a homestay for a Pro.  Sure, why not, I have a small apartment but it's conveniently close to the start line and transition area.  Pro's signed up and pro's dropped out and it looked as though I wouldn't be hosting.  Last week, admist my 1st week of full time clinicals at the hospital I received an email that another pro had signed up and was interested in a homestay.  So began my weekend.

Stanislav on the Run
DC Tri 2011
I was greeted by a young Russian athlete after work on Friday.  Stanislav Krylov is pretty awesome.  Stan, for short, if you're bad at Russian.  We were able to spend some time hanging out together, trying not to talk about tri's, but how could I not talk about it at all.  The best person to learn from is the person who has made it to where you want to be.  He of course thought the DC Metro system was easy compared to other subway systems and he was just fine getting around on his own, thank goodness because I was busy volunteering Saturday and Sunday for the race.  I may have worried once or twice that he got lost, but all was well.

Do you know how to speak Russian or any other foreign language?   

Volunteering on the Bike Course
Volunteering was awesome too.  I heart tri life.  I had the opportunity to meet and talk to DC Tri Club members, The Bike Rack multisport team members, 1st timers, old timers and everyone in between.  It's amazing seeing the opportunity that triathlon gives people to commit themselves to health and fitness.  I can't wait to be working in a clinic that sponsor's a multisport team and hosts triathlons for my 3rd internship.  It pretty much sounds like a dream job right now.  Saturday I spent some quality time writing on people with permanent marker while doing squats for about 4 hours - aka "Body Marking".  Sunday I was supposed to work the finish line but while walking along the course to get there I got called in to yell "Sharp Turn" to athletes on the bike course (and witness a couple over the handlebars crashes).  Besides losing my voice it was an awesome job because I got to stand on the course while everyone went by, including the pros.  

Did you race or volunteer this weekend?  How did it go?

Stanislav on the Bike
The DC Tri started the Pro race at 9:00 am - giving almost all the age groupers a chance to finish, clear the course and become spectators.  It was awesome seeing them race down America's Main Street toward the Capital and of course being able to see the ol' hostee (that'd be Stan) rock out.  He had come off a good performance at the Eagleman 70.3 the previous week and looking to take home some prize money this week as well as part of the 5i50 Series.

Triathlon can be more of a race against yourself than a race against your other competitor's.  You have to push through the pain, the soreness, and the tiredness of your last performance (especially if it was only 1 week before) and contend with other athletes.  May your best be better than his best.  Stanislav may not have had the race of his life, but it was very exciting to watch him and all the other pro's compete. The weekend was pretty much motivation to train hard, race hard, and oh yeah join a team/club.

Are you a member of a tri club/team?  What motivated you to join?

Stanislav Finishing
I was having a hard time accepting that I wasn't racing and almost signed up at the last minute for than a few times.  I'm so glad a watched from the outside, was able to volunteer and host.  I wouldn't have changed it for anything.  There are plenty of other races I will get to race in, and there's probably no need to get in the Potomac > 2x/year.  Hosting was awesome and I would do it again in a heart beat if I was asked.  I can only hope that the hostee is awesome and will teach me a new language, make dinner, not get lost, and race his a$$ off.  And oh yeah, teach me some joke meaning of triathlon...


  1. Is it sad my legs were sore after body marking? :)

  2. Ha! Not at all, mine too!

    Just joined DC Tri Club, if you're a member let me know some of the good sessions!

  3. Da, ya govorju po russki!

    I'm very certain I saw our comrade exiting T2 when I was headed back for my bike. Mighty fast!

    Welcome to DC Tri! We've got a lot of really great sessions with even better people. I'm a big fan of the Saturday ride, and I'll probably join the Sunday one as well. Running days through Rock Creek Park, biking mornings at Hains point, track workouts at local schools, and swims at various pools or OWS area, just to name a few. All are available on the training calendar on the website, and the forum usually has an active discussion of the more well-attended groups.

    Glad to have you out!

    Also great writup! Always happy to see coverage of local races, too.