After racing St. Anthony’s and a couple of weeks of downtime to recover and get in another good training block, I raced the Memphis in May Triathlon which is actually now being held in Tunica, Mississippi. So, it’s Memphis…in May…in Mississippi!
What makes MIM different from other races is that instead of a mass start on the swim it is a time trial start. This means that after every 10 seconds a horn would sound and another athlete would run down the ramp into the water individually. This year’s race had the pros start out in alphabetical order by last name and alternating gender. So, the closest girl was 20 seconds ahead of or behind me. Since there were 2 other 5150 series races being held on the same weekend, it was a considerably smaller field than St. Anthony’s.
After the horn sounded and I dove in the water, it was actually nice to not have to deal with kicking and fighting for position in the water. I was able to find my own rhythm and swim in “clean water,” something that is usually only reserved for the lead swimmers in the pack of other mass start races. As the swim progressed, a couple of swimmers came by me and I was able to hop on their feet and catch a draft for a bit. Coming out of the swim I felt strong and ready to bike!
The bike sent us way out across town down mostly quiet roads (away from the casinos of Tunica), into a nice headwind for most of the first ½ and then a turn around tailwind on the way back. I started out on the bike with a group of 3 other girls and was able to keep them in my sights until the turn around on the bike where they gapped me a bit. Since it was a hot day, my main goal was to drink every last ounce of liquid I had with me and I am happy to say that I succeeded…
…. But going on to the run I was still pretty darn hot! I tried to start out the run at what I’d trained to be my 10k pace (using my trusty Garmin as my guide) but after 2 miles realized that my body probably would bonk if I kept it up. I forced myself to slow down a bit and remember to breathe! The finish line couldn’t have come soon enough on that run! I ended up in 4th place and was happy to get some more points towards my 5150 series ranking. I was also so thankful to have my fiancé there to support me and take care of me in my extremely tired state after the race.
One of the highlights of the weekend was getting the chance to go into downtown Memphis and see the ducks at the Peabody, something I hadn’t seen since I was a little girl. Apparently many animals have graced the fountains at the Peabody hotel, but the ducks have had staying power at the hotel. :) For quite a few years, the ducks have been involved in a show which has them coming down the elevator, filing out into the lobby and hopping into their beloved fountain…so cute! Can't wait to do that race again in the future!