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A DREAM COME TRUE : SWIMMING, CYCLING AND FOOTRACE

2015-02-15 Swimmers 
A DREAM COME TRUE : SWIMMING, CYCLING AND FOOTRACE

 

 imagen By TAMARA BOTTAZZI | view profile

The clock went off at 4:30 on Sunday morning, March 8th, at a friend´s house in Miramar. After having breakfast – mate, bread and quince jelly -, getting dressed quickly and loading up the bike in the van, we headed to Mar del Plata Naval Headquarters. It was still dark. We did not talk much – each of us thinking about the performance, the stages, the transitions. In my case, I could not stop reviewing every detail in my head trying not to forget anything.
The closed park would open at 6:30am. We were among the first early birds to enter and leave our things. The idea was to be there the sooner the better, since the place would become jam-packed with the competitors leaving their things and getting ready for the countdown as time went by -there were more than 500! We put on the neoprene suit waist-length and headed for the beach where the triathlon would start

A DREAM COME TRUE : SWIMMING, CYCLING AND FOOTRACE   A DREAM COME TRUE : SWIMMING, CYCLING AND FOOTRACE

It was beginning to get light. We gazed at the sun rising shily in front of us as if we were lost in thought. The water was mild and quiet although there was some soft wind blowing. There were also relatives and friends supporting the competitors. I looked at them and remembered that I had been there many times daydreaming that one day I would be a competitor myself. The first to start were the men aged below forty, among them my husband Julián and our friend Pepe. Men over forty and all the women would start ten minutes after.
As it is always the case, triathlon starts are very hard: blows, slaps, kicks, goggles out of place…all that, added to the fact of feeling nervous, make the first metres become a sort of nightmare. With my head popping out of the water most of the time and without being able to keep a proper pace, I held on until I got to the first buoy (500 m), a point where we could take more distance and swim more at ease and at my own pace. After having gone past the second buoy, I sped up, and as I was turning at the third buoy, I realized I was well-positioned.
1800 m altogether. I got out of the water when my watch chimed 32 minutes; and I had already started to take off my neoprene suit as I ran gently on my way to transition. Some nervous people went past me at great speed. It took me seven minutes to get on the bike – I found it hard to take off my neoprene suit! I got restless and tugged but it was useless. So, it was a very slow transition.
Once on the bike, patience and perseverance took the lead. You remember all the cycling training at the KDT on windy days, temperatures just above zero and cadence over 85. And there we went! There appeared the golf ascent after the first kilometre – that deadly slope where in spite of having a small disc there is no big gear to ease the pain in the legs. To get to the top of the ascent with almost nothing but the continuous encouragement of the people standing at both sides of Pereyra Iraola Avenue. From then on, you had to recover quickly, change discand do your very best on that beauty of undulating circuit that is the Marplatense rambla (seawalk). The route consisted of 4 ten-kilometre laps, one of the hardest circuits in Argentina. Fortunately, this time the blowing wind did not punish the triathletes.
I returned to the transition zone after a one-hour-and- twenty-seven-minute cycling, changed my shoes for trainers, left the bike and helmet, and off I went to complete the last stage of this triathlon: 10km athletics. Footrace has always been my weakest point, so added to the difficulty of the land of Mar del Plata herself, I knew I was about to meet a not-that-easy challenge. However, you train every day bearing that in mind: to achieve the goals you set. So, I adjusted myself to a pace I could keep with throughout the race, and I succeeded. The slopes were many and varied: short with steep gradients or long with smooth gradients.
The footrace circuit has a restart which is just on the finishing-line. While some competitors were glad to be finishing the race, there were others – like me – who knew we still had one more bloody five-kilometre lap. It was not easy. At this point, the sun was so strong that you could feel thirty-two degrees Celsius on the tarmac. There was no water that could possibly quench my thirst.
When I turned on the last bending at Torreón del Monje and saw the finishing gate in the distance, I knew I was drawing near to the end. Fear, pain, weariness and heat, all were completely erased from my mind. I only wanted to enjoy now. And that it was: with some joggling and somersault, I got to the finishing-line feeling extremely happy. There was my dear sweetheart waiting for me – he is always there for me. That is when I cottoned on to the fact I had fullfilled one of my dreams. I glanced at the watch: 3hrs. 21min. I was very pleased with my performance and very happy with the experience.
Now it is time for a half: Concordia 2016, maybe. And I am beginning to visualize the greatest dream of all: the Ironman, perhaps in 2017? When there is a will, there is a way. and do your very best on that beauty of undulating circuit that is the Marplatense rambla (seawalk). The route consisted of 4 ten-kilometre laps, one of the hardest circuits in Argentina. Fortunately, this time the blowing wind did not punish the triathletes.
I returned to the transition zone after a one-hour-and- twenty-seven-minute cycling, changed my shoes for trainers, left the bike and helmet, and off I went to complete the last stage of this triathlon: 10km athletics. Footrace has always been my weakest point, so added to the difficulty of the land of Mar del Plata herself, I knew I was about to meet a not-that-easy challenge. However, you train every day bearing that in mind: to achieve the goals you set. So, I adjusted myself to a pace I could keep with throughout the race, and I succeeded. The slopes were many and varied: short with steep gradients or long with smooth gradients.
The footrace circuit has a restart which is just on the finishing-line. While some competitors were glad to be finishing the race, there were others – like me – who knew we still had one more bloody five-kilometre lap. It was not easy. At this point, the sun was so strong that you could feel thirty-two degrees Celsius on the tarmac. There was no water that could possibly quench my thirst.
When I turned on the last bending at Torreón del Monje and saw the finishing gate in the distance, I knew I was drawing near to the end. Fear, pain, weariness and heat, all were completely erased from my mind. I only wanted to enjoy now. And that it was: with some joggling and somersault, I got to the finishing-line feeling extremely happy. There was my dear sweetheart waiting for me – he is always there for me. That is when I cottoned on to the fact I had fullfilled one of my dreams. I glanced at the watch: 3hrs. 21min. I was very pleased with my performance and very happy with the experience.
Now it is time for a half: Concordia 2016, maybe. And I am beginning to visualize the greatest dream of all: the Ironman, perhaps in 2017? When there is a will, there is a way.

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