The always stunning view from Mt Cardigan - pictured are Mts. Moose, Holt's Ledge, Winslow Ledge, and Smarts
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A group picture of Dartmouth triathletes waiting on the pool deck before the swim.

If you aren't familiar with triathlons, there are three legs: the swim, the bike, and the run. Training and logistics can get complicated very quickly, but thankfully the Dartmouth Club Triathlon Team is here to help! I started preparing during the fall term and ramped up my volume over the winter (swimming takes the most work for me). 

Training for the race was half the effort, the other half was helping to coordinate bike distribution! (I'm currently one of the equipment chairs and help other Tri executives run the club). The day before the race, we gathered in a parking lot and loaded two trailers with many, many road bikes. Everyone was excited, nervous, or some other combination of emotions. Then we boarded our respective vans and made the journey to Bowdoin College in Brunswick, ME, where Polar Bear Tri was to be held. We stayed at a cozy motel and took over the Bowdoin dining hall during team dinner before trying to sleep away the nervous energy.

The following morning (a 5:30 AM type morning), the team stocked up on carbohydrates during a classic, outdoor van breakfast and drove over to race check-in. I got outfitted with an ankle tracker, set my bike and running shoes up in the transition area, and eventually settled onto the pool deck to wait out the start. 

We started in wave four, and I was ready to get the swim over with (sorry swimmers). My goal going into the race was to execute well in the pool, push the bike leg, and go all in during the run. 

When I plunged into the water, it was quite the adrenaline rush. I quickly settled into a rhythm, and before I knew it, I was almost done. This was only a sprint triathlon, so the total distance was "only" 525 meters. 

After hoisting myself out of the pool and rushing to the transition area (so fun), I yanked on my bike shoes, wheeled my bike to the mounting area, and off I went! The bike leg ended up being my favorite part, as the course was fairly flat and the coastal Maine landscape was idyllic. Again, the leg went faster than I thought it would (distance was 11 miles), and soon I was back in the transition area. 

My second transition took a bit longer, as I needed to tie my shoes (a most challenging task under pressure), but once again I was off and back on the course. The first thing I noticed about the run was how strange it felt to be running in a tight, damp, tri-suit. My legs were slightly jellified from the ride, but after a quarter mile I locked into a nice pace. I made my way around the two laps of the course and saw teammates around every corner! Dartmouth was truly dominating the field. 

After 3.4 miles, the run came to an end and I crossed the finish line—tired but thankfully not utterly spent. I congratulated others and together we cheered on the remaining finishers, taking in the moment as much as possible. The atmosphere was ecstatic. We were all elated, relieved, satisfied, and a little sad that it was over.

Polar Bear Triathlon finish line and Dartmouth triathletes talking in the foreground.
Post-race discussion
Group selfie of Dartmouth Triathlon Team.
An image of collective happiness.

Following an awards ceremony, chaotic pack-up operation, and food break, we drove back to campus. I can confirm that most of us dozed off in the van as the mountains of New Hampshire came into view.

Mission accomplished.

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