A Recounting of the LB Triathlon Experience

I’ve learned that the easiest part of doing a triathlon is signing up for the triathlon.  At that point, time is on your side; the calendar promises a glut of training days waiting patiently ahead of you. You tell yourself, “I have time…I will get to the pool. I will run. I will bike.”

Easier said than done. In the end, some of Team Saatchi took advantage of these precious training days and some of us did not (names omitted to protect the lazy).

Cut to dawn on race day. 450 athletes anxiously fidget as they wait in line for 10 porta potties. Hearts race, and minds struggle to remember exactly who talked them into doing a triathlon. A voice over the loudspeaker notifies competitors to get to the start line.

Anxiety turns to fear.

I run from the bathrooms and into the transition area – panic consumes me as I face a sea of bicycles.  I race in circles trying to find my equipment.  I find it.  No more excuses. It’s time.

I stand at the start line, shivering in the dark as waves of swimmers pile into the water in front of me.  I can do this.  We can do this. We feel like a team and frighteningly lonely all at the same time.

I thrash my way through the swim and make it safely back to dry land, only to discover what looks like a sandy five-mile run separates me and my bike. I hate the bike. The overpass that always seemed flat in my car may as well be Everest on a bike.  Oh, and what better way to finish a 12 mile bike ride than with a 3 mile run.

As I approach the finish line, I hear the roar of the Saatchi crowd on the sidelines cheering me on (please note that they were able to stand on the sidelines and cheer me on because I was in fact last, yes last, of the Saatchi team to finish. They had dried off, had a snack and I was still running).  But I finished.  We all finished.  And team Saatchi kicked some ass.  And while simply finishing was the real objective, we do have one member of Team Saatchi that took it to the extreme and managed to finish first – Daniel Brienza was the winner of the Long Beach Triathlon (he celebrated by going running later that day, I had 7 cocktails).

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