The starter's gun was waterlogged; however, this did not stop Lenore from quickly showing off the depth of her experience in the pool (pun completely intended). She paddled her way through the zig zag maze of ropes with nary a hitch, her little red capped head easy to spot in the churning waters. This race was not as well organized in that spectators were allowed to mill about in the transition area, so Lenore had to fling several bystanders out of her way as she dashed for her bike. Actually, they dove for safety of their own accord when they saw her coming (and perhaps they didn't want to get wet from all the flying droplets). After a somewhat swervy start (blame that darn toe clip!), she zoomed off, waving merrily to her fan club.
The transition from bike to run was at a different location (usually everything circles back to the same place) so I hopped on my trusty dork bike and peddeled (sp?) off to catch her on the run. Along my way, the bikers crossed in front of me and I was surprised to see her again, passing cyclists, both men and women, on her way. Much of the bike and run was, once again, thoughtfully plotted up hill; Lenore's average bike speed was around 16 m.p.h. (due to the bigger hills than Naperville). Still, quite impressive considering the terrain, which included construction (with mud and gravel) and having to cross two major highways (hello?!). No sooner had I gotten situated under a tree with my peanut butter sandwich and Harry Potter book (yes, I've got the 5th one!) than around the corner came Lenore. She trotted back out with a speedy transition and began the grueling part (for her) the 3-mile run. I hopped on Dorkas (the dork bike) again and sped up the sidewalk (illegal, but with nary a care, I was on a mission!) to holler encouraging things, like, "hey, only 2.99 miles to go" and "keep breathing!" (as if she might forget) and "do you know where the car keys are?" (kidding about that last one). Going from bike to run is REALLY hard -- but her pace was a steady 6.2 according to the bike computer, and that was, again, on an uphill. I veered off to leave her to her thoughts (probably "what was I thinking?!" at this point) and went to cheer on the finishers. Lenore came in strong, still smiling, though it was a smile of relief.
We don't know the official results, but out of over 500 participants, she was ranked 86 for her good swimming reputation (and passed many along the way), and there were still people finishing the bike portion when we were headed back to the car, so I think that's pretty impressive. She beat a whole lot of men and a good percentage of the women. Yay for Lenore. I took a few swimming shots, one is attached. She's the one w/the red cap in the middle, passing that unfortunate racer who dared assume he/she was faster than a McDonald in the water!
Hope you enjoyed this "short" account. Full story and film at 11!