UC Irvine Race report
1. On Saturday morning, 22 of us left from the Stanford campus. We had a trailer on which we loaded all the bikes and drove more than a hundred miles to the UC Irvine campus ( took us 7 hours). We checked into a hotel (~6miles from the campus) and then headed out on our bikes to check out the route for the race next day. It was like living a dream. A dream I had never thought would come true. Whenever I’d see these movies which depicted the school teams all clad in their proper gear, heading out to other campuses to compete, I’d feel so sad. How badly I wished, once in my life, I’d belong to a team. That I’d wear a team uniform and go participate. Ah, my wildest dream had come true. We travelled as a team. We checked in to a hotel as a team. Had pre-race dinner and prep meeting in the lobby the night before. In the morning at 5:30 am, when people noticed a group of stanford athletes warming up for a race and jogging as a team, I was one of them. And then I raced as part of the Stanford team. Oh, how life changes. I can’t believe I’m actually a triathlete now. Awesome.
2. It was pretty awesome. It was a sprint triathlon – 400m swim, 13 mile bike and 5k run. The swim was in a pool. One had to run out to the transition area and put on your cleats, helmet and grab your bike. The bike course was crazy with multiple hairpin and u-turns. I almost died on the uphills but caught my breath on the downhills. The awesome part was when you’d pass a stanford athlete and both would shout out in encouragement to each other. Man, that always gave me an extra spur to push down on my pedals harder. Once you finished the bike part, one would head back into the transition area, put on racing shoes and start running. Initially my legs feel like jello and seemed to have a mind of their own. But slowly I got into the rhythm and settled into a comfortable pace. The first 3.5 kms were mostly uphill. But the last 1.5 km was downhill and I sprinted like mad towards the finish line. As soon as I crossed the line, a stanford athlete came up to me and asked me how I lfelt. I replied, “I did it! “
What keeps me going is goals.
~ Muhammad Ali.