For years when I was growing up, my mom and I would pass out water & Gatorade to athletes competing in the Columbia Triathlon, which went right through our neighborhood.

The water station we manned was always right at the top of a hill, almost to the home stretch of the 10k run.

I distinctly remember certain athletes fighting to get themselves up that hill- the paratriathlete with artificial legs, the men with bloody nipple trails running down their singlets, and older women so happy to have made it up the hill that they stop and chat.

I’d never been so inspired by any one single event before. Even then I knew I would do that triathlon one day. (Never mind I didn’t own a bike…)

Even though they didn’t officially need us as volunteers, my mom and I set out early in the morning to watch as much as we could of the race this morning.

I woke up early to the sound of pouring rain- I felt so bad for the athletes! Luckily it started to ease up as the morning went on, but it still wasn’t the best of conditions.

The first runner:

first runner

He was ahead by minutes. He won by a landslide.

 

The 2nd and 3rd male runners to come by:

2 and 3

The first female! (She ended up coming in 2nd.)

first female

Finally, a few hours in to the race, more and more runners started coming. We had fun cheering them on and helping them with course directions.

columbia triathlon

My mom even ended up directing traffic. (And they said they didn’t need more volunteers? Ahemmmm.)

directing traffic 

The lone police officer charged with directing traffic through a four way stop, and navigating runners coming from two directions. She was a hoot though. She was actually one of the officers directing traffic at the Blossoms of Hope Half I did last month.

police escort  

At this point the racers weren’t so serious, and started giving the police officer a hard time. The one guy is asking her why she’s not running and making her promise to race the event next year.

Who knows what that other lady was doing. She just stood there for a while, wearing half a skirt wrapped over her shorts and a jester hat with ribbons on her head….

 

It was really disappointing to see cars zooming through the runners- most didn’t even slow down or move over. A surprising number honked at the runners to move out of the way.

A neighbor working the first aid station said a biker was hit by a car and had to be flown to Shock Trauma (a serious emergency room.) I haven’t heard anymore details than that- but yikes, remember to be careful!!!