Not wanting to miss the START, Jill and support team hubby Chuck arrived at the starting line at 4AM – a good 2 hours before anyone else arrived. As the other half of the “support team”, I did my duty and slept in. Overslept actually. Raced off the boat in my jammies…sped past the police barricades at the harbor tunnel, and tried to stay focused on staying between the lanes in I-95, as I wiped sleep pixie dust from my eyes. Barely made it to the swim sendoff….but all was OK, as Jill was calm as a cucumber (or is that green as a cucumber?) – and big bro had done a PRO job in managing his athlete.
This was Tri-Jill’s DEBUT in swimming in a wetsuit. With swimming her strong suit…we expected her to cruise thru the swim. Unfortunately, she underestimated the amount of HEAT that her bod would produce flanked inside skin-tight neoprene. Panic set in for the first 10 minutes of the swim, as dolphin girl was trying to decide if she should just rip off the wetsuit and hop a boat ride to shore. The mental training took over. There was no way Tri-Jill was going to let down her KEY supporter (hubs). This was time to MAN-up. And suddenly, Jills rhythm was back. Passing other swimmers…Tri-Jill made quick work of the swim…and soon was jogging up the transition area to hop on the bike.
It was about this time, where the rain-gods let loose. Ugh. One of the first times in my life, I actually preferred to be one of the support crew members. Chuck and I hustled into position to take pictures…then as soon as Jill disappeared from site…we beelined to the car. We had an hour and 30 minutes of downtime, til Jill (aka Lance Armstrong) returned. She did an amazing 15mph in very inclement conditions. As a matter of fact, she did such a good job riding back…that I missed taking her pic on the return to Centennial Park. I’m novice at this support team stuff. Chuck covered what I missed.
As Jill raced out of the bike transition for the final leg…nearly a mile into the RUN – a race official told her she did not have her race bib number affixed. YIKES! This is an official OMG moment. Jill had to run all of the way back to the bike transition area…to find her race number. She ended up doing approximately 8 miles of the required 6.2 — and still crossed the finish line in RECORD time. VERY impressive…we now have an Olympic triathlete in the family! Rock on SISTAHOOD.
One added note: I have to take a moment to highlight one amazing support team member – my bro Chuck. He stays behind the scenes…allows others to be in their glory…and is just “always” there, taking pictures, rooting on. It takes a very special person to be a support team member of hyper athletic junkies. I know this from personal experience…as my bro was with me on EVERY marathon that I ran…from start to finish. So, not only am I awestruck at the incredible FEAT that Jill has accomplished…I am equally awestruck by the unwavering support of my bro – who rarely takes the lime lite. You rock too bro!