TAF Racing did TERRIFIC at Triangle Tri. Every time I turned around, I think I ran into someone on the team (Rita, Nicole, James, Keith, Oyler, Perry, and I were racing) or that we train with (Stephan, Ed, Kari, Miles, and lots of NCSU tri-team members were out there too). And thanks Jennifer, Sam, Angela, Tim, Mrs. Beard, the Lewis family, and the Lavin family for coming out and cheering us on! The Gaals were with us there in spirit, as we were reminded by the constant "Marty and Bri of One Step Beyond would like to wish you all good luck" announcements.
Ok, now to the race. To begin with, the "official" water temperature was 90 degrees. I'm not sure if anyone else found this slightly disconcerting... I mean we were swimming in the cooling lake for a nuclear power plant. The swim itself... was... well... that water is gross! We were happy to start, as the bottom of the lake was disgusting and we were all worried about leeches. The water was pretty choppy by the outer buoys, and I tried to forget that we were right by a nuclear power plant as I got a mouthful of water. We heard the fans for the power plant turn on... I think we were all happy to be done the swim! However, this didn't seem to deter James, Keith, and Nicole, as they led their waves out of the water.
Now to the bike. The course was really narrow to begin with... and poor Rita encountered a rider who had decided it was a good idea to come to a complete stop going around a tight turn. Needless to say, the other rider "won", and Rita got knocked down. However, she bounced right back up, and continued racing. The rest of the course was hilly... and although the uphills were less than fun, the downhills rocked... and Oyler, James, Keith, and Nicole killed the bike!
Then came the run, which is where TAF Racing always excels... although, I must admit, that felt like the longest 5K of my life!. All told, everyone finished up amazingly well. Of note, James grabbed 1st in his age group, and Rita (despite dripping blood across the finish line) was 3rd in hers... CONGRATS GUYS!!!
Also, in case anyone is wondering, icey hot can hold up for approximately 350m of swimming!