Downtown Columbia Triathlon – First Event of the Season!
The Downtown Columbia Triathlon on April 3, 2016 is not the first tri in the South Carolina Triathlon Series (SCTS) calendar, but it’s the first one in the Midlands so I consider it the first one of the season. The FGM team had a great showing – competing we had Fiona Martin (AG 30-34), Amy Wise (AG 35-39), Betsy Long and Kara Clyburn (AG 40-44) and Pamela Babbitt (AG 50-54).
Our cheering section included teammates Jonathan Howell from Hundgrümer’s Pet Salon and Ricky Sox from Ricky Sox Fence. We needed all the cheering we could get as the “first” triathlon of the series is always a bit nerve-wracking after 5 months off. You tend to forget what to pack, how to set up your transition, where to place the stickers, and how to do a flying dismount. True to form, our team had pre-race difficulties that included Kara Clyburn needing an emergency tube replacement on her bike and Pamela Babbitt losing her purse and finding it just hours before race start in the parking lot of the restaurant she was at the night before. All before 8am, phew!
The Downtown Columbia Tri is a pool swim so we started according to the average 100yd pace we submitted to race organizers.
Amy and Fiona were fifty people in, Pamela was seeded in the 70s, Betsy in the 90s and Kara seeded herself further out around 120. All in all, the race went well, with a few hiccups. Betsy had a flat on the last lap of the bike course and had to walk her bike in. At least it happened near the end of the course so it didn’t cost her too much time. In the mad rush to fix Kara’s flat tire in the morning, she forgot to put her running shoes in transition so she ended up running barefoot to her car at T2 and then jumping back on the run course. The adrenaline must have been running high because she turned out a fantastic run split despite the detour.
After everyone finished the 500m swim, 10 mile bike and 3 mile run, we enjoyed the sunshine and waited for the awards. The FGM team dominated the women’s podium spots with impressive performances!
Fiona Martin – 3rd in age group with 1:08:08
Amy Wise – 1st in age group with 1:11:39
Kara Clyburn – 3rd in age group and first time on the podium! 1:19:38 with Betsy Long right behind her with 1:20:23
Pamela Babbitt – 3rd in age group with 1:13:23