Mama didn’t make the Thunder in the Valley Triathlon but …

This past Saturday was the 30th anniversary of the Thunder in the Valley, Terre Haute Triathlon.
  Mama wasn’t there to see it, she’s in heaven, but I think she made arrangements.  I’ll explain.

Sometimes days just come together like they were made that way, or perhaps helped along.  This is my favorite event on the calendar, kind of like Christmas in spring time for me.  I get to do what I like to do, at a park that I like, and with people I like.  My family is there, and we had a couple of special guest that I like.  All in all, everyone should be so fortunate. 

The event started with a dinner with 6 times Ironman World Champion Dave Scott, my wife Sherrie, Ethan Page, Ron Page and another guest to the event.  Fun times just hanging out and enjoying a Thursday evening.  Friday Dave put on a swim/run clinic at Hawthorn Park, and I got to swim the course a day in advance.  Nice opportunity to get some needed swim tips, and practice my sighting on the actual swim course.  Swimming straight in open water is always harder than it looks.  Friday evening Dave gave an interesting talk on the behind scenes of his Ironman Kona World Championship wins.

Saturday started early, Jacob got out of the house first working as a lifeguard for the race.  I followed closely behind and got everything setup in transition next to Dave Scott, and Greg Lucas.  Greg and I have lived through many races together, and we are always close come finish time, this race was no different.   Daniel Bretscher, my coach of recent past, professional triathlete, and friend came in from Iowa for the race as well. 

Started the 1/2 mile swim behind Greg in the time-trial start, and got out in decent fashion just a bit behind him.  Did my usual and sprinted through the transition area to catch back up with him, and we both went out on the bike at the same time.  For the next 40k (24.8 miles) I was mostly about 10 seconds behind him.  With 5 miles or so to go I watched as my teammate Lissette Caissie passes me on the way to the female overall win.  That was impressive.   Greg also gained some ground on me, and I gave chase for all I was worth.  It took a full-speed flying dismount at the line to catch back up with him.

Spent most of the winter and early spring not being able to run so I was just glad to go a steady pace for the 5 mile run.  I totally enjoyed talking to everyone on the out and back trail run, seeing Daniel in the lead, and many of my teammates ahead of me.  All was good till ¼ mile to go when I saw Greg limping in front of me.  Dreaded calf muscle issue struck him just before the finish.  Ended up passing him, but I had no desire to do so.  That served as the only downside of the day.

All said and done I was able to capture first in the 55 plus, and enjoy another great day at my favorite event.  Sherrie was there, Jacob worked it (saving one guys bacon in the swim), and so many good friends I can’t count them all.  Weather was perfect, and after the race I got in some good conversation with Daniel and so many friends I rarely get to see. 

Maybe the day just worked out that way, and maybe mama put in a good word for me with Jesus.  Who can say?  Blessed, that’s where I’ll leave it.

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