Kelly B.....

My first tri was with Tina E. in Seeley Lake in 2011. We’d taken the Y’s beginning triathlon class but were still petrified. We didn’t know where to set up our stuff in the transition area. We were afraid of what would happen at the start. Luckily Rebecca S., our instructor, showed up and walked us through how everything would transpire. When the gun went off, we stood on the beach until everyone had started, and then waded in. Tina did a modified breaststroke the whole way, and I did freestyle and backstroke—whatever would get us to the end of the whopping 300 yards. Which took us about 10 minutes. As we ran out of the water, we knew we could bike and run/walk, so we were home-free. We certainly weren’t fast, but we had the time of our lives. We were so proud of ourselves! The following Monday, we picnicked outside on the Walking Mall in dresses, hoping someone would notice our numbers on our calves. And a guy did! He asked us if we’d just done a triathlon. We felt so badass. (The photos are of us at the finish, and the swim-bike-run bracelets and champagne we had ready to celebrate.)

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