This Runner's Trials

Assault on Cherokee Triathlon Relay 2011

Posted by runnerstrials

One year ago, I completed my first Olympic triathlon, Assault on Cherokee. The seaweed filled lake and the incredibly hilly bike ride made it a really hard race.

I may or may not have vowed never to do it again…

Famous last words :)


My husband and brother-in-law were planning on doing this race again this year. On Friday, I heard Dan's "female friend" (they're in that stage of dating where they haven't defined their relationship yet) Laura, decided she wanted to race but she's not a swimmer.

That's all it took for an idea to brew in my head. We could do the tri relay! I could swim, she could bike, and I'd surely find a crazy friend willing to run a 10k with 36 hours notice.

Say hi to my crazy friend.


Caitlin saved the day and completed our tri team!


Swim, bike, run.

She was also our official photographer since I forgot my camera battery at 5 am. Thanks for the pics, Caitlin!

So why did a swim that freaked me out last year seem like an awesome idea at 21 weeks pregnant? Because I knew what I was getting into. Swimming through seaweed is gross, but way worse when you're not expecting it. Besides, how could I pass up the chance to race with my baby boy again (check out races 1 and 2 of pregnancy)?


I am so, so glad I did this race :)

I had 3 goals going into the swim: don't swallow water, protect my belly, and have fun. I feel really comfortable swimming while pregnant but I still needed to take steps to protect my baby.


I didn't want to swallow water because who knows what kind of waterborne diseases lurk in the lake. I don't think I swallowed much. I'll be on the lookout for GI tract symptoms all week though!

My strategy for not getting kicked in the stomach was simple: start after everyone else. The relay teams were supposed to begin with the first wave, but I really didn't want people in the later wave swimming over me. So our team started the race 5 minutes late. Luckily Caitlin and Laura also agreed this was "just for fun" so no one minded.

The swim felt great. I cannot say how grateful I am to have this form of non-impact exercise during pregnancy.


There was barely any seaweed which was an awesome perk. I felt strong the whole time and even had to take a break for a minute because I was catching up to a pack of people. I actually beat a handful of people. But more importantly, I beat last year's time by a full 2 minutes! Amazing what not panicking from seaweed will do for your swim time ;)


I finished the 1300-1500m swim in 32 minutes. (We're not sure of the distance. The race's website says 1300m, they announced 1400m at the start, and our shirts say 1500m…)

Then we made the long half mile hike up to transition area.


Next it was time for Laura to bike. She did awesome, finishing the very challenging 28 mi bike course in 1:52. Did I mention she's only been biking for a few weeks?!


Finally it was time for Caitlin to run. She knocked out the 10k in under an hour. I was super impressed because the heat and humidity really picked up right as she took off.


We did it! It was so much fun. Thanks so much girls for racing with me and baby :)


I got a lot of compliments from people for racing while pregnant. There were also a few people who sighed "oh thank goodness" when they found out I was just doing the swim, and not the whole tri. Definitely no biking for this girl until 2012.

My brother-in-law kicked booty. He got 6th overall and first in his age group. And he's only swam once in the past year. Don't you love people like that?


Hubby did not have a good race. He felt dehydrated halfway through and was miserable on the run. He still did awesome in my opinion though!


Will there be any more races for baby when he's in my belly? Only time will tell ;)