We arrived at the hotel in time for dinner, which I brought with us. My pre-race meal was chicken, baked sweet potatoes, and peas...yum! Drew arrived shortly after us just in time for dinner. After a little playing around in the hotel it was time for bed. Unfortunately Elena did not sleep well so I did not get a great night of sleep.
Up early on Saturday, I ate, fed Elena, and headed for the race site. Drew and I previously decided that they would try to catch up with me during the day since the race would be all day. He drove me and then went back to the hotel. I met up with my team and we got ready for a day of unknown adventures.
My teammates were Jenn (my bootcamp instructor), Sheri (Jenn's mom), and Balie (Jenn's brother's girlfriend). Jenn bought us super cool shirts which were really comfortable. Our team name was 4G!
The race began at 8am. We had to solve a puzzle before being given our first passport. We headed out on bike to a forever far away park. The ride was cold and I realized why bikers may wear gloves. I was glad I had on a helmet. We biked about 7 miles uphill to a park, solved a riddle from three clues and biked back to the staging area. After biking down a hill, Jenn said we hit 24 miles/hr. I just laughed because I did not come close to that speed. I don't like biking downhill and saying it scares me is putting it mildly. My brakes got a workout of their own!
Our second task was running to a farmer's market. The third was again biking to a park where we kayaked. The fourth was running and it was a bummer. We headed the wrong way for a few blocks and lost a bunch of time.
The fifth stage was the craziest. We thought it was going to be easy because the passport said completion time 15 minutes. Well, that was true. All we did was blow up a bike tire, patch it, and toss the tire around a cone three time...easy! The hard part came with stage 5b...yes 5b! We had to bike uphill on a major road to yet another park. The ride was challenging, but I was pleased that I made it to the top of the steepest hill without walking...yeah for me! I was getting more used to going downhill on bike at this point and braked less. We arrived at the location and learned we had to rock climb. I don't know what I was thinking or if I was at all because I said I would do it. Who know that it was real rock climbing. This is just not my thing at all. When I saw what I had to climb I was beyond scared. I talked to Drew on the phone and told him to pray for me. I said several prayers myself.
Climbing I guess is relatively safe. I was harnessed in and someone had me on belay...some dude was holding another rope on ground as extra support. Everyone was very supportive of me because they all knew I was scared out of my mind to make the climb. This is what I had to climb.
|Distance picture...you can't quite see the bottom. There is a climber for scale!|
|Yes, the small openings are what I had to climb up...crazy!|
|The tree at the top in the middle is where the cow bell was located.|
|A triumphant me on Sunday at the bottom on the rock.|
|Pretending to climb|
|Daddy helping Jonah climb|
|A little re-enactment from me on Sunday|
|After the race, Sheri, me, Jenn, and Balie|
|Me and Emma after the race|
|My battle scar that I suffered thanks to a bike pedal|
So, that was the Merrill Oyster Racing Series report. It was a long day, but it went fast. I had fun, but I don't think I will do it again. I think Drew would enjoy it especially if there was as much biking as I had to do.
To keep the family busy while I was being adventurous, Drew and Gail took the kids to another park in Austin. Austin is filled with parks. They got some great pictures.
The kids had a great day. They also got to go swimming at the hotel. I did see everyone before stage 5 and the dreaded rock climbing. I was so happy to see their smiling faces. Jonah left flowers for me in my bag because he loves me...isn't that wonderful?!
That was Saturday in Austin. Stayed tuned....more pictures to come tomorrow!