Chicago Fleet Feet Supersprint Race Report

Disclaimers to readers: I am laying down in almost half of these pictures. Very un-triathlete like.
Disclaimer to the boyfriend: I look horrible in most of these pictures.
Disclaimer to family: I talk about you in this post. Hehehe.

Here we go...


I had to work 3-11pm, so I made sure to get all my stuff together before I left for work.

Thursday was the worst day for my back. I had a hard time moving (including walking and... does sitting count as moving? Cause that hurt too). I went to Walgreens and bought some heat wraps, but I'm not sure they helped all that much.

After work, I grabbed Reagan and my bags and drove home.

Normally I hate sleeping at home because my bed is too small and too stiff. But my back was rejoicing at the sight of my hard little bed.


Woke up early and went to the doctor. I was feeling better than Thursday, but my back was still hurting quite a bit. The doctor informed me that your back is the most common part of your body to sprain (cue the sarcastic "woohoo").

Doctor: "Well... normally I would tell you not to do anything for the next few days... but you're obviously running a triathlon tomorrow, so I'll just tell you not to do anything for a few days AFTER that."

She gave me the OK to start taking 1800mg of ibuprofen a day. She also gave me a prescription for a muscle relaxer (cue the enthusiastic "yay drugs!").

Once home, I took a muscle relaxer and laid down on the flood (it feels good). Within 5 minutes, I was OUT. Note to self: don't take the muscle relaxer before the race.

My parents woke me up so we could pack up my car.

... But 5 minutes into our drive, I was asleep again.

We arrived at our hotel in one piece. SOOO much better than driving into town the morning of the race or our original idea to stay at my brother's place.

Plus we had a fabulous view of Lake Michigan.

Oooooo... Aaahhhhhhh...

But it's hard to take in the scenery when you can't pick yourself up off the bed.

It was nice staying at this particular hotel because it was the host hotel for the triathlon. They held a really big multisport expo in the basement. My parents and I wandered around. My mom grabbed everything that was free and my dad ATE everything that was free (and drank... they had free beer samples!).

They also had race packet pick-up and body marking at the expo. I was #11645.

I spent the afternoon trying to stay off my feet. Laying down seemed to be the only position that felt okay.


Our alarm went off at 5:30am. My parents dropped me off at the course around 6:15.

I set up my transition area while they parked the car. It was crazy how many new trithletes there were at this race. In the transition area, I overhead all these people talking about how nervous they were and asking eachother all sorts of questions.

Transition closed at 7:15 and all 800 of us headed to the beach for the pre-race talk. The announcer explained the swim, gave rules for the bike, and made at least 3 jokes about potholes on Lake Shore Drive.

The heats were going out every 3 minutes and I was in heat 15, so I had a while.

My dad and I discussed the swim course and both mentioned how short and easy it looked. I couldn't believe that that was ALL I had to swim!

I took one last chance to just lay back and relax. My concerns 2 weeks ago were finishing the race fast. My priorities changed during the last few days to just FINISHING the race.

I was surpised to see that I was one of only about 5 people who wore wetsuits, but I was happy with my decision. The official water temperature was 71 degrees, and when I tested it out, it felt cold.

Time drew near and I got nervous and hot in my wetsuit.

They lined us up by heat number. A few girls in my group were really chatty.

Girl: "I've been warned about the swim. I heard you get kicked in the face. But none of you girls look like the type to be all crazy and competitive and kick me in the face.... right?"

While I was waiting to begin my race, my aunt and cousin showed up. (Sidenote: I hadn't seen my cousin in almost a YEAR so I was very glad they came!).

Then, right on schedule at 8:13, we toed the line. I was in the front but all the way to the right. I had no intentions of sprinting my hardest out of the start... I just wanted to take it easy and get in the water in one piece.

At 8:15, we got the horn. (I'm in the wetsuit in the front of the picture).

The swim was different than I expected. First of all, I thought the shape of the course was RIDICULOUS. Imagine a macaroni noodle...

We had to enter the macaroni on one side and swim in the inside of it (marked off by buoys). When we got to the end of the macaroni, we turned around and swam on the outside (long side) of the macaroni until we hit the finish (which was right next to the start).

The problem with this layout is you are constantly turning. Now I dunno about all these other triathletes, but I know that I personally trained in a STRAIGHT pool. Every time I stopped to look where I was, I was way off course. At one point, I practically ran down a lifeguard.

Besides that, the swim was harder than I expected. Shame on my dad and I for mocking its simplicity. Once in the water, I DID get kicked. I didn't get kicked in the face (thank goodness), but there were a few times where my arms got tangled in someone else's legs. I think my body wanted to go faster, but I found is nearly impossible to pass other swimmers.

I finished my swim in the middle of the pack.

It was a LONG run up the beach. They led us up the sand and around the pool house towards transition.

My first transition was pretty slow. My biggest time-suckers were taking off my wetsuit, putting my socks and shoes on, and pinning my race number to my bathingsuit.

But next thing you know... I'm off on the bike.

A small criticism about the bike route were the turn-around points. We biked 3 loops on a wide roadway. So we had to turn around pretty tightly which really hurts your speed.

Every time I looped around I saw my family cheering me on. My mom made a "Go Kelly" sign for me, but she said there was something missing from it.

That's when my cousin, Maya, came along and drew a bike (cue the "aww"s).

I did a pretty good job keeping up my speed (even though my cyclocomputer wasn't working... gurr). I definitely passed more people than passed me.

At the end of our third lap, we headed down a chute and back into transition.

My second transition was faster because all I had to do was rack my bike and take off my helmet. At that point, I was extremely tired. My back was a little sore and I wasn't looking forward to the run.

The run was a straight-forward out-and-back course on a mostly gravel path. I took most of it pretty slow and got passed by a lot of people.

But despite all that, I was still smiling!

The run seemed to last FOREVER. Far out on the course, it got really quiet and the sun started to get very hot. Every time we passed a water station, I just dumped it down my back.

The finish was near and I started to push myself harder. The girl in front of me was obviously just enjoying her run, but I wanted to finish strong.

Right as I neared the chute, I passed a girl about my age. Passing her must've really fired her up because she started to sprint. But I'm ultra competitive and not one to let someone re-pass me, so I started sprinting. The announcer at the finish line said our names and announced our finish like it was a one-on-one race.

Announcer: "Woahhh! Did anyone catch that?! Who won?!"

I did (of course).

I joined my family after the race. Looking at these pictures, I don't look as tired or as hot as I felt at that moment.

My cousin Maya said "Congratulations, Kelly," which is the first sentence I've ever heard her say.

I have to thank my mom for these last two pictures. They are me changing out of my bathingsuit underneath a blanket. A-ttractive. Thanks, mom!

The results were posted online at 2pm this afternoon.

Swim (1/4 mile): 9:26, 512th place
Bike (6.2 miles): 26:27, 423rd place, 14mph average
Run (1.55 miles): 19:45, 516th place, 12:44 minute mile average
TOTAL: 55:40, 472/742
68/141 in my age group (Female 20-29)

Overall, I was very happy with my time. When I did my mock triathlon a few weeks back, I had my time at 1 hour. So considering my back issues, I was happy with 55 minutes. Besides that, I was dissapointed with my swim and run times, but I wasn't suprised. I guess it'll just give me something to aim for next time (next time? I guess you'll just have to stay tuned to find out!).

So that's that. I finished... I didn't walk... and I didn't cry. Total accomplishment.

I will post more photos as soon as my parents send them to me.


RPBenton said...

Nobody had commented yet! That made me sad. All the pictures are awesome...i feel like I was there. So proud of you...and you didn't need the boyfriend disclaimer...i think you look great in all the pics!

Karen said...

Congratulations Kelly!! I think you did a great job.

Anonymous said...

Great accomplishment!! !! You did it!! And with a bad back, next time willbe a lot faster. Grat that you never walked or rested. Opa in LeRoy

Anonymous said...

Nicely done!!! Sorry I couldn't have been there. This makes me want to see what it would be like to be in one of these.

-Allison of the Bloomington Schultzes

Rainmaker said...

Awesome job! The course looks nice and you rocked it!


Anonymous said...

Hello. And Bye.

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