Sunday, March 27, 2011

Lake Victoria Triathlon 2011

Lake Victoria Triathlon 2011

I spent last night in Entebbe to be sure that I was well rested and ready for this morning's triathlon. It had become tradition for some friends and I to camp at the Entebbe Sailing Club the night before the tri; however, this year the triathlon changed venues to the Lake Victoria Hotel, so my camping tradition had to change.

Change is often good. Considering the powerful storm that blew in last night around 2:00am, I am very thankful that I was nice and warm and dry at the Sunset Motel. It was also quite wonderful to have a light breakfast of fruits and boiled eggs ready for me at 6:00.

This year, the distance of the bike portion of the 'Olympic' category was increased by 10km to 40km. The swim remained at 1000m and the run also stayed 10km. A sprint distance was also introduced (swim of 400m, cycle of 20km and run of 5km). Another big change was completing the swimming portion in a pool instead of the lake. Because of the risk of Bilhazia from swimming in Lake Victoria, may people have shied away from the triathlon in the past. I think the organizers' efforts to attract more participants paid off as there were about 120 participants this year.

The spirit of the day is what attracts me most to this event. While it is a competition, that really takes a back seat, and the people who participate enjoy the sport and the physical and psychological challenges that come along with it. It's really a very social day: a day to get out of the city and have fun with people you might only see once a year at the triathlon.

Before I left for the event this morning, I made sure to coat my body with sunscreen--a very wise choice in this equatorial location with intense sun. Yep, I coated me body pretty well, but omitted my face. Imagine what I looked like after 40km on a bike and a 10km run while wearing sunglasses and later a headband. I'm hoping the red patches with fade and even out with the white splotched left around my eyes and across my forehead. It's just too funny, like a scene from more than one 80s comedy film.

March has been an active/fit month for me. Last weekend were the Alliance Francaise Fracophonie Run and The 7 Hills Run. Today was the Lake Victoria Triathlon. Next Sunday is The International School of Uganda's annual charity run. It's only 10km, but it's an exceptionally hilly and difficult 10km. It should be fun!

Associating with fantastic swimmers to pretend I'm a fantastic swimmer as well, psyching myself up before the start.

Documented: The first time I ever put on a swim cap.

I took along my cheering squad.

Trying to look strong at the finish.

The look of relief: finished!

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