This morning I did the swim leg of the Florida Challenge, a local half ironman. A few weeks ago, some people my friend Jennifer knows formed two relay teams and needed to fill in some spots. She asked if I were interested and I agreed - after making it clear that I wasn't a fast swimmer. I can do the distance, just slowly! Earlier this week I met Chantal, the cyclist on my relay team, for coffee, just to say hi and not meet for the first time in the transition zone. We chatted a while and figure out that the core of the teams were a swimmer and two runners (a married couple and their friend), and that the other swimmer (me) and other cyclists (Chantal and Jennifer originally, but she had to back out) were friends of friends. So that's kinda cool, three people wanted to do two relay events and went to find more to make two teams.
Anyway, I picked up Chantal since she lives near me on the way to the event, and carpooling would make parking a lot easier. The morning of the event it rained... heavy. The rain was appreciated since it lowered the lake temperature to 77 degrees and into the wetsuit legal area! Naturally, I took advantage and brought my sleeveless wetsuit along. It was drizzling at the start, but I was mostly warm standing on the beach in my wetsuit. Chantal waited with me and eventually I left to stage for my wave.
It was a tough swim, since the winds and light drizzle made for choppy water and a tough swim out. I finished up about 52 mins, and handed off the timing chip to Chantal and saw her off. And then... I started to relax. I've often thought that it would be fun to just do one leg of a tri, and here I was, all finished at 9 am. I packed up my stuff and dropped it off at my car, grabbed my folding chair and came back to nap and wait.
By this time the rain stopped and it was partly cloudy - excellent conditions rather than the heat and blazing sun. Chantal rode back into transition about 1 pm, for a 3:50 or so bike leg, and we gathered her stuff up. After packing up my car more, we thought it would be nice to wait for Bob, our runner, to finish up. So we waited, but he hadn't finished by 3:30 pm (about 2:30 into his run), and Chantal had to get home, so we left. Later I checked the results and saw the Bob finished up about an hour after we left, with a ~3:25 run.