I completed the Annapolis Triathlon this morning.
Despite the fact that it was a Sprint and the swim was only 500 meters, it was the most difficult one I have ever done. The water was cold and extremely choppy. It was difficult to catch my breath and for the first half we were swimming directly into the tide. I almost gave up and called for help, but managed to press through, despite swallowing a ton of water.
The bike wasn't too bad, but the space was limited. Most of my time was spent trying to figure out how to pass others or trying to let others pass me without going outside the cones and into the rest of the street, where there were cars. The rain didn't help either. It was also very hilly.
The run was only a 5k, but the first mile was uphill and felt longer than 1 mile.
Overall, I really enjoyed the experience and hope they hold another one next year. I did the 2007 Olympic length triathlon in Annapolis, which was sponsored by a different group. This one was much better in they had more and better food after the event. Also, since it ended downtown, we could go to the local bars. The Federal House had drink specials for finishers. The place was packed with people.
As expected, some locals complained about the event. It was moved from a Sunday start to a Saturday one to aaccommodate the local churches that complained so bitterly about the 2007 one. The guy who runs Storm Brother's Ice Cream was complaining about the event, but he didn't open his store until after 11am, when the race was over and traffic was back to normal. Had he opened up early he would have made more money. He certainly alienated many local athletes with his complaining.
Thank you to the volunteers, especially the ones from the Annapolis Triathlon Club who watched bikes, including mine, while I was the bar. The co-owner of the Annapolis Running Shop was also out there volunteering and cheering everyone on.
While there are certainly drawbacks to a large event downtown, the businesses that were open seemed to be doing very well. And the race was over by the time that most people woke up. Events like this are good for the community and ought to be encouraged.
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