Pelican Fest Triathlon!

Andrew:  “Want to do anything special for Mother’s Day?”

Me:  “I want to ride and walk/run the Pelican Fest race course with Michael in the stroller!”

A:  “What about brunch?”

Me:  “Sure, as long as I can also ride and walk/run the Pelican Fest race course with Michael in the stroller!”

A:  “Shopping?”

Me:  “Oh, I guess, as long as I have time to ride and walk/run the Pelican Fest race course with Michael in the stroller!”

Ok, that last part didn’t really go that way, but you get the picture!  That was my wish and my goal for Mother’s Day… but more on that later.

Now that our first official event is complete, it’s on to the next big adventure!  We are training for the Pelican Fest Triathlon, May 26 in Windsor, CO!

Several people have asked me, “So, exactly how do you do a triathlon with Athletes in Tandem?”  Well, I know how it’s done… in theory.  I mean, I’ve seen the pictures, which is almost the same as doing it, right? Riiiiight!  OK, seriously, a triathlon is a multi-sport event in which you swim then bike then run.  Whew.  With Athletes in Tandem, special adaptive equipment must be used in order to facilitate the “tandem” part.                            DOUBLE Whew!

Pelican Fest is a sprint triathlon, so the swim is 800 meters. Zachary will be in a raft, which I will be tethered to as I swim. Wait… what?  Here, check out this video of me pulling Dennis Vanderheiden, founder of AiT, in a trial swim!     Susan pulling Dennis

There is a lot more than physical training that needs to be done in order to prepare for this tri.  I’ve familiarized myself with the equipment, practiced with it, and understand what happens during “transition” where you move from one sport to the next.

When we start, the raft will be ready to go… 800 meters!  When I’m finished swimming, someone will need to get Zachary into his stroller and wheel him to the bike area while I try to peel off the wetsuit I’ve squeezed myself into!  Then I’ll go to the bike area, put on my bike shoes, helmet, hook up the bike trailer (if it’s not already hooked up) and GO!  Ten miles!  Finally, when I’m finished with the bike, someone will hold Zachary while I convert the bike stroller to a jogger.  Then I switch to my running shoes, ditch my bike helmet and we’re off for a 5K!   Something like that – I still need to confirm these details with my helpers!


Well, my Mother’s Day plans were foiled by a flat stroller tire.  Yeah, after I had waited until late afternoon, loaded everything up and drove to Windsor Lake.  I was completely unprepared!  I had no patch kit, no spare tube (not that I’ve ever patched or replaced a bike tube)!  What was I thinking?  “Grrr!”  Michael made some reference to a famous comic book character that turns green when he’s angry:  “Mommy SMASH!”  At least he made me laugh – love that kiddo!

Sort of ironic, but I didn’t really think about a plan B until I was talking to Sandy and Mike about things that could happen at the event. First of all, it could be too cold, rainy, or windy for Zachary to participate. Participation should be a pleasurable experience and we would hate for him be cold, wet and miserable for whatever length of time it will take me to complete the tri!

Well, some things I can’t control, like the weather.  In the event that Zachary is unable to join me, of course I’ll be sad but I’ll be thinking about him and doing my best for my partner!  Things like flat tires I can prepare for.  After my Mother’s Day mishap I bought a patch kit, tubes, Slime, thorn-resistant liners to go in the tires, AND attended Andrew’s flat repair and tube-changing clinic.

The next day, with new tubes, Slime and whatnot I convinced Michael to give it another try!  We did the 10 mile bike ride, transition including converting the bike stroller to a jogger and the 5K run!  All with times that I will be proud of for my first triathlon!

Let me out!

What is he doing?

That practice was just the confidence booster I needed to feel comfortable and excited for the race!  I still have some things on my TO DO list to prepare, though:

  1. Finalize the transition details with Zachary’s family and Andrew
  2. Get a tri suit
  3. Rent a wet suit (I hear the water’s cold!)
  4. Ride 10 miles with Zachary in the Community Classics Bike Tour in Loveland this Sunday!
  5. Attend Wendy’s open water swim clinic at Windsor Lake after Sunday’s ride!

Just a few things!  I’m counting down the days and feeling like I’m scrambling to get things done, but I think we can do it!  In fact, I KNOW we can!

Come out and cheer us on!   Zachary will love it!  We both will!

And send all your love, prayers, wishes, and good vibes for great weather and no need for that Plan B!

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