Volunteer Turned Triathlete

My husband and I have been regular volunteers at the Santa Barbara Triathlon, and every year I’d say, “Maybe next year I’ll participate.” Well, 2015 was my year! I won The Santa Barbara Independent‘s TryTheTri Contest and got free entry into the race as well as a free three-month training program with Killer B Fitness. Starting small, I alternated some biking or running one day with swimming just four-five laps in the pool the next day. I gradually built up distances and got in the ocean a few times with my husband.

Several days before the event I started to feel very nervous. I didn’t know if I could do it, especially the swim. After passing the first two buoys, I stopped to rest. I was floating on my back when another participant stopped swimming to ask if I was okay. She was my “swimming angel.” Susan Deogracias, an experienced triathlete, completed the rest of the swim with me side by side, coaching me to pause every four strokes to take a deep breath. I could have finished the swim on my own, but a friendly, encouraging experience is what the Santa Barbara Triathlon is all about.

We stayed together on most of the bike ride as well, and after completing the two-mile run and crossing the finish line, I was elated. The triathlon was “an awesome experience”’ I’ve been swimming more to get ready to participate again this coming August.

Registration and early bird pricing for Santa Barbara Triathlon 2016 began January 1. The event takes place August 26-28, and you can find lots of helpful information at their website. Make 2016 your year!

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