My Rev3 teammates are some of the most update, happy people I know (you could say the same about the Rev3 staff as well). In fact, it’s one of the reasons I was so excited to join the team years ago: it’s a great group of people helping put on some of the greatest triathlon races, and nobody on the team gives a hoot about how fast or slow anyone else is. I’ve incorporated this a bit into my racing philosophy, which I’ve honed over the past few years to maximize the having fun aspect.
1. Pick the right venue
It’s easy to get swayed by the idea of a vacation 140.6 in some pretty, remote region. But if you’ve got a cheering section, the most they’ll ever see you is once or twice a lap (if the course has laps), so they could get pretty bored. This is what makes Cedar Point, Quassy, Old Orchard Beach and the other Rev3 venues so amazing: even on your bad days when your cheering section/family/friends could see you maybe once ever 4 or 5 hours, there’s plenty to do at the venue that isn’t triathlon related (if that’s not their thing).
2. Challenge yourself
A PR is probably only really good for the course it’s been made on. A race at Quassy won’t be anything like a race in Venice, FL. Figure out what motivates you (a new PR, redemption for a bad race, or tackling a really challenging course) and go after that. But make sure you…
Most of us aren’t pros or even at the pointy end of the race. We’ve put in a lot of work towards the goal of finish race X, and sometimes our days just don’t go so well. But what we are doing, while not hugely important in the grand scheme of things, is admired so much by those around us. I just had my 10th college reunion, and it was a bit weird and inspiring to have people I haven’t seen in years asking which races I was doing, what races I had done, and tell me how impressed they were with me.
4. Do something that makes you happy, and those around you happy.
I’ve always been one for talking to and encouraging other racers while running with them. But last year at Old Orchard Beach, after a year of pretty lackluster training, I decided it was time to combine high fives and racing. So on the out and back portion of the run I started giving high fives to every other racer that I saw. And you know what? I had a really good race. I don’t even remember my time (not a PR but not terribly far off from one), but I do remember how much fun it was to high five EVERYONE (I only recently broke my high five personal best at the Boston Marathon, but like I said in #2, PRs are course dependent) Here’s to a happy racing season. I hope to see you out there.