This morning Drew and I woke up at 4:20 to a downpour of rain. That put a bit of a damper on the idea of getting up early and watching the Pros and Elites compete in the New York City Triathlon today. However, after waiting it out for about an hour, it was no longer raining and I decided that we should just get up and chance it. If it started raining again, we could always go home. Luckily, the race ended up being delayed about 20 minutes, so we didn't miss anything.
We staked out a pretty good spot, just south of the swim exit. We were able to cheer on the athletes as they were running to transition and then also cheer them on as they were coming out of transition on the bikes. I had made a sign to cheer on my fellow Terriers that were competing today. I had a fantastic time just cheering everyone on. I can't even begin to describe how exciting it was to be cheer people on and have them smile or laugh. It also was pretty amazing to be able to cheer people on and have them pick up their pace a little bit. I felt like hopefully I was helping them reach their goals just a little bit faster when that happened. I know when I got out of the water at Staten Island, the last thing I felt like doing was running, and my transition area wasn't a mile away from the swim exit either!
I will say that the most inspiring group of athletes were those who were racing with disabilities. To see people so committed and determined that they were not going to let anything stand in their way of the finish line was pretty awe-inspiring. After watching all of the women and most of the men do the swim and head out on the bikes, we decided that we would head over to Central Park to watch the run.
We lined up along the Cherry Hill fountain area and were able to cheer the runners on for their last quarter-mile into the finish. When one of the disabled (blind) athletes ran by us, he held out his hand for high-fives, which we gave to him. Aaron Scheidies finished the race in 2:02:15. That is an amazing effort, especially considering the man who won the entire race finished in 1:45:50!
Next year's NYC tri is on July 18. If I don't sign up for this Ironman, this race is definitely on my list for next year. I think that it would be pretty awesome to race in my own city and there are just so many spectators cheering you on that it would make the race that much more fun as well as keeping you motivated.