By Roberta Dunn

September 13, 2015 I did something I never thought I could. I finished a ½ Ironman distance triathlon. I swam 1.2 miles, biked 56 miles, and finished with a 13 mile run. I learned so much that day and am sharing it in the following blog. The greatest thing I learned is that if you have a body you are an athlete and there is nothing greater than the moment you hear your name called at the finish line! I enjoyed that moment so much that I wanted to share it with all our FACT families and their children. Here’s my story! Can’t wait to hear yours at the finish line of the All Ability Tri4Youth!!!

1.) When setting up your transition, remember some people take this very seriously (follow their lead and hope no one can tell you don’t know all the rules!)

2.) When out for your warm up swim remember (but fight the urge to freak out) that everyone is peeing in their wetsuit (no explanation but a Tri truth)

3.) When swimming 1.2 miles you must simply swim buoy to buoy to buoy…until you reach the finish. Only a wackadoodle would set out to swim 1.2 miles straight!

4.) When choosing to ride past aid station #1 on your bike be confident you know how to determine how much water you have in your Tri bottle. Learning you are empty at mile 17 sucks!

5.) When giving yourself encouraging pep talks at about mile 22 consider doing it with your mouth closed so as to not eat a bug…especially because you are now rationing electrolyte drinks until the next aid station.

6.) Always bring a baggy of chafing crème (aka…butt butter) with lidocaine…it was my saving grace and the only way I finished the 2nd half of the ride!

7.) Appreciate the need to learn all the words to at least 4-5 songs…it’s lonely out there and I found myself singing (careful not to repeat the bug incident) but only knew a few words of several songs (ex. Alabama on the boom box baby lets get a little boondocks crazy…and that’s all I know…repeat!)

8.) At mile 50, crying won’t help. Remember you signed up for this, paid registration fees, ate kale, and trained your butt off. So suck it up sister and get to that next transition!

9.) As for that run…be flexible with your game plan. I had planned to run with walks through each aid station (so brief walk every mile)…well, it was hotter than heck and hilly (really hilly) so change in plan…walk up the hills run down the hills.

10.) Then you see the finish line…you have nothing left, running on fumes, and you hear the announcer say “we have an athlete in the chute”…and he means you! People start shouting, tears fill your eyes, and from a place deep inside you find one last sprint to the finish as the announcer says congratulations Roberta Dunn and you realize holy sh!? I’ve just finished a 1/2 Ironman!