For a number of reasons, it seems I have had difficulty posting many stories this year. Several have been started, and hopefully I will get them completed. As it turns out, I also have a story from last year that I have not shared. I remember writing this up after some local Team Magic races last year, and time slipped away, so I decided it would be fun to post them before the races this year. Well, it was pretty bittersweet re-reading it, but I wanted to share . . .
Some ‘Magic’ Racing with my Dad and Friends
I love to race in Tennessee. Over the years I have gotten to know more and more of the area racers - and usually a good group of friends end up at the same races, which makes it very fun. Team Magic Racing puts on many events, but two of my favorites are the Chattanooga Waterfront Triathlon and the Music City Triathlon (in Nashville of course). For the past several years I have had conflicts and had to miss the Chattanooga race, so I was very excited when this year worked out. Not only that, my father was going to be racing, as well as several of my local triathlete friends - which made it even better!
The Chattanooga race has a lovely downstream swim, a new bike course this year cut out a lot of hills and made for a really fast bike, and the run wound down along the river and back. The city is, of course, just beautiful, and a whole group of us managed to have dinner together the night before. I have to tell you, I just love racing with my dad. Even when he is not with me I always think of him - what he would think about the course, how we would discuss it after - what was the best part, what was tough, who had faster transition times, the ‘race within the race’ of the hometown crowd, etc - so having him racing was really special. I saw him as I headed in from the run, and he was just smiling and so excited cheering me on. Afterwards we met back up at post-race tent, and discussed our races. We both ended up making the podium - and I just could not have asked for a better day.
The Music City Triathlon is at the end of July and is notoriously HOT and HUMID. And - I love it. Again I was excited as my father was racing, along with tons of friends from home and the Nashville area. The swim is in the Cumberland River, and is a race director’s nightmare because the current can sometimes be rather ‘challenging’ shall we say. Team Magic has done wonders in adapting the swim course to negate this, and this year went nice and smoothly. The bike is on closed roads, the majority on a 4 lane parkway, completely closed to traffic, with some nice rolling hills. And the run, is hot. Very hot. I had a friend, Kevin Elmore, fly in from California to race, and again a group of us were able to meet the night before for a nice dinner.
The race went well, it always makes me happy to see my dad out there on the run, and we all tried to encourage each other along as we melted…
I am lucky to be able to do a lot of different races in a lot of different places, but these ‘hometown’ races still rank up there as some of my favorites. There is just something really special about racing with so many friends, and I never take for granted being able to race with my father. My heart is full.
Thanks for reading. If you get a chance, come race with me in Tennessee!
Back to 2018 . . .
This year I was fortunate enough to be able to once again race in Chattanooga and in Nashville. The friendships and support of the triathlon community helped me through - although my father was, of course, very much on my mind. The Music City Triathlon celebrated it's 40th anniversary - which is pretty amazing. Kathleen Johnston did an incredible job rounding up memoralia from the previous years - including lists of race results. Turns out my first Music City race was in 2000 - my second year of doing triathlons! The most exciting thing for me this year, is that my 18 year old niece, Abby Maimone, flew down from New Jersey to do her first triathlon! She was with me in packet pickup when we discovered this, and she looked at me and said, "That means you did this before I was born". Yes. Yes, indeed. Lol.
Abby had a great race. Elvis and the kids were there cheering. I saw tons of friends from the area out there racing. The weather was the coolest it has probably ever been. The triathlon community was as supportive and encouraging as always. And, I thought about my father. And I thought of all the years we did this race together. And how proud he would be to see everyone out racing. And what we would have laughed about, and discussed, and strategized about after the race. And then I went out to a wonderful brunch with the family and some friends that I met . . . through triathlon. And although my heart still aches something fierce, it is still full with all that life has given, and continues to give, me. And I am so very thankful I never took for granted a single race I shared with my Papa.
Once again - Thanks for reading. If you get a chance, come race with me in Tennessee!