Tri For Acts of Kindness

The Tri for Acts of Kindness is one of the few pure charity races that I know of in my 1260887_4735832454093_1547911403_n hometown. Every cent made from the race goes directly back into the Shyann Kindness Project, where volunteers distribute gifts at low-income schools and discuss what it means to be kind. The race is held at La Mariposa, where I teach RPM and do my swim workouts, so I feel like I have a home field advantage (eh, not really, but I am used to the extremely shallow pool). I also appreciate any race my travel distance is less than what I will be covering on the course.

The swim is about as short as you will find in a triathlon: a scant 300 yards. As we all lined up according to number, I was happy to see that I would be sharing a lane with my friends Trisha and Gilbert. Things were running a bit behind, so we had a chance to catch up and talk about future race plans. When it was our turn to head to a lane, we launched into a “Who should swim first?” discussion. I ended up starting between Trisha and Gilbert.


5:05 | 300 yards | 01m 41s / 100 yards
Age Group: 3/18
Overall: 35/182

The water was a bit chilly, so I eased in. I went fairly hard because it was such a short swim, but I also felt pretty tired. Some days are just rough. Gilbert ended up passing me quickly, but he’s bad at counting laps (he freely admits this) and didn’t want to get too far ahead. He ended up waiting for me to finish to make sure he had gotten all of his laps in.

I ripped my cap, goggles, and ear plugs off as I ran to transition. I ended up dropping a plug and decided to leave it there. Because this was a hilly course, I wore my regular helmet because I didn’t know how much I’d be in the aero bars. I ran out of transition holding my bike in the air because I had heard of people getting tire punctures from weeds in the grass and I figured better safe than flat.

40:07 | 12.5 miles | 18.7 MPH
Age Group: 2/18
Overall: 12/182

The early part of the bike course is really cracked and bumpy. I looked down at my Cateye and noticed that it was displaying miles per hour, but not cadence, which is the reverse of what it has been doing. A few miles in, I dipped down to drink from my aero-bar mounted bottle and it wasn’t there. I found it in the transition area after the race – it had gotten knocked off when I unracked my bike. I was glad that this was just a sprint and figured that I would probably be alright. Still, it was a warm day and dry mouth is no fun.

There were quite a few hills on the course, but I did a pretty good job of staying in the aero bars. I will use the aero helmet next time. My mental DJ was in a mellow mood and the song “Come Together” went through my head. I heard a rattling sound each time I shifted to my small chain ring and the middle gears, so I spent most of the bike leg in the large ring*. There weren’t  a lot of people on the bike course, which made for a much more enjoyable ride. At the turnaround, the more upbeat song “Perfect Day” was now in my head. My legs were feeling affected by the the large gear pedaling.

23:51 | 3.1 miles | 7:41 minutes/mile
Age Group: 1/20
Overall: 8/182

Gilbert was just ahead of me as I started on the run, but he quickly pulled away. My legs had no oomph. Maybe it was because of the bike, or the heat, or that this was a B race that I wasn’t tapered for. The hills also sapped my energy. It was an out and back, and I counted three women ahead of me on the run. With the staggered starts I didn’t know how far ahead of me they really were, but it’s always good to have targets during a race.

After the turnaround it was mostly downhill, and I was thankful for that. As I turned off the main road and headed back to La Mariposa, there was a blond woman in my sights. My mantra became blond blond blond blond, which morphed into blond Bond blond Bond and led to a vision of Daniel Craig. I ended up passing her. When I knew I was approaching the finish line and sped up, but I couldn’t see it because it was tucked around the bend.Being able to see the finish line really helps to motivate me, but alas…

I ended up passing three people on the run. A man with a Scottish accent who finished just behind me told me that he had been trying to catch me and that I “looked like a runner.” I took that as a compliment.

After the race, I went to the results table, entered my number, and got a nifty receipt printout of my time and splits. I had never seen that at a race before. Then I headed to the resort section of the club and picked up the included breakfast. Yum!

1231240_4735830054033_978586301_nI stayed around for the award ceremony and found out that the only female who beat me was also in my age group (I was 9th overall). They didn’t give special prizes for the overall winners, so I ended up getting a 2nd place medal. It was made out of an old bicycle chain, which I thought was thrifty, creative, and environmentally friendly.


*I took my bike to the shop, and it turned out it was a case of cockpit error. The bike was fine, I just needed to trim the gear lever on the big ring depending on the sprocket I was using. At least I knew what to do for the next race.

8 thoughts on “Tri For Acts of Kindness

    • I know a lot of races donate a portion to charity, but it seems like race directing has really become a business. Not that that’s awful, but it’s nice to do something that I love and have it help other too 🙂

      Receipt be sweet!

  1. Cool! ( Do you watch Community? )

    I was also planning to run in the Istanbul Marathon, for a charity called ‘Adim Adim’ (Step by Step). I just love running for charity, Great motivation & in the end, no matter how bad the race was you know those were not some wasted miles! But I hadn’t heard of any Charity Races this much organized, just a couple 5K races ’til now.

    Love the medal by the way, I have a few bunch of medals piled up ^^ 🙂 but you don’t really remember of them after a while but a recycled medal of bike parts! Pew! Awesome! That’s what a real medal should be like!

    Congratulations on the overall results and the splits!

    • Ha 🙂 I haven’t seen Community. I would like to find a new sitcom now that The Office is finished.

      It is nice that something I enjoy doing can help others as well.

      All of my medals are in a pile too. Maybe someday I will hang them nicely.

  2. Michelle, thank you for posting your Acts of Kindness Tri experience. I am training for this year’s event and found your blog while scouring the web for any photos or info on this triathlon. I like to be prepared and this will be my second tri, my first having been the last ever Pinal Airpark Sprint two years ago. You have my curiosity peaked; how shallow is the pool and is that the entire pool or just one end? Was your swim a “circular” swim, if so what is that!? And did you have to count your own laps? Or did they have people counting them to ensure everyone gets it right? I’m so bad at keeping track that I my planned 400 yard swim today turned into 500 or more, I’m not entirely sure. Would love any advice and input you have to offer. I’m a cyclist who is an okay swimmer and as for the run…. Once I got a bike (15 years ago) I said to myself “now I never have to run again” and it’s worked rather well for me till now. I want to do as well as possible so bring it!
    Regards, Lynda S.

    • Hi, Lynda!

      It’s always nice to know when the words I put out there are useful to someone 🙂

      I would venture to guess that the pool is 3 feet on the side you will start on and slightly deeper on the other. You will circle swim. I don’t think they count laps. I was put in a group, and you can choose which order to go in. Maybe tell your lane-mates it’s a good idea if you don’t go first and hope the people ahead of you are similar speed and good counters 🙂 I find it helpful to count each lap, and then once I’m halfway, start counting in reverse. I say the number in my head with each stroke. So, for this one, 1 – 12, then 12 – 1.

      The bike and run are kind of hilly, so be prepared. Lots of first timers at this race. You will see people walking the run. There will be a water station 1/2 way on the run.

      Bring some Gu or something with you, because you won’t know when you are going to start for a while (and the event usually starts a little late). Then, when you are getting close to going, you can fuel.

      Practice a few bike-run bricks to get used to that feeling of running off the bike. It is very easy to run too slow (or too fast because you feel so slow) because it feels so different than straight-up running. Be prepared for the heat as well. I was also told to carry my bike out of transition, because they are some thorny weeds in the grass that can puncture your tires.

      I’m happy to answer any other questions you have. See you at the race!

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