Newbies welcomed to PTC triathlon

Tue, 08/26/2008 - 3:02pm
By: Letters to the ...

I am compelled to write and acknowledge the amazing people involved in organizing the Peachtree City Triathlon and the PTC TRI Club. I and two female friends (a mid 30s and two 40-somethings) for some crazy reason thought that we should register and try to complete in the race held Aug. 23.

We needed a goal to keep ourselves motivated and on a training schedule, and for some strange reason thought this was a good place to start. None of us had ever competed in a triathlon sprint or had considered ourselves “athletes” by any means. We are just some middle-aged moms trying to stay fit and healthy and wanting to provide a good example to our daughters of the importance of exercise and taking the time to take care of ourselves, body, mind and soul.

Our original goal was simply to complete the race, hopefully in under two hours. We started researching training guidelines and wound up meeting this wonderful group of people at the Wednesday night “Night Moves” mock-tri-training held at Drake Field.

We showed up nervous, feeling completely out of our league and with more than a few questions. We were welcomed with open arms by this friendly and inviting group. They answered all of our silly questions (what should we wear? How far is the swim? How do we deal with all the nasty weeds in Lake Peachtree? What is the course route?) with enthusiasm for us in our new adventure.

This group of accomplished athletes not only encouraged us “newbies” constantly but gave us the confidence that we needed to actually show up on race day. We felt as well-prepared as we could be and knew no one was going to laugh at us as we struggled to crack running a blistering 11-minute-mile pace. Quite to the contrary we were exactly the type of “regular” people these folks wanted to reach out to and to recruit into this fantastic event.

Thank you again to all of our new Wednesday night friends, including the other newbies that took on this challenge this year with us (BJ and Becky) as well as all of the fantastic volunteers who set up the event, did the bike checks, answered the same questions hundreds of times over and over, showed up before 5 a.m., cleaned up the area and lined the raceway on a rainy Saturday morning, clapping and cheering us on.

You all warned us that we would become hooked, and we certainly are. You have inspired all three of us middle-aged moms, and we are currently trying to decide between several upcoming races on which ones to take on next. Possibly more importantly, two of our 11-year-old daughters have signed up for a kids-tri in September.

You don’t have to be the fastest or the best to take part in these events. You just need to be the best you can be.

We certainly didn’t finish in first place (or even close) but all three of us finished in under 1 hour 45 minutes.

For Shannon Diaz and Maureen Lilly,

Teri Thompson

Fayetteville, Ga.

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