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ST. CROIX TRIATHLON, Sarah Keller posted 6/12/02
Sarah is a new team member this year and completed the Nantucket Nectars Iron Relay as an individual on 6/9/02. This is her first-hand account of the experience.

Nantucket Nectars Iron Relay
June 9, 2002

Even thought the name says "relay" I competed as an individual...

2.5 MILE RUN: 15:01 It was a flat road run, and a mass start. Whew what a way to hammer this event from the get-go! You end the run by powering through sand to get your paddleboard. I was in 5th place overall at the end of the run.

.9 MILE PADDLE: 18:57 It was a bit choppy out there, and I had to concentrate hard to navigate towards a point off in the distance. How relaxing to paddle after running like that. You lie on your stomach and use your arms like swimming. Thanks to coach John Furey, I had the 2nd best board out there, an old school banana board that just flew. I passed Captain Eric Kapatulik out there who was struggling on a windsurfer.

3.5 MILE BEACH RUN W/ 20LB PACK: 27:13 This was nowhere near as hard as I thought it would be, but it was hard just the same. Sand was none to flat, and I had to run in the water to keep to the hardpacked stuff. It was beautiful and the only person I could see was some guy off in the distance. I then eyeballed some seagulls and thought they were people darting off the beach to what I hoped would be a transition. Unfortunately, not, and soon I was fearing the gulls were bomb-diving for my head.

.75 MILE SWIM PLUS .75 MILE RUN: 29:51 The WORST of my life! It was so choppy my goggles got knocked off several times, I swallowed huge waves of water, and thought I was going to drown for the most serious time in my life. Even the rescue boats looked worried about me. Finally, I glimpsed people on the opposite beach just as I thought I was going to give up.

19 MILE BIKE: 1:03:09 Luckilly, race director Jamie Murphy caught me at the transition just in time to remind me to spin and save my legs for the 10k run. So I somewhat spun into the wind...and felt worried that random women had passed me while I was drowning since the crowd kept shouting out, "2nd or 3d woman! Good job!" Where did my lead go?

10K RUN: 44:51 This, I thought, at long last! Thankfully, I had saved a ton of leg strength to finish the job off. And even more fortunatley, Jamie was there to assure me that I was indeed still in the lead, and the others were merely team members. Thank god. I did not have to hammer. Just ran strong, relaxed, and felt euphoric to the FINISH!

Y'all should think about doing this next year!!

Sarah