Good Morning! Back from Dexter, NM and the Milkman Triathlon (sprint) here is Stefanie’s report:
Swimming 400 meters, biking 12 miles, and running 3 miles might sound like someone’s weekly workout, but in a sprint triathlon (yes, there are much longer races) you swim, bike and run all in one day. On Saturday June 4th my husband and I competed in the 27th annual Milkman Triathlon in Dexter, NM. I’ve participated in a handful of triathlons but not in almost 3 years, and it was my husband’s first triathlon.
Dexter is about 30 minutes from Roswell so we spent the night in Roswell and drove to Dexter the morning of the race. The triathlon takes part in and around Lake Van, a waist deep lake that temped at a cool 68° Saturday morning. We arrived well over an hour before race time, 8:00 a.m., to pick up our race packets and get our bodies marked. Basically someone uses a permanent black marker to write your race number on your arms and legs. In addition, just to make you feel self conscious when someone twice your age passes you, they write your age on your left calf! After getting marked, we set up our bikes, shoes, helmets, socks, shades, water bottles, and change of clothes in the “transition zone.” This is where you transition from swimming to biking and biking to runing. There really is an art to setting up this area and transitioning quickly, but my husband and I didn’t spend time practicing and it showed in our lengthy transition times.
The race starts with an open water swim. Since you can’t start everyone swimming at the same time, we went in waves. Ours was the second wave, 25-35 year-olds, and you start with one hand on a dock that ironically had a sign reading “No Swimming.” Open water swimming is much different than swimming in a pool and I found myself thrashing and picking up my head every few seconds to make sure I swam on course. My husband experienced swimming over people and getting grabbed by others. After the swim, we transitioned to our bikes and headed off for a relatively flat but remarkably windy bike ride. Individuals with aerodynamic road bikes (me) fared much better than those with borrowed hybrid bikes like my husband’s. After the bike leg I grabbed my running shoes and hat and headed out for the final running leg. After biking, your legs feel heavy and slow and that makes for a challenging finish. The run is a mostly off road, flat, and winding trail that ends in a park near the swim start.
The finish area had a community picnic feel with lots of refueling options including chocolate milk, white milk, and ice cream as well as water, Gatorade, fruit, and my personal favorite, snow cones! It was family friendly with food and activities for kids of all ages. The awards ceremony was a special event with a stage and tons of age group, team, and overall awards. All participants completing their first triathlon as a soloist received a special finisher’s mug – my husband got one! Overall the Milkman Triathlon was a wonderfully organized, friendly, and most importantly, fun event. It was an enjoyable experience for both the new and seasoned triathlete and I look forward to next year’s race!