Swim- New this year, the time trial swim started with racers jumping in the bay from two finger piers. This was a much appreciated change that greatly reduced the wait time for many athletes. I was assigned to the second pier. The bay was calm and swimming conditions were great. After exiting the water racers ran up the stairs to T1 (transition one) where we put on our helmets and bike shoes, then grabbed our bikes to head out to THE hill.
Bike-The bike course started on the famous and dreaded hill that leads to the center of Fairhope. This was followed by a few more hills and a nice ride through the fields of Fairhope that are home to many horses and filled with ponds where turtles swim. I was happy to see the older gentleman in a wheelchair in his yard cheering us on. On training rides, Katie Bolton and I often see him and wave. After making our way down a hill we rode along the bay, thankfully there was not much wind. As I passed the Grand Hotel My Team Triumph racers gave me a push of encouragement. Cheering family and friends greeted us back to transition as we rode down the hill.
Run- Following T2, the run started at the foot of the grueling hill that never seemed to stop. I was glad to see some friendly faces offering water along the course. After running across the bluff, I was especially happy that a local had generously set up a misting system to help the runners stay cool. I also liked the signs that the Woman’s Gulf Coast Triathlon Team posted along the course. As I made it back down the hill, circled the duck pond, I was relieved to run past the pier and into the finish chute.
Post-Race- After the race it was time for food, friends and awards. While waiting for awards I enjoyed getting stretched out by Dr. Ryan Nobles and using his Norma Tec boot sleeves. As a team, we did great! Every WGCTT racer stood on the very top of the podium.
Dr Kat – Overall Female, Fastest Female Bike Split
Ms. Mindi- 1st Grandmaster Female
Ms. Sue- 1st Age Group (AG) 55-59
Ms. Becca- 1st AG 35-39, Fastest Female Run Split
Palmer (me) - 1st AG 0-19
In addition, a BIG thanks to Ms. Amy and Ms. Katie for cheering us on! Also, thanks to our team sponsors Pro Cycle & Tri, Santa Rosa Island Triathlon, Bienville Orthopedic Specialists, Eastern Shore Cosmetic Surgery, Tropical Smoothie Cafe - Pensacola, Mindi Straw Custom Embroidery and Run-n-Tri. I received many compliments on our cute kits and podium shirts. Your support is greatly appreciated!
Mobile Baykeeper- Mobile Baykeeper is responsible for organizing and executing the successful Grandman race day. They do an amazing job gathering support from the 150+ volunteers who take time to make our race both fun and safe. The money the Baykeepers raise benefit the health of the bay and local waters. I am grateful for their efforts so that I can enjoy triathlons, swimming, skiing and other watersports in clean water.
My Team Triumph-My Team Triumph allows children and adults with disabilities to experience a triathlon. Captains are pulled by Angels through the swim, bike and run. It was especially meaningful this year to see Captain Andrew and his Angels on the course. Andrew and I attend the same church. All of the Captains and Angels were very inspiring.
Delta Bike Project-The Delta Bike Project is a volunteer based bike shop that promotes biking in Mobile, AL. They offer many services and advocate for the safe use of bicycles in our community. My brother and I have had four flat tires since moving to our new house in April. With the help of Ms. Jenn at the DBP, I changed two tubes. I changed the other two flats at Pro Cycle and Tri and we no longer ride in our backyard that has many stickers. The DBP is also a fabulous place to donate used bike equipment or old t-shirts that they use for rags.