Triathlete remembers

Heather Mangan

Heather Mangan

Two years ago, I crossed off my first task on my “Things to before I die” list. I competed in a sprint triathlon.

I’ve wanted to do a triathlon since I was in seventh grade, but never thought I could finish it. But when I found out my hometown was hosting a sprint triathlon, I jumped at the chance.

The triathlon consisted of a .4-mile swim, 18-mile bike ride and 3.5-mile run. I figured it would be a piece of cake and decided to do it. I knew the swimming and running portions would be easy because I was on the swim and cross country teams and I thought it couldn’t be that hard to ride a bike.

The big day came and I was more nervous than I had ever been for a competition. There were about 12 people of all different ages in the competition. Some had done this before, but it was the first triathlon for most.

After the gun sounded, my nerves started to settle as I pulled away from my competitors during the swim. I couldn’t see anyone around me, and when I ran out of the water, I realized I was the first out to finish that section.

I ran to my bike, quickly put on my shoes and began the long ride ahead. Although it was a mostly flat course, my legs began to hurt immediately. And one by one, all of the competitors but one passed me. I became extremely discouraged because I had such a great start. How could I get this far behind? But I wasn’t about to quit. I finished my ride as best I could and got ready for the run.

I managed to get past the pain and finished under three hours, meeting my goal.

Although I finished second to last, I was still really proud of myself. The triathlon was one of the hardest, yet most rewarding things I’ve ever done.

This week, SDSU students will be competing in a sprint triathlon right on campus. I encourage you to watch the triathlon on Sunday and see how wonderful it and the athelets are.

#1.884584:3649476605.jpg:heathermug.jpg:Heather Mangan, Columnist: