Monday, November 23, 2015

Texas Tri Series Final Results

So the culmination of my (admittedly) very extensive season ended back in October after 8 multi-sport races in 6 months. 6 of those races were for the Texas Tri Series,

This series, for those who haven't ready my previous posts, is a six event series that runs from May-October and has several options for participation. You can sign up to be a finisher, sign up for overall timing for the short courses, or overall timing for the long courses. For the finisher status, you can either race or volunteer at all of the events. For overall timing, you have to race all events, and for long course you have to choose the longest option at each race (typically, Olympic, with one 70.3 at Kerrville)

I registered in May for the Overall Long Course F 25-29. Throughout the series, I raced against what started as a group of 5 women, and slowly, as people either DNFed or DNSed, whittled down to just two, with me ending in 2nd place overall. The registration for the series closed July 1st, after the first two races were completed, giving people time to decide if they want to do the full series or not. This makes sense and is fair enough.

However, my one and only issue I had with this whole process was the results reporting. I understood why names were dropping off the list. Those women did not participate in a required race, so they were no longer included in overall results. However, I have yet to have it justified to me how someone could suddenly appear on the list 4 races in. MAYBE if they waited until the end of the day July 1st, they wouldn't appear until August. Sure. However, for our age group, a new name popped up after the race in August. I emailed to ask about it, and was told she registered on time and that was that. Fine. I thought it was a little shady, but tried to give the benefit of the doubt because perhaps they had a small crew working with the data and it had been an honest mistake.

That name disappeared after the race in September but then ANOTHER brand new name appeared. This time, I was pretty upset. How does that happen in September if the deadline was July 1? I didn't bother emailing to ask, because there was no point, but this new name bumped me out of first and in to 2nd place. I tried to let it go, because she was not just better than me, but hours better. So, it was no contest when it's a comparison of athletes side by side. But still, obviously the series doesn't take in to account every athlete in Austin, just those who sign up for it on time.

I've let it go, and moved on. There's no point in letting it gnaw at me, when overall I competed in a MUCH more competitive season this year with many more races than I've done before, and learned a lot about myself as an athlete and competitor. In that regard, I am glad I did it and had fun all season seeing people at races, meeting other in my age group, and supporting our local race community.

The finisher party at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Austin
The Series celebrates its conclusion with a finisher party, which we attended this past weekend. It took place at the Hyatt Regency Austin and included a free dinner, open bar, photo booth, prize drawings, and awards. I got another tiny slap in the face when I realized they only gave awards to the top finishers (instead of top three, like every individual race does) but overall enjoyed the evening. I met some fun new people who had all volunteered for the series rather than run it, and after I told them about what had happened, they all agreed it was me who should get to take home the centerpiece. I was A-OK with that- it was a super cool cutout of Texas with the year and series on it. I took it home, painted "2nd Place F 25-29" on it and am now totally happy. :)

My self-made trophy looks great in my office!
The finisher party was fun- you can't beat free food and drinks! It was a blast getting to see everyone I had spent an entire summer seeing in nothing by Lycra all dolled up for the evening. The triathlete community in Austin is huge, and so supportive of each other. It's really a great group of people to hang out with.

 Bryce and I enjoyed the photo booth and loved the blackberry cheesecake. The presentation of awards was fast and straight-forward, allowing everyone to maximize their dinner time on spending time with friends and sharing stories.

The program featured the names of all finishers & volunteers.
 Also included for the party was a nice bag of finisher swag. This was well done and I really like what we got!  The bag featured a bright, reflective Headsweats brand running hat with the simple series logo on it, some hair ties, a laser engraved medal hanger for your series medals, and a finisher jacket. The jacket is a unisex cut, so I am very glad I got a small, and it's thin. It's a great jacket for grocery shopping (did that!), lounging around, or wearing before you head out on a slightly chilly run. It's not as awesome as my IMTX jacket, of course, but it's a way cooler option than just another t shirt!

My medals from all of the series
I won't be doing the series again, not because of my frustrations with rankings, but simply because I enjoy variety and want to do some of the many other races in the Austin area. However, I really recommend signing up for a series, especially if you're getting in to the sport and want goals to focus on! It was really fun having a new competitive reason to do well at each one, beyond just that race's results. I enjoyed having my season essentially mapped out for me, with one race a month (plus the additional ones I did outside of this series) and it was a great way to see how I stacked up against others in my age group on a consistent basis. It confirmed my confidence in my swimming and biking, and made me realize just how important it is for me to improve my running. It was a fun experience that I'm glad I did, and I look forward to finding similar challenges in the future!

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