This race report is long overdue with the Philly Women’s Triathlon on July 8, 2019, but that doesn’t mean I forgot about it. In its second year, the Women’s Tri is a highly organized event from start to finish, has great crowd support, and boasts a pool swim and a closed course for the bike and run. It’s the perfect race for beginners and experienced athletes alike.
The swim takes place in Kelly Pool near the Please Touch Museum in Fairmount Park close to the heart of downtown Philadelphia. DelMo Sports’ drone buzzes overhead to record all of the cheers and waves from the athletes waiting at the swim start. I decided to start in the third heat, or the 5:00-5:30 min heat for a 300 meter swim. My time should be right in the middle, but it ended up a little slower since I had to pass a few athletes while doing the serpentine swim. I ducked under the lane line to pass one athlete, misjudged the pool depth and scraped my knee. I didn’t think anything of it at the time.
Once out of the pool, I ran as fast as I could in bare feet on concrete and then grass to my bike. I sat down, wiped my feet, and saw BLOOD. Lots of blood was dripping down my leg from that tiny scrape on my knee from the pool. No matter, I threw on my shoes and helmet, and then I was off! I chose my road bike to bring to this race since I needed to get new shoes for my TT bike, but it wasn’t a big deal. I can ride my used $500 aluminum frame roadie as well as anyone, and FAST! After all, it is my Ironman bike, my mini-van of a bike, and the bike that I can have afternoon tea on with real China bike. I can ride that bike all day long.
Blood continued to drip down my leg and into my shoes, so I ignored it. I thought it would stop bleeding eventually and might make me look like a beast for the race photos (too bad you can’t see the blood in the photo below). I continued to pass athletes on the bike, and a few passed me on their TT bikes too. The bike course wasn’t crowded and there were no cars to worry about.
As soon as I started to make my way up the hill to transition, I noticed another athlete in front of me on a hybrid, and all I could think of is that I needed to spin my legs fast enough to catch her on that hill. And, I did.
Into T2, I racked my biked and traded the helmet and bike shoes for running shoes and a hat: I was on my way. Transitions this year for me got faster too. Boom! Done in a few minutes max.
For the first half mile or so of the run, I couldn’t feel my legs. Typical. It was hot and humid by now too, and I don’t do well in the heat. So, I made it my goal to keep running no matter what and sip on the Tailwind in my bottle. That’s exactly what I did. I ran by the sculptures, Shofuso House, up and down little hills, and saved enough for the final kick to the finish line.
I highly recommend this race to anyone who is new to the sport or wants to race in Philadelphia with the cancellation of the Philly Escape Triathlon in late June. Lots of my friends will be there next year and so will my daughter! Come and race with us! 300 meter pool swim, 9 mile bike, and 5K run. And best of all–you’ll get a medal the size of a dinner plate, good food, free photos, race tank top, and lots of other swag.