The triathlon training blog of Phil Barnes

Race Report: Cornwall Transit Triathlon 2007

I was the most nervous before this event than any other – and this time, I was only a spectator. Our kids, Andrew and Laura (age 8 and 6) were entered in their very first event: The 5th Annual Cornwall Triathlon. This race is held on the Saturday, and the adult races are held on the Sunday. Cornwall puts on a great set of events (by the way), it is unfortunate that logistics meant it would be held on the same day as 1000 Islands Triathlon (for the 2nd year in a row); hopefully, this won’t always be a conflict.

In actuality, for kids 6 and under, there is only a duathlon option. Older kids have a duathlon or triathlon option (with the swim being in a 25 meter outdoor pool). Andrew’s age group (7-9) had the option of a 50m/3.5K/1K triathlon or a 3.5K/1K bike-run duathlon.

Laura’s race (6 and under) was a blast to watch – 250 meter run, 400 meter bike and another 250 meter run. The best part is that the kids run with their helmets on. Parental (and grand-parental) support is through the roof – the cheers could probably be heard across the river; everyone in this race is a winner and everyone was called down and presented a medal at the awards ceremony.

Andrew’s race (7 to 9) was a game-day decision. My son (like me), has major anxiety issues… and we promised we wouldn’t force him into anything. It honestly broke my heart to see him with his pre-race nerves getting ready for his race. But, when they started… he got right into it.

He went rocketing by me on his bike in fourth place out of the gate. And then he sailed on out of sight on the 3.5K course. I was shocked and ecstatic to see him coming back a short while later in a close second place into transition.

Then, something magical happened: he just ripped his helmet off and headed on out for the 1 kilometer run, not missing a single beat. I was honestly beside myself. He looked just like a pro. I caught up to him early on the run, and had to stop him on the course to tie his shoelace up!

I ran beside him most of the way, his little face red with fatigue, but his eyes determined to finish. I couldn’t believe what I was witnessing. It was absolutely incredible. He grabbed a cup of water from the aid station, took a quick swig and threw the cup to the ground without missing a beat. It was great. At the turnaround, with 200 meters to go, I could see him holding his side (oh no, I thought, he’s caught a stitch)… but the little guy just dug deep into his suitcase of courage, and soldiered on through and under the finish banner holding his second place with authority. It was truly an amazing experience.

I would have been the proudest parent there even if he just decided to pack it in after the bike (regardless of where he finished). I would have been proud if he finished (even if it was dead last). But, honestly, I’m feeling guilty for being thrilled-to-bits with his second place finish.

The adult event the next day was a walk-in-the-park compared to being a spectator the day before.