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Morgan Hill Splash 2 Dash Winner!

splash_2_dash_002Today, at age seven, my son Cayman won the 7 – 8 yr.-old age group at the first annual Splash 2 Dash Youth Triathlon in our home town. He didn’t train for it at all and it was his first triathlon. It was a 50-yard swim, a 3-mile bike, and a 3/4-mile run.We didn’t even know about the event until a few days ago. Yesterday, I took Cayman on our bikes to see the course. I explained each leg, showed him the transition area, and we rode the bike course. I think it helped him a lot. He knew where to go and knew how many laps of the looped course he needed to complete.

He was in the fourth wave, so he was able to watch other kids start in the pool, see them exit and head to the transition area. We jockeyed for position to get the first lane, closest to the transition area. I was trying not to take the whole thing too seriously, but any triathlete understands how to shave a few seconds here or there. I knew Cayman would go out as fast as possible on the swim, but he remembered to take a few breaths at the end of the pool before doing the second lap. My wife helped him out of the pool as I waited for him at his bike. I knew I could help him through a fast transition, but when he left on his bike, I couldn’t tell where he was in the pack.

I ran out to the looped bike course to see how he was doing. He passed me halfway through the ride, where I told him it looked like he was in the lead! With an emphatic fist pump, he charged ahead. He passed me one more time and then I ran back to the transition area to meet him.

He was clearly in the lead coming into T2. I grabbed his bike and helmet right at the dismount area and he took off running. That was about a 4-second transition. Wouldn’t it be nice if I could do that in one of my races. Just three laps around the parking lot, but he had now caught kids from the previous wave that started 15 minutes before him. He didn’t realize he was only racing against his age group at that point, but the shuffle of kids everywhere urged him on.

He crossed the finish line in 23:46. Official results showed one other boy in his wave finishing in exactly the same time tied for first, but that’s not possible because there was nobody near him at the finish. It was only after seeing the official times that I realized how far ahead of everyone Cayman finished. The average finishing time was around 33 minutes.

It was also great to have my wife and daughter on the course taking videos and pictures and cheering him on. We were all very proud of Cayman’s win, and I would have been just as proud if he had not won, but for him to win in a field of 52 kids and beat all the 8-yr. olds. Wow, I was impressed.

Cayman was very proud of his accomplishment, but I think he expected to win. His win and his confidence inspired me. But already there are two giant differences between my son and me. He is starting the sport 35 years younger than when I started it. And he is really good.



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