When Heather Gollnick, pro triathlete who is the mastermind behind Rev3, was interviewing me in transition the morning of the race she asked me, “Kellie, are you nervous?” I had two fantastic nights of sleep and I was ready to take on the challenge ahead of me so I replied, “Oddly Heather, I am more excited than nervous. I come from Florida so the hills will be a huge challenge for me but that is why we do this, for the challenge.” What lied ahead I could never have fathomed. What over 800 athletes embarked on was one of the hardest but most beautiful Half-Ironman courses in the US.
Revolution3 took place in Middlebury, Connecticut at Quassy Amusement Park. The swim was a lake swim and PERFECTLY marked. I have never felt excited to get in the water but after spending months watching stroke videos, getting some advice on my form and spending more time in the pool I wanted to see if I improved. 36 min on the swim and I was exiting the water with a huge smile.
Into transition and there was my Dad snapping away pics and yelling words of encouragement. It was special having my Dad there for some quality time close to Father’s Day.
Off onto the bike and the real adventure began. For someone that lives in flat land having to climb 5,000 feet of elevation over 56 miles is a challenge! I LOVED every minute of it and enjoyed all the beauty that CT had to offer. It is truly God’s Country there and it helped ease the pain of the climbs. Roads were well marked, volunteers at every turn and very limited traffic. You could not ask for more.
Into T2 and off on the run. I honestly had no idea what was ahead of me but it did not take long to figure it out. Matt Reed (top male finisher) was quoted, “I didn’t scout out the run course before the race and it was a mistake. The hills were ridiculous, crazy. I had a decent lead on the bike and tried to stay in control but I got tired about Mile 10.” Yes, it was a run course that even challenged the Midget!
This race is truly REVOLUTIONARY. We race to exceed what we feel our limits are, we race to succeed, we race to feel the rush of emotion when accomplishing such a feat, we race to help better define ourselves. When I crossed the finish line I gave it all I had. I finished in 5:48 and I could not have been any happier.
To top it off I had the pleasure of meeting some of my blog/twitter buddies and boy were they all wonderful! Thanks for the bike ride on Saturday Jamie! Javier, thanks for the tip on how critical nutrition is on the bike to prepare for the run (smile). It was also a true pleasure to hang out with Tanya who is the founder of GOTRIbal. I wore my tattoos with pride girl!
Thanks to my Dad being there for me, for my friend and colleague, George, for coming to cheer me on and for all my friends that called/emailed/text messaged me before and after. And thanks to my friend that stayed up until almost 5AM Hawaii time to track me (you are crazy…but I dig it).
There is no doubt that this race made a huge impression on me. Maybe it is one that will be on the list for next year, you never know!