Getting to the race in the foggy darkness. Sound familiar? -Watauga Lake Triathlon

Posted on by Martin Stam

Watauga Lake Triathlon 9/14/17

By Martin Stam

Sometimes triathlon events can a real adventure. This one is a great example.

I drove up the night before to stay with my cool mountaineer brother He told me that Watauga lake was actually in Tennessee not North Carolina and promptly produced an old dusty map which we studied on a wooden table by the lantern light of his tiny rustic cabin. I had thought it was way closer to Boone.

I slept well in my sleeping bag on the floor and jumped in the car very dark and early. Of course my cell phone had no service, my brother’s hand-drawn map was pretty vague, and the roads were so foggy that I couldn’t exceed 35mhp. Adventure!

On the twisting mountain roads of western North Carolina I quickly loose sense of distance and direction. But that is the fun part about going up there, you’re always lost –unless you’re my brother, who is never lost.

Luckily, I had budgeted a little extra time for getting lost, and I finally made it to the beautiful race site with enough time to get checked in and set up.

I really enjoyed the course, I would have enjoyed it more if I were certain that I was going the right way for the first few miles of the still-foggy bike. Being in the mountains, there were some real mountain climbs –most notably a big one in the first mile, and a huge mountain about three quarters of the way through. There were a few miles of flat, going along the shoreline of Watauga lake, but I didn’t take advantage and hammer because of the fear in my stomach that I had somehow missed a turn.

Anyway, I finally got back (without having missed any turns) and had a smooth transition with my brother and his girlfriend cheering me onward. I stayed in control for the run and finished with a sense that I could have run a bit faster. But I felt good, which is better than the painful scenario of over-doing it and bonking in the middle of the run.

This race was also memorable for me because I got, by far, the best prize ever; a nice backpack!


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