Top Notch Triathlon: An Uphill Battle to the Finish
Let me begin with saying that I'm no triathlete. I signed up for the Top Notch Triathlon partially on a whim. I've never considered myself an excellent athlete, but mountain biking, swimming across Echo Lake, and hiking up Cannon sounded like lots of fun! I definitely should have trained more, especially for the bike, but I finished and that was my only goal for the day.
This was my first triathlon ever. If you asked me a year ago, I would have never guessed that I would be doing something like this. When I started hiking in June of 2017, Cannon was my second 4,000 footer. I went on to climb all 48 of New Hampshire's 4,000 footers over the course of eight months, so I was looking for another challenge. It was definitely tough, but in the end I'm so glad that I did it!
Although I signed up many months ago, I definitely slacked when it came to training. I had never mountain biked before, so I knew that would be my biggest challenge. The only biking I've ever done was on a road bike in southern Italy this past May. I did swim once a week for about two months, but with all of my traveling lately it's been about a month since I did any lap swimming. I definitely should have trained on the bike more and it showed with my time of 57:54 for the 6.5 miles. The bike portion was all uphill with 2.5 miles being on narrow trails. It was definitely nerve wracking with the rocks, roots, and mud, but I walked the bike portion with Lucy yesterday so at least I knew what to expect.
Next was the swim across Echo Lake. It was 0.5 miles and really refreshing! I loved the swim and wished that it was longer so that I could have made up time from the bike. I completed that leg in 16:17 and moved onto the hike up Cannon Mountain. In between the bike and the hike I decided to change clothes so that I wouldn't have to hike in wet shorts. My transition time was long, over 6 minutes, but it was definitely worth it to get out of my wet clothes.
The hike was surprisingly difficult. I grew up skiing every weekend at Cannon, so I'm very familiar with the mountain. That being said, hiking up the ski trails felt much steeper than skiing down them! We went across the front five, up Lower and Middle Cannon, and finally up Tramway to the finish. I have new Altra trail runners that I purchased last week, so it was a little extra difficult seeing as I'm still in the break in process. The hike was 2.5 miles and I finished in 56 minutes for a grand total of 2:17 for the whole tri.
I was so relieved when I got to the top and saw my dad, who was acting as my support team. He did an excellent job cheering me on wherever he could and meeting me at every transition. I definitely couldn't have done it without him! After taking in the sights, we headed down the tram to Iron Furnace Brewery for the awards.
Today was a big accomplishment for me. As many of you know, I broke my neck in September of 2017, and since then I've done a lot of things I never would have attempted beforehand. I had such a great time and exceeded all of my goals and expectations. I can't wait to do it again next year!
Top Notch Triathlon: 6.5 mile mountain bike from center Franconia to Echo Lake, 0.5 mile swim across Echo Lake, and 2.5 mile hike up Cannon Mountain [2:17:54].