Lets start with a wave to the face. Thats how I started The Great Ponte Vedra Paddle. Followed up by a McDreamy surfer saying “Man, you just got an ass beating, you’re going to win though!”. I can remember looking at him, feeling my mascara run a little (leftover from yesterday, why didn’t I remove it?), and think “Man, this is gonna be awesome, if I can get away from these breakers”. It was a bit of a mad dash entering the water to make it to the first bouy, was lucky enough that the waves stopped for a moment, giving me time to get on my board and paddle out safely.
The bouy. I stood there staring out at the first bouy, just like in every other triathlon I mentally go over “I’ve done this”, but I stood there thinking, I don’t think I’ve paddled 3 miles, and if I have Im not sure about it. Holy crap. This will be a first. *I hear the start of the race*, mentally I get back to the distance, I’ve swam this before. So I can paddle it. When dem’ bitches be? <– don’t think Im mean, but you know you scope the competition.
Along with keeping my eye on the first bouy, I scope 2 women in front of me. One in sleeves and the other with the ass hanging out. They are my focus, everyone around me doesn’t matter. Just paddle and chase em’ down.
Again I flashback to words of wisdom from Dan the Man, “You can either win or lose at the start and turns”, well I lost at both. I just didn’t start out strong enough, first stroke in I knew I was tired. <— insert mega eye roll. Sometimes you know how your day is gonna be, and I knew right away, but thought “screw it, go until you can’t”. I picked one women off and was slightly on the tail of the “ass” girl until the turn, I totally fudged it up (anyone like to go and practice turns with me?). After clearing the turn, you just know when a gap is created and there isn’t much you can do about it.
Cool thing though, I made a friend. Hi Jennifer! The chick in the sleeves just happened to be a fellow triathlete! “All Im trying to do is pace myself, and the other women are far enough behind, we ARE placing today!”. So pretty much after the first turn I had a paddling buddy. We tried to chase down that ass (all I can say is ass because she had one of those bikini bottoms where most of your ass hangs out, YOU KNOW what I am talking about!). In the end it was a pacing game the entire way, oh and add in a couple rounds of bummer paddle boards 🙂
Last turn bouy I lose Jennifer. She had a better turn, and the swell is so big I was positive I was gonna flip over before turning to the shore. It was just a ride in, a ride with trying to not fall off, while at the same time making sure I am heading into the finish line. Right as I am about to hop off, I look over my shoulder and see a big wave coming in “Oh shit!”, I was in such a weird position that I just sat down on my board and rode the wave in, hoping I didn’t eat sand on the way in. **I just looked at more photos, was NOT a big wave at all, but it sure did seem that way when I was out there .**
Boom! I run in at 3rd place. It was a FUN great race. I see husband as I cross the finish line, and you know what he says “Don’t get mad, but I figured out how to get you a new phone”, I am staring at him, exhausted, confused, and it hits me, “You went swimming with my phone!?!”. So *note* to readers: I now have a new phone, it actually rings, and I finally receive phone calls AND the internet works when I leave the house<– I feel like a classy lady now.
I want to first point out the first photos in this post, that of my little man standing up on a surfboard! Came like second nature to him, he got better over time, he is so dang cute! Also HUGE thank you to Laura for snapping photos for me! Laura said she had the same camera, I looked over and told Mark, “Laura is now in charge of taking photos”.
Big time high five to the race directors of The Great Ponte Vedra Paddle! Couple of reasons that make this a cool event;
- Snacks/water/food provided: It was all donated 🙂 I got to chow down on sandwiches, GF cranberry muffins and rice krispy treats- There were other options but that was what I was grubbing on.
- Cool location! Micklers landing seems to be a hot spot for Ponte Vedra. Near the end the place was PACKED.
- Competitors: Only my second event here in the JAX area, but I do enjoy the people so very much!
- Vendors: All local vendors, and all so friendly! I’ve been to plenty of racing events, and right now I think being handed free stickers by dudes & chicks half naked seems to be a happy time. Beach people are just happy!
- The hardware: Just look at the trophies! So cool!
- Raffle: The raffle was AMAZING! Raffled off SUP boards, skate boards, gear, clothing… EVERYTHING.
Definitely will be back next year, thinking that the 5 mile race sounds fun!
What more can I say? Happy time! A I am kinda happy that I got in a semi-race report!
P.S Don’t ask for an IMCDA report, if you wanna hear about it we just might have to meet in person, I started it, but the swim portion was a small book….Ill stop there.