Last year they watched the kids do the triathlon down at Pilot Bay where we lived with Mrs. P - and they REALLY wanted to do it - but they weren't ready yet. So I prepared them mentally and physically so that they could enter this year. They practiced their swimming, I made them sweat their little butts off riding to school and they are already agile little runners. They were ready.
The Weetbix Tryathlon was held at Memorial Park in Tauranga this year. There were 1400 entries and Pilot Bay just couldn't support those numbers. Memorial Park was a great venue. The kids swam 100m in the pool (of course not all at the same time - they went in age groups and divided into small numbers), a 4km bike ride (the kids ride farther than that to school each way), and a 1.5km run.
When we arrived the girls were so excited! They got settled in to their age groups, parked their bikes in the transition area, donned their swimming caps and enjoyed the excitement and entertainment of the day. In the bike ride portion - the kids had to ride up a pretty steep hill - Chantelle looked at it and said, "We get to ride down that hill?!" She has never ridden down a hill before (Mt. Maunganui is pretty flat). Her wheels were clearly spinning - and it was her aim to "fly" down that hill. Chantelle was determined to WIN. I told her it wasn't a race... that she was just to do her best... but it fell on deaf ears. WIN WIN WIN chanted in her little head.
Natalya went first and I got photos of her getting out of the pool. I ran with her to the transition area and waited until she got on her bike so I could get a shot of her. Then I ran across the park to the fountain (which someone had put washing powder in so it was all soapy and foam was everywhere!) so that I could get a good shot of her doing the final leg of the event - the run. I was sprinting around so much and I almost knocked a few unsuspecting parents over trying to get action shots with my camera! I was so excited. Now I understand how parents live vicariously through their children. Unfortunately I didn't see her finish because Chantelle's age group was about to begin. Natalya did so well... she was consistent and focused. She took it all very seriously. Natalya wanted to do her very best! I was so proud of her.
Brian and I split up and I watched Channy do the swim(she's the third from the left in the photo above in the pink)... and ran to the transition area to get her coming out on her bike. I was sweating at this point... I think I had run 10k myself! I really knocked a woman over - but she was in my way! I had a kid to chase! I stopped and apologized for being so rude... but luckily she understood my excitement! Channy had a HUGE smile across her face the whole time! I knew she was going to enjoy herself but it was obvious that she was having a ball! I got a shot of her heading up the hill - where she passed 6 kids easily. I ran over to the transition area to get a shot of her coming in to do the run...
She took a long time... gosh it was a long ride... then my phone rang... OMG!
It was Brian, he was in the ambulance with Chantelle. There was an announcement over the speakers, "would the parents of Chantelle Nicoll please report to the Weetbix tent"... I didn't hear it but Brian was at the finish waiting for Natalya so he was right there.
Channy flew down that hill alright! She flew right out of her seat and landed smack on her chin (she wouldn't dare graze her brand new helmet!). The poor little poppit was so brave and didn't even cry! They presented her gold medal to her in the ambulance and she just beamed! That's all she wanted. It was pretty gruesome - and I'm really glad I wasn't there to see the crash because I would have been hysterical. There was SO MUCH blood!
Brian went to the hospital with Channy and I found Natalya (who was waiting at the finish to see her sister come in). We stayed for the awards and enjoyed the entertainment - and got in line for a few autographs. Hamish Carter was there signing kids shirts and presenting the gold medals. He was really gracious and wonderful - because people were constantly calling out to him and he remained very composed. I was one of those people - the pushy mother who pushed Natalya through the crowd to get her shirt signed. Hamish kindly signed her shirt and said, "tough break" when I told him that we had to go to the hospital to get our other kid.
Channy was so brave. When we got to the hospital she was still waiting to get stitched up. They took x-rays of her jaw which showed a possible hairline fracture - we have to watch that - it could snap if she bites down on something hard)... but otherwise she was incredibly lucky. She had a number of cuts and bruises on her chest, arms and legs - and a pretty nasty gash in her chin. Nat and I sat outside while she was getting stitches... we have weak stomachs. Chantelle didn't shed a tear... she was tough man!
Her face was pretty swollen - but she insisted on going to school the following day. This was very good brag material... kids are fascinated by stitches.