177 out of 182 women (actually I was the last finisher by time, though others who started later crossed the line later, but there were 5 women and 9 men who started but did not finish).
I never got fully focused on this race. First I forgot about it--I knew I had a race before my daughter went back to school but I was assuming it was next weekend until it came up on my calendar Saturday morning. Then I got a comment on my other blog last night that I found hurtful. Basically, the person was telling me that I need to quit my job and care for my husband (or if I didn't love him enough to do that just put him in a facility). Then this morning my daughter and I drove to the race in pouring rain and thunder and lightening. Not long before 6:30 I saw some dramatic lightening. A few minutes before 7 they announced they hadn't heard any thunder for 30 minutes so the race was going ahead as a triathlon (apparently they would have run it as a duathlon if there had still been thunder). Sure enough, the rain stopped and by the end of the race the sun was out. But it meant that for most of the time getting set up for the race I wasn't sure if it was going to happen.
Because of the rain I left my Garmin in the car and at the last minute I decided to give my daughter my watch because I have had them ruined in pools before. I did this race once before, two years ago, but I didn't remember the course in much detail. So I didn't have any of the information I usually race with, which I decided was an interesting experiment.
The swim is a 400 meter pool swim. I didn't do a warmup but I'm getting a little more used to a 50 meter pool. But my daughter's picture shows some pretty strange swimming.
I had left my gear in a plastic bag so it wouldn't be soaked, but I don't think that slowed me down much in transition. I was cautious on the bike course, as the roads were still very wet. Actually I did nearly take a fall, but it wasn't because of wet roads. Towards the end of the bike I caught my tire on the edge of the pavement and thought I was going down, but somehow I got my bike back under me. The first, more rural, part of the route was beautiful, with the sun about to peek out from the clouds. The bike was where it was strange not to have any information--I didn't know if I was 1/4 of the way through the course or 3/4 of the way.
The run felt very slow. The sun had come out and the course is odd, with some rutted dirt road and two loops around a small neighborhood. It felt like a struggle to keep going and I am very surprised I was only a minute or so slower than Asheville.
Somehow at the end I look happy. I think by that point I had come to the realization that the lesson for me in this race is that I may not be talented, but I get the job done. It struck me that that will carry me through being a caregiver for my husband.