|Hawk Island, 2010 before I added my aero-bars...|
The 2009 Hawk-I-Tri was the first time I used a wet suit in a triathlon. I was watching my wave go out ahead of me (my strategy for not getting kicked or swam over) and I thought to myself, "wow look at those guys wheezing and hanging on to the spotters in the paddle boats; is that really my peer group?" Well, as I approached the first turn, my breathing felt really compressed in the wet suit. It was squishing my chest. Not only that, I began to mentally freak out because it felt like I couldn't get enough air. So to make a potentially long story short, I became one of those guys wheezing and hanging on to the paddle boat/spotters on the first turn. I gasped for probably a minute and then regained my composure enough to swim breast stroke for most of the rest of the way. It is only a 400 meter swim so it wasn't too prolonged. That did NOT happen during the swim the following year at Steelhead. Later on I realized I was hyper-ventilating. Pretty scary but lesson learned. If you want a family friendly beginner triathlon, the Hawk-I-Tri is a growing vibrant event you should check out! Congratulations to Kathie Dunbar for creating such an enduring signature event for Lansing!