Monday, January 2, 2012

Hawk-I-Tri, Lansing, MI

Hawk Island, 2010 before I added my aero-bars...
     Besides Steelhead, I've also done a local sprint triathlon a couple of times in Lansing called the Hawk-I-Tri.  It's done at a beautiful place in South Lansing called Hawk Island (hence the name). I remember driving by there every morning on the way to work as Ingham County was developing this great venue for all sorts of things and thought it'd be a great home cross country course for the XC team I was coaching at the time. For a few years it was our home course but with the addition of a splash pad, a dog park, more paved trails, and a sledding hill it became too developed for a cross country course, unless I was ok with lots of cement on the course, which I wasn't. Now I take my current team there to train and for that it is perfect. The paddle boat practice is a team favorite.
     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!

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