Monday, February 16, 2015

Bill Brown Duathlon

It was a year ago this weekend that my personal fitness journey really took off.  I had been working out on a regular basis for about a month when I signed up to do the Bill Brown Duathlon on camp.  It was my first race of any type and especially my first multi event race.  At that time I wondered where my journey would go from there and what that would mean for my family.
Fast forward a year and it is amazing to see where we all are!  Today is proof of what a journey we are on and how we are staying active as a family.  Brad brought back a race bike from the States this August and started riding with hopes of getting a team together for the Challenge Bahrain.  That didn't work out but that didn't stop him from riding!  He signed up for this weekend's Duathlon and is working on getting a team together for the next Challenge event!  Not only that, but our kids are super active and everyone wants to be involved!  My plan was to just have to two big kids race this weekend (it is for ages 6 and up but I was going to just slide Addyson in on that) but my plans changed when Ethan didn't want to be left out of the fun!
The morning starts with the adult race.  4K run, 15K bike, and a 4K run.  The plan was for Brad and I to each participate individually but last night Brad tore most of his heel off on the garage door (OUCH!!!!) and was bleeding through band aide after band aide.  There was no way he could run.  I had horrible shin splints but figured I could do part of the race so we decided that instead of bowing out, especially for the sake of the kids, we would compete as a team!  Our first team event!
I was excited to be participating as a couple/ team and I spent most of my first run reflecting on our year and how we have inspired each other!  Not only that, but with us being active our kids by default are being active too and doing things we probably wouldn't be doing if we lived in the States!
Which brings up another point about our journey, living here in Saudi has given us a new found freedom to be open to many sports and has given us the time to invest in a sport(s) that we love!  I can almost say with certain that if we lived in the US most of these races would not be a part of our memories!  And it isn't just that we live in Saudi, it is the community here in Ras Tanura that has helped with this.  It was quoted by several people around the time of the Challenge that RT is the fittest Aramco camp!! That is amazing and I am SO proud to be a part of that!  Just look at all of the awesome athletes I am surrounded by in these pictures!
The first 4K was hard.  It was a super windy day and a portion of my run was not protected by any trees or anything so I felt like I was running on a treadmill, giving it my all but not going anywhere.  I knew I just had to leave it all on the road because I was about to get a break....
Brad did amazing on  his ride!  He had the worse part fighting the wind because the course was on the Hobby Farm road which has NO protection from the wind so one way he fought it and the other direction he recorded his fastest MPH to date!  I was so excited to see him racing on his new bike!  And I know he was glad to finally get it out there and do what he has be training for!
Coming into transition after his ride!  It isn't so easy to run after biking for so long... especially not so easy to run in clip shoes!
The hand off!!  Thanks Ivy for watching the kids so we could race and for taking some pictures!
Proud of her daddy!
The kids knew their race was next and were just overcome with excitement.  We couldn't keep them off their bikes even though I kept telling them to save their energy!!
One thing the kids were really good at, especially the big ones, was cheering for the athletes!  Not only me, but they were out there cheering for everyone!  That is another thing that I love about these events, teaching these kids at a young age to have good sportsmanship!  It was also good for the kids to see adults they know from our community and from school in a role other than teacher/mom/dad.  To see that these people are also athletes and cheerleaders!
It felt SO good to cross the finish line as an individual who just accomplished another goal but also as a teammate and spouse that just accomplished a goal together!  What a fun event!
Next it was time for the kids to go.  Thankfully I had thought ahead and told Brad we better bring Ethan's bike because he would be SO sad if he didn't get to at least feel like he was racing.  The race organizers were so inspired by his enthusiasm for the race that they gave him his own race chip and let him be a part of the race!!!  We were ALL excited for this one!!!  Here they are lining up and getting their race briefing!
These kids were 6-8 (or were suppose to be) and competed in the Jr. Jr. Bill Brown (there was a Jr. one for 9-12).  They had a 0.5K fun, 1K bike, and 0.5K run.
Off they go.... and yes, both boys ran with their biking gloves on so they wouldn't waste time in transition and they HAD to have gloves for their ride (because that's what daddy does!)
If you could have seen the look of determination that came across Ethan's face as he took off you would be touched!  This kid was determined to be a "big kid" and race!  As the big kids took off he got bumped and that was when his face changed to serious and he was off!!!
Brad, despite his bloody heel and the fact that he was wearing loafers, ran with Ethan!  That is one good daddy!
Brad said at one point Ethan, who was running full speed ahead (no pacing himself) started to hold his belly and said he was out of breath and needed a drink so Brad lifted him up and ran with him on his shoulders!!!
Then I see Owen, who started out at the back of the line, come running at me in the front as lightening quick!  He was in first place!
I wonder what place Brad is in?!?!  : )
Addyson too gave it her all!  She didn't have daddy to run with her or her brother but she paired up with a friend and it looked like they were having fun!
Headed over to the transition area to get ready for his bike ride!
I just love this picture!  He had his whole heart in this race and I think he stole the hearts of all those watching him race!
Smiling... and with good form!  A natural!
Coming out of the transition area!
Off he goes!
Coming out of transition and ready to ride!
Brad tried to go with him but he told daddy he had this and wanted to ride "by myself"!
And he did go by himself!!!  I was super proud here to see him give it all and just like a big kid, he didn't need help!  Freeze time, stop stealing my babies!
Ethan not needing Brad left Brad back to be able to help Addyson with her transition!
Off she goes!  And to think that 1.5 years ago when we moved here neither big kid could ride their bike and now they are both racing on their bikes!
I think part of Brad was a bit worried and rightly so, a huge part of the race course was going up and down this hill two times!  He wasn't sure how Ethan would fair on his own so he ran up to be support for the two little kids!
Coming in from the ride.  He came in in 5th position.  I was anxious to see how he would place...
Leaving transition and ready to finish strong!
All smiles coming down the hill!  I just love these 3 here!!!
Coming in to transition!  I had Ivy in the biking area so I could take pictures and she helped the kids rack their bike, take off their helmets, and get ready to run!
Leaving transition and ready to run!
So proud of himself!  He finished the bike and was ready to run!
As I was getting ready to send Ethan off I see Owen cross the finish line... in FIRST place!!!  He is SO fast that he was able to pass the others on the run and come in FIRST by 20 seconds!!!  Amazing!  I knew he was fast but I had NO IDEA he was that fast!  We told him his new nickname was going to be Flash!
So proud of this guy!  He was a little apprehensive about signing up to do the race to begin with.  I don't think he is a big fan of "all eyes on him" if he isn't confident with how he will perform.  To get him to agree to sign up took a lot of talking about the event for weeks and then Addyson agreeing to sign up with him.  He told me after the fact that he was a bit nervous for the race and his tummy was a bit nervous but all of that went away once the race started!  And now, knowing the outcome and that he did great I KNOW he was happy he signed up!  So many little and big accomplishments for this guy with this race!

When Ethan was done with the ride I thought he didn't have energy left to finish the race. There was a bit of a mixed message between him and me and me trying to tell him that he did great "if he wanted to be done".  Then he just stood there and I realized he was wondering what was next so I told him he could go finish the run.  Without hesitation, he was off!!!!  He was going to do the whole thing!

Getting ready to cross the finish line strong!!!!  So proud of her!   She didn't want to sign up for this alone but knowing that her big brother would race with her she decided to sign up too!!!  Now I think she is hooked on the fun!!!  She was the youngest next to Ethan!  She kept up with the big kids and finished in the middle of the pack!

Feels SO good to step on the finish carpet!!!  I know she had to be proud!
Still smiling!
Next was Effie's turn!!  He was running just as strong at the finish as he was in the beginning!  And here is a small confession, he did about half of the run probably a little more.  Each time he turned around before the actual turn around so he could save some of his energy.  He also cut his bike ride a bit short although Brad thinks E probably could have rode the whole thing he was worried about E not being able to run after so Brad turned him around a little early.
He had a fan club!
Looking around for his supporters!
Crossing the Finish Line!
Look at that face!!!!  He was SO happy and SO proud of himself!!!  He kept telling us he was a BIG , Strong Boy!!!
My little finishers!  Brewsters finish strong!
These two are each other's biggest supporters and encouragers!  If one does it, the other probably will!!!!  And they bring Ethan along for the fun!
He was SO proud of his medal!!!!!!  He couldn't stop playing with it!!  The joy and feeling of accomplishment radiating from him was contagious!
3rd, 1st, 2nd place finishers for 6-8 group!  Glad that his best friend Eric was up there with him!
Proud of this moment!

This says it all!!!!!!!!!
Brad and I ended up placing second place team!!!  Go Brewsters!
Ethan was the youngest competitor!

SO proud of her medal!

This picture makes my heart full!!  We have come so far in year!!!  So many accomplishments!
Can't wait to see what the next year has in store for us!!!  Proud of my family of strong finishers!

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