Memphis in May Triathlon 2000
By Harry Soweija

I am very pleased with the results at the Memphis Triathlon.

Firstly, in part due to two great mentors also participating and it turned out to be a fun experience.

My thanks and appreciation for their support and mentoring, to Jon and Jo Adamson. Both came first in their age groups …… practice what they preach and it shows.

This is the run down of the race.

SWIM [1.5KM]:

Seconds before the start of the swim I look over my shoulder and Jo waves at me and says, "Good luck…… do well!!" The foul smell of the water hits the nose. Everyone complains and a volunteer tells us to think of scented rose petals. I try a Tarzan howl of excitement as my pulse races. The guy in front of me asked to zip up his wetsuit. It makes me laugh…. and the poor fellow is confused at my joy. I explain, "You are giving me the opportunity to sabotage your zipper, so you will not get out of your wet suit at the transition." OH, was the reply. As a fair competitor the sabotage never happened and as luck may have it #716 , a veteran tri-athlete finished ahead of me.

"Let me get through this sewerage water as quickly as possible…..have to avoid accidentally swallowing this toxic water is in my mind."

There is a tap on the shoulder and I charge the water almost throwing myself on top the #716 who was released three seconds ahead if me. Cannot keep a straight swim line. Zig-zag to the first buoy. A friendly reminder comes from a canoeist slapping his paddle in the water and pointing me in the right direction. I attempt to say thanks but remember not to get water in the mouth. The adrenaline rush lasts 400 yards and I settle into a smooth and balanced swim. The stinky smell cannot be noticed in the middle of the lake. Breath to the left side and see a swimmer then to the right, there is another. Again breath to the left and the swimmer is slightly behind. It makes me feel good to overtake. This repeats over and over and I draw from the energy it gives. It helps get me through the 1.5K swim in 24 minutes.


Sloppy transition from swim to bike is all that can be said for 2 minutes and 10 seconds.

BIKE [42KM]:

The bike shoe on my left foot is pinching and irritates. Wait for a down hill to check out the problem. Loosen the Velcro strap on the shoe and it immediately feels better. Now its time to focus and maintain 24mph. Have to crunch the pedals hard to maintain that speed. Realize that my cadence is low and shift to pedal faster. Remember to drink water regularly. Ten miles into the cycling I decide to transfer water from the water bottle in the rear to the air bar container. It happened quickly and I cannot explain how the air-bar container got legs and jumped ship. I watched in surprise as the bottle slid on the road beside the rapidly moving bike for a few seconds. "Scheiz"… the word sounded from my mouth. Should I turn back to get it? NO you’re in a race was the fist suggestion. But you could get someone injured if they hit the unsuspecting container in the road. It took me some time to focus on the bike ride. The course is an out and back and on the way back I looked over to the other side of the road expecting to see some unfortunate competitor seal their fate over a water container. I realize it is one of the hazards a veteran tri-athlete will expect. But the guilt never leaves my mind. I tell myself it’s time to focus and think of getting to the transition area quickly and safely. Cyclist #728 effortlessly passes me on the left and greets me with words of encouragement. Enough time wasted…… I think to myself. Now I am mad for loosing time and letting a higher number pass me. Five more miles……lets see how much I have left in me. I have the mental picture of a bulldog , the Georgia University mascot, looking at the transit area as the opposite end, and my jaws locked. I will not let go till the other end is mine. I sense as #728 gives up the chase.

I did not look at my watch into the transition area. The watch beeped as it acknowledged the split time. Afterwards I recall the time of 1 Hour and 6 minutes.


Could not have wished for better! 50 seconds to get the running shoes on and get out for the run.

RUN [10KM]:

Where are my legs when I need them. The sensation of pins and needles in the soles of my feet. "Oh no"…… #724 has just passed me looking strong. First water is at 1st mile mark. Grab a cup and drink. Hallo legs… welcome…let the race begin. Where is #724? Don’t get a visual until mile four. In the mean time I pass #713. Encourage him on and ask about the fast #724. The finger points at a figure who’s running style I recognize. Thanks…Bye! Hey it’s getting hot out here. Pretend the road surface is a bed of coal. Need to move those feet, so not to get burnt. Mile five……Hi #724…… strong run you are having! "Not as strong as you", comes the reply! I zoom into the finish and feel good about the overall time my watch shows. 2 Hours , 16 minutes and 21 seconds.

43 minutes for the run is better by two minutes than I hoped to get.


Strong swim. ( 24min )

Frustrating bike ride. (1Hr 06min )

Good run. (43min )

Transition swim to bike was slow but respectable for bike to run (Total 3min)