Welcome to a new series: Event Reports! FN is partnering with local athletes to bring our readers accurate and honest reports of races and events that may be of interest to you, our fitness enthusiasts.

Name of Event/Location/Date: Galloway Captiva Triathlon / Captiva Island / 9-15-13

Athlete: Rebecca Youngblood

FN: What type of event was this?

RY: Sprint triathlon – ¼ mile ocean swim, 10 mile bike, 5k (3.1 mile) run on the golf course

FN: How is this event or race different for you? Or why it is it of particular importance for you?

RY: This event was the second triathlon that I ever did, just a year ago. I really wanted to participate again, because I wanted to test my own level of fitness on the same course to see how much progress, if any, that I made in a year. I also love that this race raises money for the CCMI Soup Kitchen. It is wonderful the ways that they help the community, and to be able to participate by doing something that I love and know that it is also helping others is a great way to be involved with this sport.

FN: Did you travel for the race? If so, where did you stay, and would you recommend the accommodations?

RY: I traveled the morning of the event. I will be staying at the South Seas Island Resort next year due to the problems parking, and the time it takes to get out to Captiva so early in the morning.

FN: Describe your pre-race routine.

RY: Since I have only been doing triathlon a year, I am just now getting into a pre-race routine, knowing what works for my body and what doesn’t before a race. The night before, I LOVE to have Chinese food – chicken and broccoli with white rice. I usually go to bed with my CEP compression socks on because they make my legs feel so darn good! The morning of the race, I have some kind of bagel or toast with peanut butter and honey. Around 30 minutes before the race, I take a salt tablet and some EFS pre-race.  The only warm up that gets my muscles feeling loose and ready to race is swimming. I definitely have to get a good swim in before the race starts, and usually opt for swimming to the start instead of walking down the beach like most athletes.

FN: Event Breakdown: 

RY: The swim is always my favorite part of a triathlon – the longer, the better! I liked the addition of the elite wave this year, and the opportunity that the elite females got to start at the same time as the elite males. I think it makes for a better and more interesting race for those athletes. I will say that I really dislike when I end up in a later wave, like I did this year, due to the amount of navigation and extra sighting that you have to do in order to not run into other athletes. I’m pretty sure that I might have accidentally knocked out a few people! Oops. That being said, I know and understand why they start the waves in certain orders, and it is just a preference as an athlete to want to start first!

This bike course is one of my favorites. It is an out and back through Captiva Island with some nice technical turns/curves and takes you through some beautiful landscapes and even a little along the beach. I wasn’t as successful with my bike portion as I could have been due to starting in a later wave, making the course harder to navigate due to the congestion. This race for me is all about the enjoyment of the sport, but it is still frustrating to try and put in a race effort when I have to be super conscious about where other racers are.

I really can’t say enough about how much I love this race, and that continues on through to the run. The run is two loops through the golf course at the South Seas Resort.  There are plenty of volunteers and opportunities for water, which is always refreshing. I like that the two loops provide some variety by going over some short, gradual inclines on the golf course and the winding pavement allows an opportunity to see your competitors. Heading towards the finish, I was met with tons of enthusiastic spectators cheering all athletes to finish strong!

FN: Describe one humbling moment/embarrassing moment/or moment of pride from this event.

RY: [Embarrassing] I am always the worst person at finding my bike, and this triathlon was no different. Once I finally found it – only after going down the wrong row – I got my feet stuck while taking off my swim skin and almost fell over! Luckily, I was able to recover somewhat gracefully. I’m just hoping that none of the spectators were privy to my clumsiness. [Proud] I was especially happy that I felt that I took the turns on the bike course like a champ! I am a pretty terrible bike handler, so I am always nervous when the bike course contains any sort of curve or U-turn. I tried my best this race to feel confident, and I think I am actually improving and becoming a better rider.

FN: Would you do this event again/recommend to others? Why or why not?

RY: This race is absolutely one of my favorite triathlons. It is well staffed with kind volunteers, the course is well marked, and the scenery is gorgeous – not to mention the stellar trophies they had this year! I think this race touches on a rare combination in that it is appealing for me to recommend to my friends that are looking to do their first triathlon, because the environment is so beginner friendly, but also draws some great local competition so that it still has an edge for those wanting to be pushed to reach new goals. Because I am from this area, I think that I enjoy this race even more. It is encouraging to hear people cheer for me by name at each stage of the race! The support from the local community drives me to try to push the boundaries of what I think is possible in order to achieve my best.

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