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TriFitness Norwalk Triathlon & Duathlon

by Marissa on August 29, 2014

Norwalk Triathlon

After my third year at the Athleta IronGirl Triathlon, I decided I wanted to try something new and small in the tri-state area and settled on the TriFitness Norwalk Triathlon. In year’s past, the race had been all women but it’s now open to men and women and I must say, there were quite a few men taking advantage!

I had originally planned to to do the Sherwood Island Triathlon in June but it was cancelled with an option to re-schedule with the Norwalk Triathlon.

My plan to separate my triathlon training and marathon training had been foiled, but I decided to go with it and see what happened.

Since I had twice as long to train for the triathlon, I was thoroughly prepared, but when marathon training started six weeks ago, I was a little uneasy about marrying the two plans. Thanks to help from Jess, I was able to do so and was feeling good about the triathlon and my marathon training. Still, I couldn’t wait to be able to focus on just one race.

Race day approached and with relatively little stress, I decided the Norwalk race was a go. Besides, I always love the opportunity to get out of the city for a weekend away.

David and I drove to Connecticut on Saturday and HE even commented on how I seemed a lot more calm and sure of myself for this race. We picked up my race packet and scoped out the course at Calf Pasture Beach before having a nap at the hotel and then dinner at a cute little Italian restaurant in New Canaan. I’ve noticed that everyone is really friendly in Connecticut. Not to say New Yorkers aren’t, but I felt really welcomed in CT.

This was a small race and while everything was well-planned and went off without a hitch, there was no race expo or course walk-through that I’ve been used to at the larger races which felt a little weird to me like some of the excitement was missing.


When we arrived at the race site on race morning, the reality of it all sunk in as I saw all the other athletes arriving. It was then that my nerves got a little shaky.  We estimated no more than 300 athletes participated with 3 swim waves – men in the first wave, relay participants and women 39 and under in the second wave and women 40 and over in wave 3. There was also a duathlon option which was a run-bike-run.

The day couldn’t have been more perfect for a triathlon. Not too humid or windy. I got in the water to warm up and get a feel for the temperature.


The water was calmer than it has ever been in all my year’s racing triathlons but seeing the buoys and eyeing the distance still stirred up some fear as it always does.


For me, the swim is about 50 percent mental. I’m a pretty good swimmer but regardless of how much I practice, I’ve never been able to shake the fear of open water swimming.


As I swam I did everything I could to think positive, reassuring thoughts but all I wanted to do was get out of that water.


When I reached the beach there was a sheet of rocks paving the way which made it hard and painful to get my footing and take off to transition.


Eventually, I made it out and transition was smooth. I got onto my bike and took off for the 11 mile ride. It was 2 loops of the neighborhood surrounding the park and there were a few hills, but nothing too daunting. I had a terrible bike accident when I was 10 that left me passed out on the side of the road and in the ER with scratches, bruises and swelling down the left side of my face. For that reason, I often find myself holding back on speed and don’t ride as fast as I could. After the first loop, I knew what to expect so I did pick up the pace. The clouds were out during the bike portion which gave us some relief from the sun.


Next was the run which is my favorite part because it’s a run and it’s the end. It was two loops around the park which was a little strange considering it was up on sidewalks and through parking lots. We passed the finish line once then had to go out again. It felt like the longest three miles in the world. I ran this all out and finished strong but wobbly. If you’ve ever tried running in dry sand you know what I’m talking about.

Thinking about this race for next year? It’s fun, friendly and perfect for beginners or triathletes who want a casual or un-intimidating race. However, I was surprised to see some very fast athletes in pointy, aerodynamic helmets swish past me on their bikes. I guess there are those who take it pretty seriously.

I’m excited to now be back to focusing 100% on the NYC Marathon.


days to go!



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