Wow! What a weekend. Posting about my 5 days away in Nice will take a few posts, but I thought it best to start with the purpose of my trip.
Unfortunately last week, the weather report for Sunday morning kept getting worse and worse as the triathlon grew closer. By Saturday night all the forecasts were predicting 90% chances of thunderstorms for the entire day starting about an hour before the race.
It certainly wasn’t shaping up to be perfect views and clear waters and it actually had me really worried. Swimming along the Côte d’Azur would be a dream for many, but not in a thunderstorm! And heavy downpour when speeding downhill in a bicycle sounds like a disaster waiting to happen.
Regardless, Ruaridh and David scoped out the race path, tested out the waters with a quick swim and got themselves checked in for the race the day before while our friend Rachel and I started our holiday exploring Nice.
Sunday morning the weather was looking ominous. At 7AM the skies were cloudy and dark, and there was some lightning in the distance, but no rainfall yet.
With wetsuits on, nearly 1500 athletic, tan French men jumped in to the Mediterranean Sea (if you’re into that sort of thing…). Oh and Ruaridh too.
The weather held out for the start of the 1500 meter swim (nearly one mile), but soon the weather became less concerning as the swim really went underway. The swim had an Australian exit, where participants swim the first lap, get out of the water to run a short distance, then get back in for the second lap.
Unfortunately, the exits and entrances seemed poorly planned and the swimmers were forced to swim through each other in what looked a lot like an Aggie Band 4-way cross.
The swimmers were thrashing into each other in the water, swimming over jellyfish, crashing into the kayaks there for safety and guidance. Some people came out of the water with bloody noses and and there was a lot of yelling on the beach, but luckily David and Ruaridh both made it out of the water safely.
By the time Ruaridh and David were both off on their bikes, the weather was starting to turn. It was starting to drizzle and up on Col d’Eze it was misty with poor visibility. Again, not ideal cycling weather, but it wasn’t pouring rain either.
The cycle up Col d’Eze and back down was 40 km with the first 15 km of that being uphill.
Rachel and I waited for David and Ruaridh at the end of the cycle route, hoping for decent weather and no tire punctures.
The last leg of the triathlon was a 10 km run along the beach promenade. By then the sun was out and shining which only further proves my theory that weathermen don’t know what they’re talking about.
Although the sun was actually not in the racers’ favors. Y’all these guys (and a few gals) were tired and now the sun was really heating it up outside (By hot I don’t mean Texas hot. Think 23C / 73 F).
But it made for a beautiful view when each of the guys crossed the finish line!
Whoop! I am so proud of Ruaridh for completing his first triathlon in two years! This race was no easy feat, let alone the brooding weather and the swimming chaos.
Ruaridh finished in 2 hours and 59 seconds and placed 270 out of the 500+ participants in the open category (the other participants were competing for the French National Championship). He was hoping just to finish the race not in the bottom 10% so he met that goal and then some!
It takes some serious physical prowess to complete a triathlon. A 10k race I could manage, but not after swimming 1500m and cycling 40km. Honestly, who can swim nearly a mile?!
The atmosphere during the entire triathlon was incredible even as a viewer. There was a lot of buzz and excitement in the air before, during, and after the race, and so much joy and pride! I loved it all and I’m so grateful to have been there to cheer on Ruaridh.
After the race it was time to celebrate and I’ll share more on that and the rest of our trip to Nice with y’all soon!