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Finish line Ada News intern James Tillison crosses the finish line at the First Capital Triathlon in Guthrie last Saturday. It was the first time Tillison had competed in such an event. He finished fourth overall in his age group.

Photo submitted
The Ada News

I have always wanted to compete in a triathlon.  It seemed intimidating, but I wasn’t scared.

Then, a few weeks ago, I heard of a sprint triathlon scheduled in Guthrie for this past weekend and decided it was time to take the plunge — even though I only had two weeks to get ready for it.

Sprint triathlons consist of a 500-yard swim, a 12.6-mile bike ride and a 3.2 mile run. I have been on swim teams (at Ada High School and Simpson College) for six years, so I was not afraid of the swimming portion.

I ran cross country my senior year in high school. To better prepare for the 3.2-mile run,  I ran almost every day until the race.

For the biking leg of the race, I purchased a used (but still in great condition) Cannondale bicycle. Unfortunately, I encountered a problem first ride out. The tires were worn down and the back wheel went flat shortly into the ride. It had to be taken into the shop for repairs and I did not have it until the day before the race.

I arrived at the First Capital Triathlon in Guthrie at 6:30 in the morning (last Saturday) with my family. I was nervous, but I wouldn’t back down.

During the swim, I finished sixth. The bike race didn’t turn out so good, I was passed a lot. I made up for it a bit during the run and ended the event with a sprint.

Seeing that big red finish marker was pure ecstasy. I finished fourth overall for the 20-24 age group.

My family supported me from when I said I would enter this triathlon until I finished it. That was a huge help.

It was challenging, but I loved it and eagerly await another one. Which, by the way, is scheduled for Aug. 11 in Edmond.