My first triathlon was Traditions Triathlon in 2015 and I noticed that the awards ceremony was dominated by people wearing these really cool looking kits covered with the team name and sponsors logos. It didn't take me long to realize that these guys did this at every local race and that they weren't playing around, they come to win! I remember Dom being the first person I got to know in the racing community so I was really happy for him when he made the team a year or two later. It was a huge accomplishment for him, so when I got an email asking if I wanted to join the team for the 2019 season I was beyond thrilled! By this time I had been racing with everyone for several years so most of us already knew one another and were friends so when the schedule came out with a Team Training Camp in March I was looking forward to spending the weekend with my buddies and meeting a few new teammates.
Camp took place at Flint Creek Water Park in Wiggins, MS - the venue of one of the 2019 team events, Cultivation Nation Triathlon. Team Captain and Team MPI's Coach Allen Stanfield had everything set up and planned out so it felt like a vacation that was stress free (except the physical stress that we were about to endure). It was nice having Sister Chain Tri Team join us and Jayme summed it up pretty good by dubbing it "Camp Kill Me Now."
Friday started off a little chilly so we opted for a long run before we biked. Allen and Evan are great cooks and made a bunch of eggs and sweet potatoes that we devoured that before we headed out for the run. We got in about 10 hilly miles then ate some lunch and headed out on the bike. This was a great location for biking because the roads were in good shape and there was minimal traffic. It was pretty much the same course as Cultivation Nation Triathlon but we made a couple extra turns and did an out and back for about 55 miles. Some of the group (including me) got broken up due to the tough pace and hills but we all met back at the cabins and ate again and reluctantly grabbed our wetsuits and headed for the water. It was pretty funny how everyone was struggling so hard getting in our wetsuits. I think I burned more calories getting mine on and off than I did actually swimming 😂 We all got cleaned up and met in one of the cabins for dinner and just hung out for a few hours socializing talking about how sore we were.
The next day was about the same, great weather and we started off the day with an awesome breakfast. Evan and Allen made this avocado toast with swiss cheese, fried eggs, smoked salmon. I can't stress enough how good the food was on this trip! We biked first and ran a few miles straight off the bike for a good brick on Jell-O legs. We were supposed to go swim but after the wetsuit ordeal the day before we decided to go get ice cream from Snow Boogers instead. I'm not sure how we were still hungry having went through so much food and ice cream but we met back at the cabin and cooked dinner and talked for a few more hours.
We wanted to do a race-type workout Sunday but a cold front came through Saturday night and brought a little rain and a lot of cold wind so we decided on a long run to wrap up our weekend instead.
I'm not sure I could pick a favorite part of the weekend because it was all so much fun. It was nice getting some intense workouts with my friends but it was also nice just to hang out and talk triathlon with cool people who share the same love for the sport as you do. I appreciate everyone's hard work putting this together and I vote we do this more than once a year because this was one of my favorite mini vacations ever. I hate some of the team couldn't make it and i wish everyone a strong season of racing!
See ya'll at the finish line.