Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Tri Latta Sprint Triathlon 2010 Race Report Part 3/3
I was in an out of T2 which was pretty impressive because I was wearing the Vibram Five Fingers. They have been known to be a little difficult to put on but I have honestly never had a problem. So I put on these shoes and I was on the trail…Trail! This is a trail run?!
The Five Fingers are a barefoot alternative shoe…and by shoe I use that term loosely. It is more like a glove for your foot than it is a “running shoe.” The shoe is very sensitive. One time I ran over sand and felt the grains of sand under my feet. It’s awesome running in them because I feel so connected to the Earth. The way God meant for us to be.
This, however, running barefoot deal was new to me and is still new to me. I had trained in these shoes on the hardtop and wasn’t prepared to run on trails in them. Now this trail run wasn’t like hard packed dirt. It was more like gravel. There were portions of this run that were packed rock with pointed edges! Now if I could feel grains of sand in my foot imagine what these rocks felt like…IT HURT!!! Every time I took a step it felt like my feet were being pierced by these rocks. I certainly wasn’t prepared to trail run in these shoes.
About a mile and a half in, my feet were in SOOOOOO much pain. I really wanted to quit. I really, really did. Something had to happen because I am not a quitter. I began to think about another body that pierced for me. And the suffering He endured. Such a small sacrifice I was making to bring Glory to His name running over a few more rocks. Every step I took HURT. Yet every step I took, I thanked God. About a half mile to go, I prayed “Father this hurts so much! Thank you for your Son. Father please give me the strength to finish this race.”
Two minutes later I hear a voice, “PETERSON!”
I look back and it was…
The stranded cyclist, Ben Wooten!
“Peterson, man I have been trying to catch you!”
I thought to myself jokingly, “Yeah brother, I wasn’t letting you pass me on the bike!”
I said, “Ben! Brother I’m hurting! These rocks are piercing my feet with every step. Go on ahead”
“Im not leaving you man! I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for you. I will pace us in!”
God had answered my prayers. We had a little under a mile to go and Ben was running strong. I could tell in his voice he had been bitten. Bitten by the same bug that bites all of the triathletes! It is a feeling of victory and accomplishment! It is the feeling that ONLY endurance events can bring. I was excited for him. And I was really excited he was pacing us in.
I asked God for strength and He gave it to me. What Irony?! The same person I helped on the bike and had helped finish the race, was now repaying me by pacing me on the run to take my mind of the pain I was feeling in my feet. In doing so, helped me finish the race!
I stayed right behind Ben who was clearly the better runner. We finished together and it was the BEST feeling I had after a triathlon. It was awesome to see God work in me and to see him working in Ben. I thought that I would become closer to God on this journey to the Ironman, but I certainly wasn’t expecting this!