Race Report : Mandel JCC Indoor Triathlon 2014

It was a little over a week ago I competed in the 2014 edition of my favorite indoor triathlon. The Mandel JCC Indoor Triathlon.  Some may think of this as a skewed statement, but I have actually competed in another indoor tri in my career so it stands as fact.


It was back in 2008 when this event started and I’ve been at the starting line (almost) every year since. I was not cleared in 2012 when I had the heart procedure. I don’t let that stop me from feeling at home when I’m there though. And each year as it grows I feel a greater fondness for it. Although I will say on some level it irritates me when VERY competitive people are there and talk down to others. 1) I’ve been there since the beginning and without those of us who attended when it was “small” it wouldn’t exist for the fancy athletes to do it currently. 2) This isn’t the Olympics and let’s be honest EVERYONE deserves to be treated with respect. I don’t care who you are, you are not too good to be respectful to others. (End rant).

I began my snowy trek late Sunday afternoon. I arrived a good 40 minutes later than I expected and about 15 minutes before my wave started. OY! I quickly made my way to the gymnasium and was marked on my leg and arm with my number. Next I prepped my stuff in the locker room and went into the pool area to cheer for my friend Liz (who was in the wave ahead of me). Next thing I knew I was in the pool and trying to calm my nerves. Counting from the right side of the picture, I’m the 5th one in. Essentially in the middle without a swim cap.

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I wasn’t nervous because I was ill prepared. I was nervous because it seemed a lot of things weren’t going my way. First, I couldn’t find my swimsuit anywhere! I found nearly all my other suits, but not the one I wanted. Those I could find didn’t fit since I can’t stop gaining weight. Luckily my Mom had a suit I could borrow. Then I couldn’t find any of my swim caps! They must be with my suit somewhere.

So I stood in the water in my bright pink suit and goggles. With my pigtail braids and felt totally out of place in the “serious” wave next to those in their perfect caps, Speedos or team kits. In my head I kept repeating a serious athlete is in the heart not in the clothing.


I did my best to beat my record of 23 laps, but for the life of me I couldn’t land my flip turns and in the end it cost me the precious 10 – 15 seconds it would have taken to complete the final kick and I managed only 22 laps.

Into the locker room and into my pants and shirt (fat plus wet equals a heck of a time changing) I was in the spinning room and watching the last few minutes of Liz’s second sport. She was having fun (from what it looked like) and I was enjoying the last portion of “You Can’t Stop the Beat“. I can’t hear that song without tearing up. I love it, it always makes me feel like anything is possible. Then it was my turn.

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Somehow in the process of getting onto or off from my spin bike I mangled the inside of my thigh. I still have a huge purple mark to prove it. I also bruised my tailbone or something. I can’t be left unsupervised I tell ya. Now, I was convinced I was hauling ass during this portion of the event. I felt invincible and kept my RPM or whatever it is well above 100 the whole time. I didn’t know they had a different resistance from years past though, so when I saw I managed 8.79 miles instead of my record 5.4 I was THRILLED. Well, until results were posted and most people made between 8-10. Boo.

After stretching the best I could I began my laps around the indoor track. Yes, that is my fabulous shirt from Janji! Run for Kenya! 12 laps equal one mile and about 2-3 laps into it I finally could feel and control my legs.


It was about 4-5 laps into it I suddenly felt very disoriented and ill. I KNOW what you’re supposed to do to not be in way way, but I was too sick to act on it. I grabbed the railing and started walking and trying to focus. In the less than 30 seconds this took one of the other runners ‘yelled’ at me about being in the way.  It’s a woman I know from other events and she has been that way toward me in the past. So sorry the fact I felt like I might puke all over and was seeing double inconvenienced a whole 2 feet of your event. The worst part is, this is someone very well loved in the community, so my hurt feelings don’t get acknowledged because she’s perceived as so much more important.

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Toward the end of the running portion my legs cramped and I moved over properly. As she passed she said “Thank you”. It wasn’t a real thank you though…it was more of a “You don’t belong in this wave” thank you. Or maybe I was being overly sensitive. I will admit that’s a possibility. I needed 22 laps or better, I finished with 21. I was very pleased with this though since I really killed it on the bike and am not exactly in racing shape right now.

When all was said and done Liz and I chilled (rested) in the sauna a few moments before collecting our things and heading home.


Originally the results groups ages 15-29 together and I was very upset. Now the current results for 20-29 show me as 7th out of 10 people. However, the third place girl and I both had the same number of swim laps. On the bike she was at 9.11 to my 8.79 and then she kicked my ass running, 26 to my 21. Nearly half a mile more than I finished. Still, I was really happy to know in reality I was prettttty darn close to the 3rd place slot.

I just found out there will be another indoor tri in March at a different gym. Liz is already signed up, my Mom may do it too. Now if only I could convince my sister, we’d have a real fun time on our hands.

*Edit. I realized I didn’t mention this, because I’ve said it in previous year’s reports, but this may be the first one YOU read, right? Well anyway…the beauty of this event is how it is timed for each portion. Swim is 15 minutes, bike and run are both 20 minutes with timed transitions in between. Meaning, even if you’re having the most “off day” ever and you “only” bike 2 miles while everyone else bikes 100, you all start and stop together. I’ve had friends who literally walked up and down the pool lanes instead of swimming and walked the track. This makes it SUPER beginner friendly.

Have you done an “indoor triathlon” before? Would you consider it? There was also a biathlon option for those who would prefer to “only” bike and run. 

5 thoughts on “Race Report : Mandel JCC Indoor Triathlon 2014

    • Thanks. Have fun at yours! I didn’t mention it…and I probably should. But for me the best part of this event is how it’s is timed not distance based. So no matter what everyone starts and stops each sport together. It’s so helpful to know even if you’re having an “off” day, you won’t have to spend the whole day finishing one of the portions. Also, with the spin bikes, you aren’t able to compare yourself against others since you’re not really going anywhere. Ha.

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