The Olympic distance tri I am attempting to not die in complete on Sunday is apparently some kind of big deal. It’s all…”Oh, I’m St Anthony’s, I’m a big deal.” And I’m all, “yeah, so?” And it’s all…”I’ve got about a billion pros and elites.” And I’m all….oh shit.

Seriously though, St Anthony’s has been around for about 30 years and according to the race site, it attracts “approximately 4,000 individuals and 150 relay teams each year from more than 45 states and nearly 20 countries.” Whoa. St Anthony’s takes place in the St Petersburg, FL, AKA The Burg.

I don’t know why this makes me more nervous than say, oh the Marine Corps Marathon, which is easily the most populated race I’ve ever run with 30,000 plus runners. But it does make me nervous. And excited. I guess with the smaller number of athletes, but still a number of pros, you really do get the chance to see them up close. (Heeeeey, hot tri dudes….)

Ahem. Anyway, I am really looking forward to seeing these athletes in action. I am pretty sure that the pros/elites will be done before I even put a toe in the water but what the hell, at least I’ll know they were out there. Speaking of water, it looks like I won’t be wearing that lovely sausage casing I call a wetsuit. Since we’ve been blessed with a warm Spring, the water temps are not going to allow for the race to be wetsuit legal. However, drowning legal is apparently ok. Kidding…

The race is an Olympic distance tri. For my running friends, I’ll explain. Don’t worry I didn’t know what that meant either, had I known, I may not have signed up. Kidding again. The Olympic or Oly for short is typically a mid-distance race. I would consider it akin to the 15K of running, long enough to get a groove on Katie says, but short enough to feel the lungs burning. St A’s is a 1.5K swim, a 40K bike (gulp!), and a 10K run.

The reason for all the history and back story here is that when I was talking with a seasoned St Anthony’s racer I asked where the swim start was. I got a look of “What the heck? You haven’t looked up the course yet?” And of course radio silence ensued.

Looking back at all of my marathons, I’ve pored over the race maps, sites, histories, and pre and post race events. Hell, I bet could have rattled off the entertainment at every mile of MCM. But poor St A’s was not even getting my usual google stalking. That’s why today I decided I needed to give it it’s due respect.

I’m glad I did. I like knowing that this race is special and that it’s been around for a long time. I’m hoping it treats me real nice on Sunday and that when it’s all said and done, I’ll want to sign up next year too.

Have a great weekend everyone. And wish me luck!