The Borg Warner Triathlon

This is me, in June ’07, after my very first triathlon:  The Tellico Sprint in Lenoir City, Tennessee.


Six years to the date (how crazy is that?!), I just completed my third tri:  The Borg Warner Triathlon.

Borg Warner is a mini triathlon (half of a sprint distance) for all abilities: tri regulars, beginners, and those like me, that are just getting back into triathlons.  The distances include: a 300 yard swim (12 laps), 9 mile bike, 1.5 mile run.

The swim took place in a pool.  Six people swam at a time and were grouped based on swim time estimates.  Somehow, I was put in group ten (out of eleven), with the groups going up in pace.  The race director gave me a scare by calling my heat the “elite women.”  Um, what?


Notice the lack of pool lane dividers?  That made for some choppy water-a lot of which, I swallowed during the swim.

I managed to hold on, despite some poor turns, and finished in 5:14.  I haven’t been practicing swimming fast for very long, so I was pleased with my time.  It’s definitely an area I am looking to improve in though!

My swim to bike transition went pretty smooth.  As you can see, there aren’t a lot of bikes in the racks near me in the picture.  This is because my swim group didn’t start until 10:45ish.  This is an hour and 45 minutes after the first group began.  Because of my group’s late start, a lot of the athletes had already finished and gone home.  Guess that’s what happens when the distances are so short.


Off I go…

…on a borrowed bike nonetheless.  I forgot to mention the part about the night before the triathlon when I tried to pump up my bike tire and the valve on the tube broke.  My spare tube was the wrong size.  Lovely.  Around 9:45 that night, I was frantically trying to come up with a bike I could use.  Luckily I remembered my neighbor has a road bike.  She was out of town, so her daughters gave me the okay to use it.

I have never heard so many horror stories about borrowing someone’s bike and wrecking it than I did that day at the triathlon.  I decided my plan would be to not crash the bike.

My plan went well, no crashes.  However, while going down a steep hill, something flew off of the bike.  I had no idea what it was, and being that it wasn’t my bike, I felt I HAD to go back and get whatever fell off.  Yes, I biked backwards on the course, uphill.  Not an ideal way to get a fast bike time.  It ended up being an reflector that fell off the wheel.

Lesson learned: always keep spare tubes that are the right size on hand.  My bike time was around 32 minutes, including the uphill/backwards move.

Time for the run!


Apparently I wasn’t a good listener when the race director explained the run course.  Long story short, I went the way the duathletes were supposed to go instead of following the route for the triathletes.  I added an extra half mile to the run route.  My average time for the almost 2 miles that I ran (including a stop/turn around and go right way) averaged 7:20 pace.  My legs felt heavy after the swim/bike, so I thought I was running pretty slow.  I was happy to see anything in 7:00 range.

So lots of little mistakes at Borg Warner.  BUT, that’s what these mini triathlons are for.  Practice!  Learn from mistakes now, so when it’s time for the real deal, I’ll be better prepared.


The Borg Warner Triathlon was small and very low key.  They did not do splits for the swim, bike, or run, rather just giving everyone their overall time and place.  I was 25th/50 overall with a total time of 54:07.  When you subtract the run time/bike time (the extra half mile and the time it took for me to bike backwards uphill to get the reflector), I would have been sub 50:00, maybe even close to 45:00.  This just leaves me lots of room to improve for next year and the motivation to work even harder.

I’m already signed up for my next triathlon, which will be a sprint distance.  I’m loving the training for it and I can’t wait to TRI again.  Cheesy?  Sorry, I had to :)

  • Have you ever participated in a triathlon? Which event is your strongest/favorite?

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  1. Jen Floyd @ milesandblessings says:

    I recently found your blog and have been loving it!
    I have never tried a triathalon…I am not really a swimmer….but I am thinking about signing my kids up for one :).
    I am kinda a runner fan!!!!

  2. Jesica @rUnladylike says:

    Awesome job lady! I can’t imagine the panic you had the night before with the tire mishap :) You did great and excellent pace on the run! Woot woot! xo

  3. laura says:

    Great job! I have only done one tri ( a sprint tri) and it was about 2 years ago when I graduates from college. My dad competes in Olympic distance tri’s fairly regularly — I do not know how he does it! My biggest struggle was the transition, not because I did not change quickly enough, but because switch the muscle groups made me feel like jello. My arms felt like jello while I bikes and my legs felt like jello when I ran. It was great tho! Came in 3rd in my age group. Maybe another tri at the end of summer is in the books for me this year!

  4. Liana@RunToMunch says:

    I’m doing my first tri in two weeks. I’m terrified for the swimming part. I feel pretty good about running though.

  5. Caroline says:

    I love tri-ing to do well at Tri’s. Haha. Congrats on the great aspects of your race. there are always going to be little things to learn from and improve on- good luck in training!

  6. Sarah @ Sweet Miles says:

    That looks like so much fun!!! I’ve always wanted to do a tri..maybe a mini one would be a good way to ease into it. I love swimming, but I’m ashamed to admit that I never learned the flip-turn. To do a tri you don’t have to be a swimming pro right?? Loved reading this review!!

    • Jenelle says:

      Hi Sarah, you’re right, you def don’t need to be a swimming pro to do a tri-I’m definitely not :)

  7. Britt @ BrittsRunningStyle says:

    I have not tried a tri, I want to though! Nice job!

  8. Jamie @ couchtoironwoman says:

    Congratulations on your third triathlon! I’m glad you had a great time, even on the borrowed bike!

    Biking is definitely my weak point, and I’m good with both swimming and running.


  1. […] When I started triathlon training in May, I had no idea where it would take me.  Four months later, I’ve just completed my third triathlon of the season (fourth if you include the Borg Warner Mini Triathlon). […]

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