“I never thought I could do a triathlon, never in my wildest dreams.”
That was the way Beth Best felt as she signed up for her first Tri for the Cure race. “Why did I sign up,” as Best reflected, “Can I even finish? I know I can do each piece, but not sure that I can put it all together. But once you complete each leg, your confidence builds.”
Best was nervous, halfway joking that she had to run to the bathroom 12 times before the race began. But now, she has five Tri for the Cure races under her belt, “There is nothing like it,” Best said. “It is truly an amazing event. People hugging, holding hands and encouraging one another along the way.”
Best described showing up at the event and seeing women of all ages, sizes, and ability. Thinking she couldn’t possibly complete a triathlon, she looked around and knew she wasn’t alone; “There’s just a different feeling in the air, I could start crying right now thinking about it,” as Best holds back tears while she reiterates, “I have the chills just talking about the race. There’s a feeling of comradery and sisterhood.”
The environment was much different than anything she had ever witnessed. Best recalls standing near the track and instantly being surrounded by “20 new best friends you didn’t have before.”
Best had previously competed in other triathlons and recalled being swam over, cut off on the bike trail, and having spit fly her direction. But that’s not the experience she has encountered at Tri for the Cure; “Women apologize for swimming into you, give you tips in the water,” Best said. “There’s no snot rockets on the course and people are fine if you go first on the bike course.”
But that doesn’t mean there’s no competition as Best reassures there is, “Definitely a sense of wanting to win, but it’s a mentality that we are all in this together.” As for other triathlons, “I will never go back to a co-ed triathlon after competing in Tri for the Cure.”
Perhaps one of the greatest things that stood out to Best on the track was the amount of safety Downing Events puts into Tri for the Cure.
“There are swim buddies and professionals in the water with you, the roads are clear and clean and volunteers line the way watching out for you and encouraging you,” Best said. “You get a lot of encouragement from everyone, people are there by your side every step of the way.”
Beth Best did a few races by herself, but she found the most satisfaction in bringing friends, competing with them and crossing the finish line together. “There’s a saying that the Downing Events staff say every year, ‘The woman who finishes the race is different from the woman who starts,’” Best echoed. “That’s 100% correct.”
“One friend in particular felt, next to having kids and getting married, that it was one of the best days of her life,” Best said. “The feeling at the end of the race just can’t really be described. It is a feeling of euphoria, an addicting sensation that you just want to do it again.”
Beth Best “Tri’d” for herself. No matter your reasoning, it’s a race you won’t want to miss. There are clinics and pre-events leading up to the race. There is even a training calendar to walk you through every day until August 6. Make sure to check out the website and Tri for a reason.