I'm not sure what got me to thinking about this, but I started thinking about the first triathlon that I did. At first I was thinking of Greenfield in 2007 and then it dawned on me, I actually did my first triathlon about 25 years ago in South Carolina.
I was probably 20 years old and in the Air Force at the time. A couple of friends were getting a team together to do a triathlon. I was a decent swimmer (only two years out of competetive high school swimming) and a decent biker, but even then running was my nemesis. Triathlons were still new back then - I'm surprised that there was one in SC as that state is not exactly known as progressive (at least not back then). It was not run the same way they are run today. The bike was the first event and drafting was allowed. I am a classic wheel sucker so that was good for me, except I did not get on the right wheel. The swim was next and was done in a pool. There was no transition - the bike and the run were both mass starts. I can't remember how the swim went, but it was probably the same way with various waves so the pool would not get overcrowded. I was the odd man out so I did not get on the team - did it alone.
I think I even remember my results. There was between 30 and 40 people competing. I came in 12th on the bike - my buddy who I was very competetive with came in 5th - he found a better wheel to suck than the one I did. I was not a very smart competitor back then - these days I would never let that happen. I came in 5th in the swim beating the relay guy from my friend's team - that felt good. The run, what can I say about the run. I think I came in second to last or maybe even tied for last. When the run was not going very well, I decided to keep the other guy back there company. He was about 25 years older than me (not that it is an exuse - I am in better shape now than I was back then).
For some reason I did not get hooked back then. My sport of choice at that time was body building. I just wanted to get big. You would never know that looking at me now.