Tuesday, January 24, 2012

remember that one time I did a TRIATHLON!

(Catching up on some old "meant to post them back when they actually happened" blog posts!)

A bit of backstory: Ellie was born at Bella Vie Birth Center a few weeks after the Haiti earthquake 2 years ago and actually the midwife that was supposed to help deliver her ended up going to do relief work in Haiti the week she was born and we ended up with another midwife from the birth center who had just returned from Haiti. Well, these 2 midwives along with several others have since created a free birth center in Haiti that is run and supported by their non-profit MamaBaby Haiti

This past summer they organized a fundraiser effort for MBH in which they asked people to sign up for the Portland Triathlon with the goal of raising $500 each to help the birth center. As soon as I heard about it my mind went back to those first weeks postpartum when I sat on my couch with my brand new babe on my chest, reading/hearing about their experiences in Haiti and the kind of circumstances babies were being born in in Haiti and I just couldn't NOT do anything. Even at that time, I knew in my heart that I would someday try to help their efforts there.

The opportunity to raise some money and support MBH finally presented itself to me and I found myself signing up for my first Sprint Triathlon! (Sprint distance = 1/2 mile swim, 16 mile bike ride, and 3 mile run).

 I trained with a group of about 7 people all summer, receiving workout instructions from our trainer every Monday that had me running, biking and swimming all week long and then meeting up for group training sessions almost every weekend. The big day finally arrived on August 21st and we were up before the sun to head down to the Portland Riverfront to get things all ready to go for what would end up being the most challenging thing I have EVER done! 

Sunrise behind the Hawthorne bridge (which I would later swim under and run across)
setting up transition area
Fellow fundraisers and team mates- 
we were the only "fundraising team" participating in the triathlon 
and seeing all those green shirts out on the course was super encouraging!
 I knew I wasn't  dying sweating alone!
My age group of women taking off on the swim, I'm in there! 
(and was quickly left in the dust splashes so I didn't endure too much elbows or kicks to the face)
Time for two 8 mile laps up and around barber blvd. and one big steep hill! (twice-ugh!)
almost done, time to run
maybe a hundred yards to go
smiling because it's finally over and the finish was in sight! 
Biggest cheerleader and support of all, through out the entire training time and day of.

I finished in 2 hours 7 minutes and was 9th place in my age group of about 14 women.

It felt AMAZING to finish! During the race I kept telling myself, NEVER AGAIN!! (knowing I had also already signed up for the Oktoberfest Tri in September!) But by the time I was able to cool down, get some water and enjoy the whole atmosphere of people who had also just done what I had done, I was feeling pretty proud and "endorphinized" and was excited to try another one! (and I did!)

All in all, the people who supported my fundraising efforts helped me raise almost $1000!!
I hope in the future to be able to do more fundraising/supporting/serving for MamaBaby Haiti!
Check them out here!

Finisher's Shirt! 
Celebration meals!

Thank you SO much to all who supported me in this effort 
and who gave generously to MamaBaby Haiti. 
I couldn't have done it without you!


  1. What is in that last bowl, Hollie? It looks like vomit (and M & Ms)...

    1. Ha! It was frozen yogurt with all kinds of yumminess! I had waited ALL summer for that :) And the Por Que No Mexican food too :)

    2. We LOVE Por Que No! I might just have to do this with you next year just for those celebration meals! :) P.S. you're amazing!!