Keeping the Streak Alive

Aug 20, 2020 | Racing, Training Daze

Race day check in. Masked up and ready to go.

It was August 2020, on top of the months-long shut down of most businesses and global health crisis, all outdoor group gatherings were cancelled and most amateur endurance athletic events were postponed and turned into “virtual” races. By chance, I heard about an Olympic distance triathlon that was actually happening near me in Connecticut. I quickly went online and saw the race was sold out. I knew that the field was smaller due to COVID restrictions. So, I decided to call the race director. I left a long voice mail about how this year, 2020, would be my 25th year of participating in triathlons and I would hate to break my streak. I thought it was quite compelling. I didn’t hear back immediately, I didn’t think I would hear from him since his triathlon, the only one in the area all summer, was a few days away. I decided to send an email. It’s my squeaky wheel theory.

On August 12th, I sent this email:
My name is Lynne Tapper and I raced with you last year. I know it’s very last minute and there is a limit due to Covid, but I thought I’d reach out to see if there is any chance of racing on Saturday.
I just saw someone today who told me he was registered and he suggested that I just reach out. You never know.
Appreciate the consideration.

Five hours later I got this response:

Hey Lynne,
Unfortunately, I don’t have a spot at this time. If I get anyone dropping out tomorrow then I’ll let you know.

Thank you,
[Race director]

Due to COVID, there were no transition racks. We just spaced our bikes and gear away from other racers.

My immediate response:

Thank you! I am so grateful to you for keeping me in mind. I can be prepared to race as late as Friday evening. I basically have my tri bag packed and ready to go!
I can also pay you immediately or bring cash/check — whatever works best — should I be lucky enough to race. Additionally, my USAT #266473 membership is active through December 2021.
Thanks again for responding!

The next day at 1:12 p.m.

Ok you’re in!
Can I have your age please?

Posing with my mask. I did take it off before the swim start.

I was beyond excited! Two days later I was racing my one and only triathlon in 2020. My streak was in tact.

To make the day even better, my husband got up at 6:00 a.m. to accompany me. I am forever grateful that I can still participate in these races and enjoy every minute.

Socially distanced as we prepared for the swim start.

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