Facebooking and a Tri

By: Melissa Marowelli

Just one time! I want to cross it off my bucket list.

That’s what I told my husband in May of 2011. I was living in Kansas City at the time and had seen a couple friends do the WIN for KC Tri and was about to sign up for it, when my husband was given a new work assignment—with a relocation in six weeks back to our home state of Michigan. So, because I’m crazy and I like to torture myself, I started looking for sprint tris for women in Michigan. I saw the mini-sprint results online for the Iron Goddess, and decided to register. Six weeks later we moved our seven-person family halfway across the country into a rental house. I started training when we arrived in Michigan, working my training sessions in during my youngest children’s nap times and occasionally after dinner. Six weeks after moving, I conquered my fear of lakes, didn’t drown, and completed the 2011 Tri Goddess Tri, finishing 6th out of 21 in my age bracket. I was ecstatic, and felt so empowered.

I posted pictures on Facebook and many of my friends congratulated me on my accomplishment. However, one friend who also had lived in Kansas City with me, Ann Marie, contacted me and started asking me questions—she was curious. Surprisingly, within those same couple months her husband also took a job transfer that brought her and her family to Michigan! Even though they were on the west side of the state, it was still better than half way across the country! A few weeks later I got a message from her, “So, are you planning on doing that triathlon again next year? I think I want to try doing one, but I don’t want to do it by myself!” We emailed and Facebook-ed back and forth for a while, and decided that we were going to do the 2012 TGT together, and registered for it on December 31st, 2011 so that our New Year’s resolution was to train for our tri!

As it would happen, both of us moved again this spring out of our rental homes and into homes we purchased. We were crazy—training for a triathlon, with nine kids between the two of us, and both of us moving—but we did it. We managed to squeeze a run or a bike in during naps, while dragging our kids behind us in trailers to school, during baton or soccer practice, constantly encouraging each other on Facebook to “GO RUN!!!” or “GO RIDE YOUR BIKE!!!”

We saw each other for the first time in over a year the day before the race. Ann Marie was so nervous, and I could totally relate since I had felt that way the year before. We rode the bike course together at an easy pace, and even though it had been over a year since we had seen each other, it was like we had seen each other only the week before. We were both so nervous as we got into the water—but we were determined. Ann Marie was determined to finish, and I was determined to run a good race and hopefully place this time.

At the finish, we both met our goals. We were in the same age bracket, and we both finished in the top 10—I placed 4th and Ann Marie placed 9th.

As we hugged, and cried, at the finish line, she looked at me and my husband who was standing there and said, “So—about next year?”


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