RIDGEFIELD, Conn. – Ridgefield’s Jen Blackwell knew she wasn’t going to win her first triathlon earlier this summer. She also knew she didn’t want to finish last.
On Sunday in Norwalk, Blackwell will attempt her second triathlon when she participates in the Trifitness Women’s Triathlon at Calf Pasture Beach. The objective, primarily, is the same as her triathlon debut at the Ridgefield Triathlon in June.
“I know I’m not going to be fast,’’ said Blackwell, who grew up in Norwalk. “A friend of mine told me don’t worry, you’ll always pass a man and you’ll feel good. Sure enough, it happened. I just don’t want to be last."
Blackwell figures to have plenty of company in Sunday’s race, the first women’s only event in Fairfield County. The race was scheduled last year, but was canceled due to Hurricane Irene. The event consists of a half mile swim, 11 mile bike ride and 3.1 mile run. There is also a women’s only duathlon (1.5 mile run, 11 mile bike, 3.1 mile run). The races begin at 6:30 a.m.
“The fact that it’s a woman’s only race appealed to me,’’ Blackwell said. “I’m thinking it will be a supportive environment and hopefully at little less competitive. With it being a women’s only race, there might be some more newbies out there.”
Blackwell began bike riding last summer, and over the winter started swimming. “I’m still perfecting the run,’’ she said. She teaches spinning classes and a TRX suspension training class that develops strength and flexibility by using body weight at the Ridgefield Rec Center.
She played tennis and volleyball in high school at Brien McMahon in Norwalk, where she was also a cheerleader. They are totally different sports than the triathlon, she said. “It’s a lot of fun,’’ she said. “I like breaking it up into three different things. It’s less monotonous. It’s way harder than just trying to be good at one thing."
She trained this summer while her two boys, ages 4 and 6, were at camp. Her husband, Mike, is an avid cyclist. She’s looking forward to Sunday’s race, and beyond.
“I think the first season of it is less thinking about being competitive and just trying to finish,’’ Blackwell said. “I am trying to get faster at it. For right now, I’m just trying to get through it.”