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Finishing up the 2014 Season in Colombia

By Summer Cook | Oct. 16, 2014, 12 a.m. (ET)

This past weekend I headed to Cartagena, Colombia, for my last race of the season. Cartagena is a coastal city steeped in colonial history and decorated with beautiful architecture. Cartagena was my second trip to South America this season and I’ve really grown to enjoy having the opportunity to take in the vibrant Latin American culture while making the most of a racing opportunity.

Due to flooding from storms just prior to our arrival, the venue had to be moved to a new location along the main road of Cartagena and an earlier race start to accommodate the new venue. The race organizers did a great job of getting everything together on such short notice.

We had a two-lap ocean swim and the water was pretty calm. I was second out of the water and came out of T2 with a group of 10 or so. Our size doubled around the end of the second bike lap and included Olympic gold medalist Nicola Spirig. It may speak to how much of a novice I am, but I thought that was pretty cool. The course was eight laps of a simple out and back with two left-hand, 180-degree turns each lap. Despite staying in the lead pack and having another strong bike, I had a frustrating run through the heat and humidity and finished 32nd. While my race was warm and my result was less than ideal, I was grateful to have had clear conditions for my race. The men’s race, held two-and-a-half hours later than the women’s race, was stormy with torrential downpours, lighting and strong winds. The water pooled on the road and there were reports of spots with deep water on parts of the course. The weather in Cartagena was definitely crazy at times and it made the trip even more of an experience.

I was excited to have the opportunity to venture into Cartagena after my race. We explored the older part of the city and took in some Colombian culture. Even though my performance wasn’t what I hoped for, it was a good way to cap off the season. I gained valuable experience for the future and feel extremely optimistic looking to next season. I’m extremely grateful for all of the opportunities I’ve had this season, as they have helped me grow as both an athlete and a person. Thank you to Team Psycho, USA Triathlon and all of the coaches who have had the patience to help bring me along.

Over and out until 2015!