UC Irvine Zot Trot is a fun triathlon race season opener. For the UCSB triathlon team, this is the race where a lot of newbies (myself included) race their first triathlons! Rookies and veterans arrived early to the race course, chattering nervously and complaining about how cold it was. After setting up our transition areas, the nervous chattering moved to the pool deck as the race start approached. The UCI Zot Trot swim is unlike most triathlon swim courses—it takes place in a pool! It was a little chaotic, but it was a great way for newbies to orient themselves and become acquainted with the kicking, splashing, and grabbing that can happen during the swim portion of a race. A short while later, we hobbled out of the pool and began to run to the transition area to prepare for the bike. I gave the team a good laugh when I fastened my helmet on backwards and proceeded to bike like that for the first five miles of the course. However, after hearing the shouts and giggles of my teammates, I realized what was going on and fixed it. Too bad there are still pictures to document the debacle. After the bike, we threw on our running shoes and went to smash the 5K. It started with an uphill, but that didn’t discourage any of us. We all blasted through the finish line, and I know everyone else can agree that the post-race endorphins had us feeling amazing and proud. Overall, it was a super fun race to start the season with, especially for the rookies! It was a great way to see the payoff of our hard training and acquaint us for what will come in the future races. I’m really glad I signed up for this race, because now I can say I am NOT a rookie anymore!