Which of the following things occurred at this weekend's triathlon?
- I got off course and went 9 extra miles on the bike
- I swam without a wetsuit in a lake that is rumored to have leeches
- I won first place in my age group
- All of the above
For answer read below (but the answer is D…it was a wacky race)
Maple Valley, WA
July 27, 2008
I had been looking for an Oly to do in July since Padden was not really a full Oly distance (only ½ mi swim, 21mi bike, 5.6mi run) but I couldn't find a race to do. So when my mom suggested I do a sprint in her neighborhood I thought, "What the heck!" So I signed up and signed up my 10 year old sister for the kids tri.
Night before the race we rode down to the lake from my Mom's house (~3mi) to get in a quick swim. I wanted to try swimming without a wetsuit open water (a first for me!) and I wanted her to practice swimming some distance (a first for her…even the 75yards that the race was turned out to be a stretch). The lake was pretty and super warm; even pretty far out you could see the bottom.
The next morning we got there at the crack of dawn for day of registration and while I knew there was going to be a late fee for me I was a bit miffed that the fee was the same for the kid's tri (so my late fee was 16% and the kids was 50%). But, in normal race day congeniality, I smiled and paid the fees and went to set up my transition. It was a VERY small race (<100 people) that seemed to be divided into 2 tribes: the teams of trained and experienced age-groupers and first timers. I realized this because there was still a lot of space left near the bike-out/in. So I set up there and ran into my first dilemma. Since I wasn't wearing a wetsuit I couldn't wear my number in the swim but I didn't have a race belt so I'd have to fumble with safety pins. Ugh.
We went out in gender waves and the swim sort of sucked. I missed my wetsuit and my new tri-top had gotten really loose in the water. I swam really wide on the outside and felt like I was totally off course. When I got out of the water my top had fallen way down and I was flashing the crowd (my jog bra). T1 went surprisingly well. I even safety pinned my number without problems!
For the bike I only brought one bottle of water and no food; it was only a 14 mi ride and from my previous experience with sprints I don't do well with trying to fuel too much (insert ominous, foreshadowing music). The bike course was semi tough, I hadn't seen it before and kept being surprised by the lack of flat regionsL. It seemed like we were always going slightly uphill unless we were going seriously uphill. But I was doing OK, I wanted to try to average 18mph for the ride and was really trying to shift efficiently on hills and not just crank up them. I was about to pass a few folks at mile 8 and a freaking Ford Explorer drives up beside me and starts asking me questions (are you sure you're on course was the main one)! WTF?! I was so grouchy with them because they scared me and told them to stop talking to me…but we were at mile 9 now and didn't seem to be heading back. Hmmm….
I rode nearby 3 other women for some 3 miles when one of them (a local) said she was sure we were off course and helped us find a roundabout way back to the lake. 23 miles instead of 14…I was mostly worried because I didn't want to be just pulling in from the bike when everyone was finishing the run (not to mention I had only taken water and now had just nearly doubled the bike) but I needn't have worried about the first part. It seems as though ¼ of the field had gotten off course before they realized there was no indication of the turn-around. So my bike adventure buddies and I parted ways and headed for the run.
I had a pretty great run on a pretty funky course. One portion had us scrambling down a little hill from the trail to the streets. But I felt pretty good and was carrying my ½ Melon Gatorade Fierce/ ½ water.
I finished, pretty bummed/pissed about the whole bike debacle but I hadn't missed the kids tri so I was happy. The kids tri didn't start for quite a while because there were still sprinters out on the bike course (YIKES!). The kid's Tri was a logistical nightmare too, they had the kids biking in the parking lot which was fully open to the public. So we were watching as these kids had to dart around moving vehicles. It was like watching a bizarre game of Frogger. Really bad!
But bizzaro day is not over yet. They do awards and I am sort of half polite-listening and clapping when I hear MY NAME. I won 1st in my age group (20-29…there were only 3 of us in this race). What! I was cracking up; I guess I got rewarded for getting the least lost? It was flipping hilarious. I won a gift certificate for 25bucks at a bike shop, so at least I recouped my late fees J