This season I had the pleasure of racing Buffalo for the first time and Manitou for the sixth time.
Buffalo was a great event but unfortunately not a great race for me. The swim was good – I tucked in behind Thad after the start. Unfortunately a pontoon drifted in front of a corner buoy and Thad did not see the final buoy so he cut in early. Drafting off Thad and following him when he cut early cost me dearly at Manitou last year so I was not interested in repeating that experience. I said too bad for Thad and continued on to the actual corner and finished the swim with Dave Holden.
The bike course is quite nice, plenty of open roads of pretty good quality (better than average in MN). There was a brief out and back where we rode the wrong way and I’m sure I startled a few morning motorists. There was a lead motorcycle but he was behind me so I had to stare down the oncoming cars and hope for the best. At the turnaround I timed my gap to Chris Legh at around 2 minutes. With a few more miles to stretch that to 3ish minutes I was on track to contend for the win. The second dicey part of the ride came when we merged with the short course athletes for the final miles. In these situations I am confident I sound like a jerk but when I yell ‘on your left’ I don’t mean later! It is always a little nerve wracking passing lots of folks when our speeds are quite different and they have different ideas about where they should be on the road.
Onto the run I was in position to win. Unfortunately for whatever reason I was off and couldn’t get myself rolling. I’d run 36s in my previous races off 55 and 56 min 40ks so it was both unpleasant and disappointing to chug along in 38. Chris got me a couple miles out. It was great to chat with him after the race. It is always interesting to talk to seasoned pros. I was also pleased to catch up with several of my own athletes. It is worth noting that OptumHealth Performance coaches swept the women’s podium. How fast are the women you work with? We had that type of thing happen on the men’s side at Gear West Bike. Back in 2009 after Kevin won Pigman and I won Manitou, Curt Wood asked if he could have the next one.
Manitou was great the next weekend, as usual. If you want a fast race come do Manitou. The run is pretty, flat, and we got a nice breeze off the lake. Hard to beat. The swim was good, I came out with MJET Phil English and my swim buddy Nick Madrinich. The ride was also good, I snuck under 30 minutes by a few seconds. After a terrible run the previous week it was nice to get moving at Manitou. Everything went well. Our race director, Kris Swarthout, outdid himself this year and got AG winners stuffed animal polar bears and giant polar bears for the overall winners. That definitely trumps a trophy. This thing is huge!
It is hard to believe we are practically mid season. I am back in vigorous training until Lifetime in July. Before that I’ll race locally at Minneman Olympic. I will also be working the OptumHealth Performance IM Wisconsin camp at the end of July if you want to train with me in Madison all weekend. I will tell you all sorts of secrets like how to grow an astonishing mustache or how to make compression socks look stylish with any outfit. After Lifetime it is back to work until a pair of Rev 3 races in August, the 1/2 Iron at Wisconsin Dells and their Olympic in Maine. Then more work until the Rev 3 1/2 Iron races in October. The Rev 3 organization was so friendly and professional I couldn’t resist adding the race in Maine.
This spring I taught a ‘My First Tri’ class at OptumHealth Performance. Every Monday we got together and talked over a different tri topic, the athletes got a simple training plan, and they all got to race Manitou. We had a small group with just three gals but each of them got tons of opportunities to ask questions. All of them got through their first race at Manitou! It was fun to teach and we are hoping to grow the program in the future. If you have any friends who are getting into the sport but don’t have a clue send them in and we will get them on track.
So far for the year I’ve raced 3 times in the TYR Hurricane Wetsuit, 1 time in the TYR Sayonara, and 0 times in the TYR Torque. TYR has a suit no matter the water temps or what the swim skin rules are. Their goggles (Tracer Ti) keep water out of my eyes while swimming which I really appreciate. If you swim without goggles, look into them soon. Great invention.
Continue enjoying your season and do give me a shout at races