Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Burley Spudman Triathlon 2014

I love this race! I'll just start out saying that because this is my all time favorite event. Don't get me wrong there are some great race organizers out there and I enjoy most of the events in which I compete but this was my first open water tri so it holds a special place in my heart. This weekend is usually a camping trip with my hubby and some good friends from Park City and my brother from Boise. Unfortunately with hubby gone and my brother predisposed, I was camping in my trailer alone. Park City friends were there as well so that was fun.

Spudman is an Olympic distance triathlon. 1.5k swim down the Snake River, 40k bike and 10k run through the farm fields. I've always considered this my A race and this year was no difference. It's a two transition race so after picking up my packet (which includes a potato!), I took my bike over to T1 to claim my favorite spot by the bike out.
Several of us were then meeting up for a pre-race pizza dinner. We had a newbie with us. It was going to be his first open water Olympic tri so we talked about a lot of things that he could expect. I was so excited for him!  Then it was back to camp to finish preparing for the morning and early to bed.

Transition open at 6 am so even though I was in one of the last start waves, I headed over to finish setting up T1 to try and beat the crowds. Ran into a few other Salt Lake Tri Club peeps and snapped some sunrise pics and went to set up T2.

I was so early that I was able to sit in my truck and stay warm until the race started.
And they're off!
As usually happens wave starts are age dependent so I'm usually in one of the last waves, having plenty of time to gather my wits and get ready. Waves are 10 minutes apart so about 5 minutes after the previous wave started, I got in the water. It was very comfortable and the current felt strong. You don't want to get in too early so that you don't use too much energy trying to stay behind the start line. I timed it just right and was at the start when the horn blew. Except for one guy who kept cutting me off for a ways, the swim was uneventful. I was happy to see I took off a couple minutes from last year when I exited.

For some reason, I took my sweet time in transition. It's a "clean" transition so everything you have has to be put in the provided trash bag and dropped off with volunteers at the bike out. The bike starts out on the main road and then winds around through some neighborhoods before getting on the straightaway country roads. It's basically a 25 mile flat rectangle. Even though drafting is illegal, there were several draft packs that passed me and I saw a lot of it throughout the day. But whatever, I was just worried about my own race and pedaled on! I averaged 19 mph which is something that I have not been able to do in a race before. Came off the bike a little over 3 minutes faster from last year.

The run is my Achilles heel this year. I've been having problems breathing but this day, I remembered the inhaler and some extra nutrition. My run plan is always a 5 min run/1 min walk even in a triathlon so after walking the hill out of transition to get my legs going, I stuck to the Galloway method the entire 10k. It was warm but not unbearable. I didn't want to take a chance on overheating so I took in plenty of fluid at the aid stations. The run takes you through some farm fields along a canal. I saw lots of people squatting in the potatoes so I don't think dehydration was a problem! My run was only 20 seconds faster than last year.

It's always such a great feeling to run down that last hill to the finish chute and have them call your name and where you are from!

I first did this race in 2011 where I finished 22 of 24. The second year I was 14 of 21, 28 minutes faster. Then in 2013 I was 8 of 17 with another 18 minutes faster. I really was hoping and planning on 15 minutes faster this year but it was only 4 minutes and 7 of 21. As one friend said, a pr is a pr! One of my friends and training mates won our age group, beating me by over half hour - she's fast!

I met up with Dr. Tom at the finish and we waited for his brother, Steve to finish. It was Steve's first open water tri and I am always very proud when someone does something that pushes past their comfort level. Can't wait to see the next one (hint, hint, Steve!).
This event is truly a community event. From the organizers to the high school football players and cheerleaders and other volunteers to the residents who held water hoses or put sprinklers in the streets to help keep us cool - they are all so very great! As if you can't tell, I highly recommend this race to all.

As is tradition, after cleaning up and grabbing a bite to eat, I finished off the day with 18 holes of golf with Ron & Susan. My one concession is to take a cart since it is in the heat of the day. It was weird this year without my hubby and brother but we had a good time and mostly played well.
Packed everything up the next morning and made it home in time for church and to prepare for the upcoming week!