Monday, September 11, 2023

Running Bear Triathlon 2023

As the 2x champion of this race, and it being a good “just for the fun of it” type of race, I decided to go up to Three Lakes for the Running Bear triathlon again this year. Baya came along with me, and we just went up for the day. We had done a family trip right after Nationals, so with only a week between Nationals and this race, I did zero training again for it. 

         While the intention is just to have fun with this race, of course I can’t be happy with subpar performance either. It’s a tough balance to find. If someone knows the secret to that, let me know! This is the race that starts with the bike and ends with the swim. The bike route is a fun one, and 2 men pulled away pretty early, leaving me in 3rd behind them. I wear running shoes for this race, so I can make the first transition as fast as possible. When I got to the cabin (T1) to drop my bike off, I literally hopped off and told a volunteer, “Here take it,” and quick took off my helmet and hit the road running.

I knew the men had quite the lead at that point so I knew it would take a fast run to try to close the gap. Not far behind me though was the next woman, who I knew had been a good collegiate runner. I could not let up on the gas at that point. The run is brutal though! There are so many tough hills. I glanced behind me a few times to see if I could see her gaining on me. I didn’t want her to pass me without me knowing it was coming! Nearing the end of the run and not seeing anyone coming up on me, I felt confident that I could hold the lead, but unfortunately I also hadn’t caught sight of either of the men in front of me.

My strategy for the race this year was to make transitions as fast as possible, so for T2, I hardly slowed down. A volunteer handed me my goggles from my transition bag, I kicked off my shoes as I ran, and just kept going with my socks on. By time I was down on the dock, I could see the lead male exiting the water and the second male ahead of me at least halfway across. I guess I wasn’t beating the males this year either, but I was first female overall by almost 4 full minutes, which in a race that short, is a sizable distance.

That concludes the triathlon season already for 2023! Now I wait for an official announcement regarding dates for Spain.