Spudman was a race I have been very excited to do. I have heard a ton of good things about it and it is a large race, in fact the largest tri I have done with almost 2300 people registered. Also, about 30 people in my tri group were registered for it, which meant it was going to be a party as well!
|Gorgeous morning for a tri!|
Ken and I went to bed by 10, knowing full well we had to get up by 5 in order to eat and be over to transition by 6. I didn't sleep that great, but I never do the night before a race. I got up, quickly got ready, and had a half of a bagel, a banana, and some water for breakfast.
We headed over to T1 first so I could check my bike, air the tires, and put my water bottles on it as well as lay out my bike things. We then headed to T2 where I set up my run stuff. I made sure to check several times in both transition areas where I was located in order to avoid the "can't find my stuff!" moments from Rock Cliff.
The weather was cool, probably high 60s or low 70s and it would prove to stay this way the whole race. Prior to my swim wave taking off, there were some very foreboding clouds in the distance, and I was nervous that they might affect the race. However, it was also nice to know if the clouds stuck around, we could avoid some nasty heat as well.
|All ready to race!|
I was in the third swim wave and they were leaving every 10 minutes. My wave started right on the dot at 7:20. I made sure to seed myself in the water where I thought I would avoid slower swimmers, but also where I might not get run over. It was a deep water start and I loved it. The current was fast and I felt like the swim flew by! I stayed fairly close to the shore and even had a moment where I could look up on my breaths and see Ken walking along the bank as my wave moved towards the swim exit! That was really cool to see! I loved this swim, and it was by far the fastest swim I have ever had for this distance (1 mile swim), thank you to the strong down stream current! I loved every second of it and wouldn't have minded going longer. I did ,however, get hit, kicked, punched, and swam over in the beginning, but that is to be expected in these large races. I was at the swim exit before I knew it and had clear water most of my swim.
Final swim time: 17:39
Rank (F 30-34): 6/106
I was able to get out of the water quickly running up the bank and because I was racked towards the opposite end of the transition area than where the swim exit was, I had plenty of time to rip off my cap, goggles, and get my wetsuit halfway down before getting to my bike. It was so nice to have transition on a grassy area! It got any sand off of my feet and I didn't have to waste time wiping it off before putting my socks on! The transition areas were also roomy and allowed for plenty of room while you quickly switched over from one sport to another. I quickly put on my bike gear, bagged my swim stuff and dropped that bag by the bike exit before taking off.
Final T1 time: 3:17 (not impressive at all)
Ready to roll! I quickly hopped on Belle (yes, she does have a name now) and we were off! I think it is the smoothest bike mount I have ever done. Still not the fancy running mount you see the pros do, but still really good for me. I quickly found a comfy gear, settled into aero and we were off on our 25 mile ride around the farm roads of Burley. This bike course was flat as a pancake and fairly smooth for the most part. The road is a chip seal finish, which wasn't always ideal, but the roads were wide and straight. I was proud of myself for taking all of the turns and curves in the road in aero, and I have even grown comfy enough in aero to not even have to break it to get a drink from one of my bottles!
I felt like this was a fast bike. I passed many people, but also tried to make sure I wasn't pushing too hard because I wanted to have something left for the run. The weather remained cool and cloudy and we had some very light drizzles of rain on occasion, but nothing bad at all. A rainy ride would have sucked and made me very nervous! I did notice that there was not any race officials out on this bike course and huge pelotons formed with people drafting. I was warned at a pre-race clinic I went to (not put on by the organizers) that this would happen. It annoyed me to know that they were cheating as this was a USAT sanctioned event and drafting is NOT legal. I was able to get around most of them but towards the end there were some that would literally take up the whole road and it made it hard to pass! I even saw a few yahoos out there with no helmet and some with earphones! Really? Idiots!
The bike came to a quick finish, I was proud of myself for sticking to my nutrition plan, and it worked. Every 15 minutes I had a sip of my Perpetuem, and in between those sips I would take a few Gu Chomps with water. I didn't use the salt tabs as it just wasn't hot enough and I didn't feel I needed them. Before I knew it, bike was done and it was time to run!
Final Bike Time: 1:17:57 avg pace 19.5 mph (SHUT THE FRONT DOOR! Elated with this time!)
I quickly ran with my bike to where I had left my shoes, racked my bike, switched to my running stuff and was off. Again, I loved the roomy and grassy transition area and I was off on my run quickly.
Final T2 time: 1:53 (meh)
Now for just a 10k (6.2 mile) run and this race was in the bag! I felt great coming off the bike, loving that we still had cool temps, and took off on the run. My legs did not feel like lead, I felt great energy wise and excited to get going. The run course immediately goes up a grassy hill and then into a residential area. It winds around a little bit before crossing the highway into a farm area where we would then run along a gravely canal road for a few miles. There were tons of people out with cowbells and water cheering us on and the aid stations were every few miles. I took water at the aide stations and had a Gu at about mile 2.5. I kept what was a comfortably hard pace, one I couldn't have carried on a conversation very easily during, and the run went by quick. I passed several people and got passed many times as well. I felt great, no GI issues, cramping or fatigue like I have had in other races by the time I am to the run portion. Hey, the great conditions didn't hurt at ALL!
|Heading out on the run, all smiles!|
Before I knew it I could hear the crowds at the finish and I could see that we were passing those just heading out on the run and I was excited to be done. I headed down the same grassy hill to the finish and I heard my name from the announcer and heard Ken yelling for me. (Seriously, he is the BEST). I went into my finish line sprint and was thrilled to see the clock was just over 3 hours, but that was the time from when the first wave started, so I immediately knew I had a HUGE PR. Crossed the finish line and got my medal. Spudman was in the books!
Final Run Time: 59:25 (avg pace of 9:34/mile YES!)
I quickly found Ken and grabbed a water bottle. I saw a few friends and gave them congratulatory hugs. It then started to rain so we didn't stick around too long before I headed over to get my bike in the transition area. I immediately noticed that I had a completely front flat tire! I hadn't noticed it at ALL on the ride, so it must have been a slow draining one. I was very grateful that I had made it through my ride before that happened. There had been more flats on this course than I have ever seen in any race, and apparently I wasn't exempt, but it was at least after the race was over :) We met up with Mike and decided we would clean up, and go grab some lunch. I checked the results tent to see my final splits:
Final Race Time: 2:40:14 (A new Olympic PR by 27 minutes!)
I am thrilled with this race. Sure there are things I could have done better, but I am very happy overall with how it went.
I loved this race! I was told to expect a "Mom and Pop" kind of race and it was in many ways (like the lack of rule enforcement) but other than that, it was done very well! The transitions were great, the course was flat and fast, the dinner was nice, the volunteers were awesome and the local support for this race in unparalleled. Granted, this is one of the BIGGEST events the small farming town of Burley sees all year, but it was awesome! I don't like to repeat many races seeing as how there are so many out there that I want to try, but this has probably landed on my yearly race list. Definitely a do-again event.
I have exactly four weeks from today until the Utah Half, my first 70.3. Though I am nervous about this, I feel that I will be as prepared as possible. In reality, this means 3 weeks of solid training and then a taper week. I am excited for this and grateful there are no more events between now and then :)
And lastly, I love this pic below of me and my race sherpa, Ken. Seriously, he is the best. He is my best friend, my rock, my biggest fan, and cheerleader. He misses very few of my races, and he is a champ! I love hearing his takes from the race and loved the ride home with him. I wouldn't have minded it being longer as it was fun time together.
In the meantime, Happy Training/Racing all!