May 2, 2012

Icebreaker Sprint Triathlon (Race Report)

Wow, this race report is almost 3 weeks overdue! Whoops : / I'll keep it short and sweet, just like the race.

The race had a later start so I had plenty of time to get my stuff together in the morning and drive out to Granite Bay. When I got there I checked in and headed to transition, only to find it nearly full. I finally found a rack with some space and without thinking too much about it I set up my gear and got into my wetsuit. Then it was a quick trip to body marking and one final gear check before heading down to the beach.
 chaos in transition

The swim started from Granite Beach in Folsom Lake and was a 0.5 mile swim from the beach area. The course was your basic triathlon triangle with big buoys to sight off of. It was a wave start, so while I waited for mine I got in the water to try to acclimate. It was freezing and I never did have a chance to get used to it. I spotted my coworker, Anandi, and chatted for a couple minutes before realizing it was time for my wave. Lined up on the beach I could see it was a fairly small group of women, and fortunately when the gun went off it wasn't too chaotic. I found space pretty quickly, but I could not seem to find any sort of rhythm or relax. Thank goodness the swim was short because I was really struggling for some reason. I couldn't seem to get enough air (maybe from the cold?) and became fatigued early on. I got through it though and was happy to be done!
 swim start

swim time (0.5 mi): 16:33

With a quick run up the beach I was back in transition, ripping off my wetsuit, and getting my bike gear on. TBF races don't record transition times, so my time is approximate, but I felt like I did pretty well.

T1 time: 2:05

The 13 mile bike course was two loops on closed roads throughout the park. While it was actually quite beautiful riding past the lake and through the oak trees, the course was a bit precarious. There were several short, steep hills and tight turns, and athletes were riding in both directions. The roads were windy and in some sections also weren't very smooth, so full attention and caution was required. Being such a short race (relatively, of course), my plan was to push it as much as possible. My quads burned for much of the bike leg, but it payed off with a decent average speed of nearly 18 mph. Considering the course, I was quite happy with it!

bike time (14 mi): 43:52

As I came in off the bike I misunderstood the volunteers' directions and missed the entrance to transition. As I rode through a group of spectators I was directed to just hop off and go under the rope. Haha, whoops! As I went to rack my bike I also discovered that all the racks on my side had been disassembled and mine was the only one standing. As I got closer I realized there was a sign designating those racks for the super sprint that had occurred earlier. Another whoops! I racked my bike and switched to my run gear, and as I left I tried to tell the volunteers about my mistake and that they could move my stuff, but they just told me to get going!

T2 time: 2:29

My plan for the 4 mile run was to just hammer it. It was pretty warm out by then, but I still felt good as I set out. The first mile was a mix of mellow single trail and road and I was right on pace when my Garmin beeped 8:18. But then we hit the real trails and sh*t got real. I hadn't really looked at the course beforehand and assumed the trails would be fairly runnable. And there were certainly sections that were, but there was also hills. Steep ones. And uneven, precarious descents. And a section on a sandy beach. Believe it or not, I came across a man on a unicycle. Yes, riding a unicycle on trails. Going uphill. My jaw seriously dropped! Best part of the race, hands down : )

My legs were pretty trashed from pushing on the bike, so I ended up hiking the steep hills. I fared much better on the flats and downhills, but my average pace was slowly creeping up. On one especially steep and technical descent I landed wrong and rolled my ankle. Fortunately I didn't fall and was able to keep on running. I immediately freaked out that I'd injured myself, but as I kept running it felt fine (spoiler alert: it stayed fine!). The last mile seemed to drag along, but at least the hills were behind me. When I saw the finish line I gave it a final kick and was done!

run time (4 mi): 35:46

When I finished I headed over to the Fleet Feet Sac tent to chat with my coworker and hang out while waiting for Anandi to finish. She found me a bit later and we went to check out the results. It was quite the happy surprise to find out that we both had placed in our age group! I managed 2nd (F20-24, TBF doesn't age up like USAT, which puts me in 25-29), which I was of course thrilled by, but I must include some other information. First, the chick who took first also won the race for women and beat me by a good 16 minutes. And secondly, the girl who placed third hadn't even finished at the time of the awards ceremony, so my group was postponed. I beat her by a good 16+ minutes. At least it wasn't like my last TBF race where I placed by default since there were so few in my age group!
 standing on podiums is weird : /
 Anandi & I with our AG awards!

total time: 1:41:52

Since I had the rest of the day off I hung out for a while enjoying the absolutely gorgeous weather. It was fun to race a sprint race and be able to think more in terms of speed than endurance. One day I'd like to focus on getting fast at the sprint and Olympic distances. Overall it was a really fun race!


  1. Awesome recap! That run course was so hard -- I was so much more nervous after reading their description of the bike course as tight/twisty, but MAN, that run was tough. You had a great time, all things considered! Good luck at Wildflower!

  2. That's pretty sweet that they gave you an actual AG award! Channel that bad ass into Wildflower - good luck!

  3. Wow....2nd in your AG and you haven't even been concentrating on your speed.Way to go! Imagine how scary fast when you actually train for speed :-) Hope you have a great race at Wildflower!