Monday, June 05, 2006

Race Report: Route 66 Oly Triathlon

The Route 66 olympic-distance triathlon is the Oklahoma State Championship, as well as the Best of the US Amateur Triathlete Competition qualifier (what a mouthful!). Tri-OKC does a great job with race organization, and the club did well this year despite some hassles with the weather. Justin and I got up at 3:30am or something awful like that to be able to help volunteer at transition before the race (making sure people had been body-marked, had bar-end plugs, helmets, and the like). We took turns at the transition entrance while getting our own gear ready to go for the race. The forecast was supposed to be pretty mundane - warm with light winds. It ended up being warm with 20 knot winds, which, apparently almost took down the transition area while we were all out on the bike course (a gust took hold of the avalanche fencing and everything started slding along...).

The swim was wetsuit-legal, with a mass start. No major problems, except that the last jog into transition was into the was kind of fun, but got old pretty quickly and became irritating because I ended up drinking a little more of Lake El Reno than I really wanted to. Exited the water with Daniel Agnew, who's a pretty good swimmer (I think he's still under 20) and has been training for ITU races. I got out on the bike and settled in, wondering where Amanda Stevens was up ahead of me (our local professional...and an amazing swimmer). Approaching the half-way point, I finally saw her, and she wasn't too far ahead. My legs were feeling alright, despite the TTT races from the week before, so I tried to keep pushing. There was a bit of a crosswind, though, and things just didn't feel that fast...although the road surface for this course leaves a lot to be desired, too! Got to T2, racked the bike, and switched gears for the run, and I was off to the run course...where my legs became heavier and didn't help at all that the wind felt like a wall, and I seemed to be perpetually thirsty. It was a 2-loop course, and towards the end of the first loop, I started getting worried because I was not feeling great at all with the tired legs, and though I knew I was the first amateur woman, I wasn't sure if I would be able to hold off a strong runner. So I started taking splits on the women behind me at each turn, and luckily, even though I was running awfully, they were not getting closer. I finally reached the finish line and was really glad to be done. Justin had a bad run, too - obviously, we were still really, really, really tired from the previous weekend.

I was glad to have toughed it out, though, because I'll represent Oklahoma at the Best of the US Amateur Triathlete Competition in Minnesota in September. The thought of doing a race in cooler weather makes me giddy!


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