Posts Tagged ‘sprint riathlon’

Race The River Triathlon 2011

Me on the right, shaking hands with the ladies who earned 1st and 2nd place

The Race The River Triathlon in Coeur d’Alene Idaho took place yesterday, which was July 24th 2012.  The race allowed 800 athletes to enter.  Your’s truly had the honor of participating.  I placed myself in the Athena division (which is anyone who weighs over 150 pounds) for the competition, and earned 3rd place for the division!  My final time was 1hr 25min.

One of my race buddies received 2nd place for her division, which was the 60-64 age group.  The other got a goodie bag from the race officials because it was her first ever triathlon.   

The structure of the race was a little interesting.  I honestly had my doubts that the event would go off smoothly, luckily my doubts were misplaced. 

Review of the race

PRE RACE- My race buddies met at my house at 5:00am, so that we could get to Coeur d’Alene and get set up in the transition area before it was too crowded (CDA is about a 45 min drive from Spokane).  Because I have a hard time finding my bike after the swim I purchased two helium balloons to tie on the bike rack for easy visualization!  It worked really well.  After the race I received several thanks, as many people used them to find their barrings.  The transition area was well-organized.  At 7:00am the transition area closed, the race volunteers were extremely strict about the transition area rules.   

THE SWIM- The swim for this race took place .5 of a mile up-stream of the Spokane River.  Participants walked the half mile to the start.  At the start athletes had the option of putting personal items into bags marked with their race number and having volunteers transport the stuff back to the transition area.  This was great!  It worked really well, and I was able to wear shoes and warm clothes untill the start of my wave.  Which I really appreciated because my wave was last (7:45am) and it was cold.  The chilly weather gave me great apprehension about participating in the race.  I had no desire to plunge into a cold river.  It was almost worth folding before starting to skip getting wet.  I questioned why I decided to do another one of these races up untill we were signaled to start. They told us that the water was about 65 degrees.  brrr. 

The swim was an in-water start.  Two boayes marked the starting line.  Treading water was a little difficult because the current wanted to carry us towards the finish line. The swim was lined with well prepared volunteers in kayaks, and some treading water ready to assist anyone in danger.  I felt very safe.

At the end of the swim we had to swim into a ramp that was half way under water.  Only 1 person could enter the ramp at a time.  This wasn’t a problem, and there wasn’t a bottle neck effect when I arrived.  There was then a stretch of deck where we were able to stage shoes prior to the race.  This is because the transition area was about two football field lengths away from the water.  I also left me towel by my shoes and ran with it back up to my bike.  This portion of the race gave me a lot of apprehension at the start, but really it worked out nicely.  I liked having my shoes on before I reached my bike, and I liked towelling off while I ran towards the transition. It made me feel like I wasted less time in transition.

THE BIKE- This was my first race on my new fancy pants bike.  A Specialized Dolce Sport.  Which was a bribe gift from my mother.  (SPOILED ROTTEN!!! haha!).  In all of the triathlon that I have participated in the bike has been the hardest section for me.  Having this bike made a SIGNIFICANT difference.   

This section of the triathlon was the scariest.  It was 11 miles long, but racers had to do 3 loops along the same path.  We had to keep track of our own laps.  I had no idea who was on which lap.  The path was constantly full of riders.  At one point I felt like I was some where in the tour de france.    I like to be a bit more spread out so I can tell who is passing me and who I am passing…. this was just a cluster of people who could be way ahead or way behind my position.  The race had 2 gradual inclines, one a bit more challenging than the other.  Mostly it was flat. 

During the bike I passed one man, who was sporting super bright and super tight red bike shorts.  On top he wore a tight camouflage (the print was like what a hunter would wear) dry fit shirt, which was tucked into those red shorts. Just to help you with the mental image: On the bottom half this guy was pretty lean, but up top he was fighting a beer belly.  I am guessing he was about 5’6″ tall.  He was huff’n and a puff’n but determined to keep with me.  As we were both exiting the bike portion of the race he aggressively repeated about 10 times: “Pain is weakness leaving the body! Pain is weakness leaving the body!”  This made me smile and helped me stay motivated during the run.

THE RUN-  The run was 3 miles long.  I averaged 9min 40 sec miles. The run was mostly flat, with one little steep hill.  There were volunteers handing out water and directing racers.  The were wonderful and did their job very well. 

The last half mile… or quarter mile, of the race was snaked through the park around a pond.  I would just like to say that I HATE when a race doesn’t end right as you hit the park.  It is so hard to run that last section winding around and around not knowing where the stopping point is exactly.

THE END OF THE RACE-  As racers crossed the finish line a volunteer removed  timing chips from ankles as another volunteer handed out bottles of water.  There was music, an announcer calling out names of finishers and keeping observers entertained.  There were orange and banana slices as well as muffins.     Each participant was able to get a sandwich, chips and water at their leisure.  There were 3 different kinds of sandwiches, and tasty pickle wedges to go with them.  *Yum*

The transition area was opened back up to athletes, but a volunteer ensured that bikes leaving the area matched body markings and race bibs.

AWARDS- Finishing times were posted, but not all of them.  Some people stuck around just in case they placed, which somewhat sucked for them.  The awards took about an hour and a half to complete.  Between medals the race officials handed out door prizes.  The door prizes were pretty awesome.  Some of the prizes were compression socks, gift certificats for new shoes, visors, hats and race IDs. 

FINAL GRADE- I would give it a B.  The race didn’t earn an A because of the super-duper cold river, scary crowded bike ride, winding through the park at the end of the run and not posting race results completely.