Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Emily Post Race (a.k.a. Podium Etiquette)

Last weekend at my race, I noticed something... something that I used to do but haven't in a long time.

If you're up on the podium do acknowledge the other athletes up there with you?? I don't know what made me all of a sudden do this, but after the awards were presented, I reached over and shook hands and congratulated the other women. It was contagious because after I did it, most of them all did the same with everyone else.

I remember always doing this in North Carolina. I can remember doing it at a lot of races in the past, but not this year. Maybe it encourages it if a race has actual podium blocks?

I would like to start this initiative. If you make it to the podium, commend the other athletes, shake their hands and congratulate them. See if it starts encouraging other people to do the same. Who is in?


It's so hard to keep moving and racing in new places. Wandering around alone after the race, not knowing anyone. Trying to meet a few new people. A guy at my last race spoke to me after and told me that he followed my blog! He even knew my name! That was really nice!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

River Cities Triathlon and the USAT Hall of Fame!

I’ve been thinking back all the places I’ve lived and raced, and tried to think of which was best for swimming, cycling, and running. We moved from Dallas in 2008 where I had lived since 1990, so I’d raced primarily in that area. Since then we have lived in Fayetteville, NC; Sunset Beach, NC; Hattiesburg, MS; Shreveport, LA; and now Tuscaloosa, AL. I've listed my favorite places, based on several factors. Consistency, safety, challenge, variety.

Best Swimming 

Hattiesburg, MS - Kyle Joplin (now Assistant Coach at Centenary College), pushed us harder than I ever thought I could swim. The challenging workouts designed for triathletes, but conducted like an Age Group practice made me swim faster than I ever had before. No other Masters Program that I had ever or since swam has been that intense, I loved it.

Best Cycling

Sunset Beach, NC – The Ocean Isle Beach Cyclists were the most consistent group. Every Wednesday, and Saturday we had a regular ride. This works out for me, because I like my training scheduled and consistent. I named our group “The Usual Suspects”.

Hattiesburg, MS – For riding solo, Hattiesburg was my favorite. The Long Leaf Trace is there, 42 miles of blacktop with no vehicle traffic (a few crossovers). Albeit a little monotonous, it was a safe place to ride by yourself and not have to worry. And the bonus is I could ride the 7 miles over from my house, so I didn’t have to drive anywhere to ride.

Shreveport, LA – Absolutely the hardest training rides. These were rides with the other triathletes, 70 miles, consistent tough pace, everyone on their aerobars taking pulls. Riding with these people made me the fastest I had ever been. Smooth, no drama, tough training.

Best Running

Sunset Beach, NC – This area of the country is filled with golf courses. We lived on one and I could run the cart path, or leave our subdivision and easily run over to another one and run all the roads there. On the other side was a deserted, overgrown golf course, and I could run on what used to be all the fairways. The beaches on the East Coast are flat with hard packed sand, so for a change of scenery I could run on the beach.



I was back in Shreveport this past weekend for the River Cities Triathlon. If you’ve followed my blog for any length of time, you’ll know that this is one of my all-time favorite races. This weekend was the 21st time that I’ve done this race.

I drove over from Tuscaloosa on Friday, so I could volunteer for the IronFish Kids Triathlon on Saturday morning. I’ve helped at the race for the past couple years and I’ll tell you what, if you’ve never helped out at a kid’s triathlon then you’re missing out! I wanted to be there because several of the kids that I used to coach in swimming would be racing. This year I was going to be in the swim, it was really amazing watching the run from the beach that these little guys do for the start. They look like pros! After the last kids were out of the water, I headed up and helped out in the transition area. Sportspectrum does a great booklet that comes in each packet with all the instructions for the parents, it never fails to amaze me at how many don’t bother to read it, and go through it with their kids. There were kids with no race numbers…. kids with no wristbands…. kids that didn’t do all of the bike course. But even with all the fiasco they all had a great time! I know I did!

Evangeline and Harrisen! Two of my favorite kiddos!

Oscar's first Triathlon! One of my former swimmers!

Saturday night I got together with some of the people that I rode with in Shreveport, the very ones that I mentioned above, and my good friend, Hallie - we coached together at COSST. Two of my friends from Dallas came and joined us! We went to one of my favorite places, Superior Grill – it was great to catch up with these folks! The only bad part was that I couldn't have one of their awesome frozen margaritas since I was racing the next morning.

Race morning – this year the race started at 7:30, instead of the typical 8:00, so the park gates opened at 5:15. The race fills to capacity with 1200 people so they have to have enough time to get everyone in the park. And It’s a pretty good walk from where you park to transition, so it’s good that the gates open that early. I was racing in the Invitational Wave which went off first. Now, I have to admit that the only reason that I race in this wave instead of with my age group wave is because the 55+ women go off dead last. That means almost 1200 people in the water ahead of you, and of course later in the morning so the air temperature is higher. It was a beautiful morning, we had rain the evening before so the temperature wasn't quite as bad as it had been in the preceding days, it was still really humid though. We also lucked out with a slight cloud cover which kept the sun from killing us. Shreveport had been making the national news with their projected heat index of 115, I think it hit 111 on Saturday, and Sunday.

I had a good swim. At just about the half way point I was able to get on a guy’s feet and draft for a bit. But then you know what happens… it feels too slow… should I go around… should I stay here and save energy? So I tested it a couple times and moved to the side a bit to see and I found I was moving up on him, so just before the second turn buoy I went around. I tried to bridge up to a swimmer about 15 yards ahead but wasn’t able to. I came out of the water 2nd female, and ended up with the 4th fastest women’s swim.

The bike…oh the bike. I rode so badly, that I thought I had a flat. My legs didn’t have any snap. Every time I have a long drive before a race they feel like this, so it wasn’t unexpected. Even giving myself the extra day, and spinning in the hotel room for 20 minutes didn’t seem to help. And also adding to my bike frustration was seeing the drafting. I know I shouldn’t let it get into my head, and it’s not even like I was in the same league as her, but seeing a woman drafting with a couple men just made me mad. Play fair or GO HOME. Period.

I suspected that I wasn’t going to have the best run after I saw what my legs felt like for the bike, so I was pretty much resigned to that. I’ll tell you what, I was running much faster at the beginning of the season, it’s the heat. I wonder if it affects you more as you age? I need to go do some research and see if this may be true. I would sure like it to be… then I’d have an excuse for my run. Frankly, I think I need an attitude adjustment and stop feeling sorry for myself about getting older.

I finished 15/346 women, and 123/933 total. 2nd Grandmasters.

Finishers Medal

THE BEST PART of the race was being around so many people that I know! Hearing all the cheering, high fiving friends on the run course, visiting with lots of people after the race. So far for most of this season, I’ve been standing around by myself after a race, trying to make some new friends. I got to see Cobb Mobb teammates, Sunrise Tri Club Teammates, friends from Dallas, and swimmers I coached. It was a great post race day!

Casey Lee - 5th Overall Female, Angel Martin - 3rd Overall Female!!

And the pinnacle of the post race festivities was getting the USA Triathlon Hall of Fame award. I mentioned in a previous post that friends had nominated me and I was supposed to get it at one of the Regional Championship races. It was supposed to be Sugarman Triathlon, in October, but the race was cancelled. At the last minute the HOF Committee sent the award to River Cities for presentation. I got choked up as Matt Brown, the Race Director read the Nomination Letter that was submitted by my former Team Aquaphor teammates. Having this happen in Shreveport was icing on the cake. It is a humbling honor to be nominated for something like this by your peers, and receiving it here made it even better.

HOF Award

I wonder if I should stop now, and let this be the highlight of all the years of racing…… NAH!

OH.... and the FAMOUS RIVER CITIES RACE PACKET!! Once again Sportspectrum and Matt Brown did not disappoint! Embroidered backpack, Tasc Bamboo T-Shirt, Fleece Jacket, and a really cool Hat. Sportspectrum also sent out a coupon for another free t-shirt with any $25 purchase at the store, so I got one of those, too!!

Two more races this season, Possum Town in Columbus, MS, and then Tri The Gulf, in Dauphin Island, AL. I'm really excited about this one, inaugural year, at the beach where we vacation! Beach time, yah!!!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

July Racing

Know the course, know the transition area.

Sunfish Triathlon – Meridian, Mississippi. 

I haven’t raced Sunfish since we lived in Hattiesburg, and since we are now only 90 minutes away I was excited that I would be able to come back to this event. I’ve been on the track once a week for a month or so and was looking forward to seeing if there was any improvement in my run. The short answer is: “Not On This Day”.

The swim for Sunfish is supposed to be “Line up as you sign up”, at least that is how it’s been in the past. I know for certain that this isn’t true, because I talked with my friend Barbara just before the race and she was way up in the front and told me she had signed up that week. I was back quite a way, and had to swim around a lot of people. Fortunately, I didn’t have too much of an issue with this. I did, however have an issue getting out of the water… there was a pretty good step up from the water to the grass (pretty good if you’re a short girl, like me). They had put a piece of black rubber, plastic… not exactly sure what it was, and when I tried to climb out of the water I slipped on it and face planted. Nice. While I didn’t feel any issues from the fall during the race, later in the week I wondered why in the world my right shoulder was hurting so much, then realized it was from the fall. I instinctively put out my arm and the shoulder (which I have some problems) got stretched pretty good, when I reached out to catch my fall.

I don’t remember this bike course being so hard! And my bike was creaking and squeaking the entire ride. I sounded like a family of mice had invaded my bottom bracket. The road was really rough too, and it was super humid. (What a crybaby!) My hands felt like they were slipping off the bull horns on corners. Came in from the bike and turned down the wrong isle. What is wrong with me today? I looked at the row from the swim exit, but didn’t pay attention to where the row was from Bike In. Another fumble.

Off onto the run and I immediately knew that this wasn’t going to be my day. I pretty much felt like crap. I came up on a fellow Cobb Mobber on the dam, and he wasn’t looking too good. He said he felt bad, too. When I saw him stop for the second time, I told him I thought he should turn back. I think it was the heat. I pretty much resigned myself to plodding along, and although I hate to admit it, pretty much gave up on the run. Even walked a couple times. Ended up finishing 9th overall female, and won Grandmasters. It sounds silly to be disappointed in a finish like this, but when you know that you can do so much better than it is somewhat of a letdown.

Cobb Mobb!
Clay Emge (1st Overall at IM Boulder), Les Carr, Sean Kwiatek, and Me

Now for the good things about the race! First - I had 3 Cobb Mobb teammates there! We all racked our bikes together, and it was great to have people I knew to hang around with after the race!! Second – the shirts for the race were really nice, North Face dri fit! And we got a visor, and a Tervis tumbler. Nice job Sunfish!! Third – the post-race food and drink were fantastic! I didn’t eat anything but there they did a really good job! And Fourth – the awards were awesome!!
Would I go back? Absolutely! Nice job Sunfish!!

My friend Casey Lee, 4th Overall Female!

Barbara Kerby from the Coast, 2nd Overall Female!
If I can't be fast, at least I have very fast friends!!

Capital of Dreams – Montgomery, Alabama.

This was another Team Magic event. They do a pretty good job.

The swim for this race was something different and fun! We boarded the Harriot II riverboat and it took us upstream for the swim start. We got to swim downstream with a current, however on race day there wasn’t much of one. The swim for the sprint was only 400, and there was an Olympic distance race being held that day too. I wish the race was like the YMCA Tri in Wilmington, where you have a 1500 meter swim, and then a sprint distance bike, and run. We jumped off the boat in order like lemmings, it was pretty funny. It was a really long run up from the swim finish to the transition area and along the way I dropped my swim cap. Now Team Magic gives you a set of stickers for your helmet, bike, bag, and swim cap… and like the dutiful rule follower that I am put them on my cap. Well….. I got a 2:00 penalty for “Abandonment of Equipment”. REALLY? I do have to say this is a crappy (I wanted to use a different word for what I thought about this) penalty. I’ve been at this for a long, long time and have NEVER seen this. So, a word of advice to anyone doing one of these races. Leave the cap numbers off. I saw lots of people on the boat with no numbers on their caps. Apparently it’s not an issue to not have it on there in the first place.

The transition area for Cap Dreams is under cover in the old Train Station. It is a long transition, and the surface is painful and rocky, like chip seal. They had some indoor outdoor carpet but it only went about half way to the mount line. Being under cover was awesome! Shade!!

Transition was under here!

The bike course for this race is FAST! So fun to have a flat race! I was holding 22-23 mph, I felt like I was flying! AND THEN….. not knowing the course, I followed two athletes ahead of me and took a wrong turn just before the end of the race. We went up a steep hill, before we figured out we were going the wrong direction. I looked up the time added to my bike split for the off course section and it added 2:12 to my time. Grrrrr. Without this mishap I would have had the 16th fastest bike with men and women included! Yah!

The run is pretty much uphill for half the race and then downhill for the rest. Much better than the alternate! We climbed up to the Capital building, looped around it and back down, finishing through a tunnel and over to a really nice lawn.

Results showed that I was the 5th overall female, and won Grandmasters. But then when they were calling out awards they said I was 2nd Grandmasters female – this is when I discovered the penalty. If I hadn’t gone off course on the bike I would have been 4th. Rats! My friend Jen beat me again. Man, that girl is fast! Someone thought she was my daughter.

Do we look alike?
So on this day I’m going to go with “Performance over Placing”. I know I had a good race, swam well, rode really well, and ran pretty well. When I told someone about all the mishaps of the day, they commented "Well, it's all for fun anyway." (i.e. it doesn't matter). Yes that is true, to an extent. But when I go out to race I'm going out to test myself, not just on how fast I can go, but getting everything right. That means smooth transitions, following the rules, knowing the course, in general being the best triathlon ambassador that I can be. So these mistakes of going the wrong way on the course or in transition are not "okay" with me. Maybe I do take this sport a little too seriously. But my husband is being awesome and letting me do this without having to work, so come race day, even though I am just an age grouper, it is my job and I want to do it right. I'm 55 years old and racing against girls that could be my children (or almost grandchildren for that matter), I want to see how I can stack up against them.

Good finish line food and drink, Mugshots burgers – I didn’t have any food though I did have a beer. (there is a Smashburger on the way home and I was dying for a SmashChicken sandwich). Tervis Tumbler and a pick off the table for awards (I grabbed another pair of those Stuffit things that go in your shoes.) The shirt was ok, drifit but nothing super impressive for the logo. Looks a lot like the one from Buster Britton Tri. Would I do this race again? Yes, and I think I would do the Olympic distance next year, so I could enjoy the longer swim and bike course.

While we were picking up our race packets I saw this in downtown Montgomery. Very cool bike friendly city!! A bike stand, tools, and a bike pump for public use! Awesome!

Next up is RIVER CITIES! Going back to Shreveport for one of my favorite races! Get to see friends!

Friday, June 24, 2016

On Being 55

The other day I noticed how much longer it takes me to recover from everything. I know it's a factor of getting older. While I'm training I don't feel any older than I did 20 years ago, but if I train hard I can feel the fatigue for days.

I'm pretty sure that I will never beat any of my times, or paces again. I may come close, or even equal them, but the PR days are pretty much gone. 

People will tell you that you're only as old as you feel. I don't feel 55, but some days I know I am.

At my last race, my friend Jen asked me how long I thought I would continue racing. Good question. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Two Races and Some Good News!

Two more races done! Both were Team Magic events - Mountain Lakes Triathlon and Buster Britton Triathlon. Team Magic is a race production company based in Alabama, I've done one of their races a few times, the Brett Robinson on the coast. I have to say, they do a very nice job when it comes to races, and race organization. There is always excellent instruction given before the race starts, the bike racks are identified with fun different things to help you find your transition (wish I had a picture to show you). The race course, and transition maps online are very helpful, they offer tri-tats or body marking (and even have a bucket of water and paper towels available on race morning if you're picking up your packet on race day), a well marked course with mile markers, and the post race area is really great! There is a giant tent so you can escape the heat, rolling computer results, posted age group results, and the little thing that you can print out your own individual result. Good post race food, and drinks, and very nice awards. Things ran very smoothly at both of the events of theirs that I've done so far.

Mountain Lakes Triathlon - Guntersville, AL. What a contrast to the other race I did at this lake a couple weeks before. This one was pretty flat and fast. I had a good swim, averaged 22.6 on the bike (by my Garmin), and 8:00 miles on the run - last mile was a 7:30. First place in the female Masters category (Team Magic does not offer Grand Masters 50+). Team Magic also seems to do very cool and useful awards - we got a big beach towel and a $50 gift certificate to Cahaba Cycles in Birmingham! I would definitely put this race on the calendar again for next year!

Oldest one on the poduim.
 "The Cobb Mobb strikes fear in the youngsters!" - John Cobb

One of the fun things about this race happened in transition when I was setting up my bike. I met a former Team Aquaphor teammate, Keith Marshall! He recognized me and told me who he was! How fun is that! We had to pose for the obligatory photo, including the sample tube of Aquaphor! What a great team that was!

Keith Marshall, Team Aquaphor!

Buster Britton Memorial Triathlon - Pelham, AL. Ow, ow, ow! This was one tough triathlon! Thank goodness it was short - the swim was kind of warm and long - good for me, the bike course was so hard! I was only able to average 19.3 on the bike, and that got me the 5th fastest female bike split! It was super hilly (by my comparison of races anyway). The run course was advertised as, "The run course is a one-loop course with a mix of paved roads and smooth trails." When I read that I was thinking eh, probably 50/50... uh nope, more like 95% trail. I always find it funny when you're racing on trails and you're going as hard as you can, look down at your watch and see 10:00 pace. I ended up 9th overall female and won my age group. I don't know that I would do this race again, it is definitely one that would be easier if you knew the course beforehand, but yowza it hurt... bad!

This race was my first in Alabama where I got to race with a friend! I met Jen Chapman through a swimmer that I met at the pool. She moved to Tuscaloosa about a year and a half ago, but hadn't been racing any triathlons, because she hadn't met anyone to train with (sound familiar?). Well we've become good friends, and training partners, and push each other in practice. This was her first race back in awhile, and she killed it! She came in 19 seconds ahead of me and won her age group! I'm glad to have finally met another triathlete in Tuscaloosa!

Jen has also convinced me to join her weekly track workouts - I've been the last 3 weeks now - I haven't done any track work since Hattiesburg, and I'm looking forward to my next race at Sunfish in Meridian, MS to see what improvements I'm making! Running, is just like swimming or cycling - if you want to get faster you've got to do interval work. Here is the group's motto: "Pain is necessary - because you don't go fast when you go slow!"

Buster Britton awards was a Tervis Tumbler with the race logo (love these cups, they're all I drink out of in the summer!) and a goody bag filled with all kinds of other useful things! Water bottle, bike tube, CO2 cartridge, tire patches, bar tape, and more! Yah! Or there are some sunglasses too, but they're so BIG that I can't wear them. Anyone have a large face/head want some sunglasses?

*One other good thing has happened in the last few weeks. I got this email from the USATSMW Region:

Some of my former Aquaphor teammates nominated me for this (without my knowledge - thank you Steve, Andé, and Barry!) and I got the surprise email telling me that I'm going to be in the USAT SouthMidWest Hall of Fame! Talk about a humbling experience, to be nominated by your peers for something like this is overwhelming. I love this sport so much, and am so proud to be recognized. I had to choose one of the Regional Championship events to attend, and they are arranging a member of the HOF Council to be there to present me with the award. I'm going to race the Sugarman Triathlon on October 2nd in Youngsville, LA, this year it's the Louisiana State Championship, I've actually always wanted to do this race in south Louisiana, hope to see you there!!!

Friday, May 13, 2016

Lake Guntersville Tri

When I write a race report I try to include some pointer that may help someone out there at their next race. Most of the time I hide them in the body copy. Maybe there will be one stuck in this post somewhere. Right now I can't think of anything to share.

This is my race report for the Lake Guntersville Tri that I did last Saturday. There were some really good things about this race, and unfortunately some unorganized things as well.

I think that the longer I race, and the pickier I become. There are some amazing races out there, races that run like clockwork. River Cities, Crawfishman, Indian Creek, Disco, the Ironhead Race Productions, and the SetUp Events to name a few. What makes a great race compared to a good or average race? Venue? Absolutely plays a part, a big part at that. Having a beautiful site and race course is really important, it is part of what will convince me to return to a race year after year. But more so than that is the race organization. Nothing will keep me away from a beautiful venue for a second year quicker than poor race organization. The poor race director at Guntersville said that a group of his volunteers didn't show up on race morning. 20 volunteers no showed - nice.

We have moved a lot over the past few years, and every season it's kind of like starting a new school where no one knows you. Now there is good and bad with this, yeah... no one knows who you are so there isn't any performance pressure, but then you also have to go to races where you don't know anyone. Wander around alone. Bill had to work so he couldn't make the trip with me for my first race of the season, it was the day before Mother's Day and the store had a big day.

I drove up late afternoon before to Guntersville, went straight to my hotel - a Microtel - the smallest hotel rooms... I was going to say in the world, but I guess that there are smaller ones, like in Japan where you can reserve a drawer. It's a good thing Bill didn't go with me because there wouldn't have been room for him and my bags.

Couldn't get my race packet because for some weird reason packet pick up for this race on Friday was only from 11-1. Really?? Who does that? Why even bother?

Got up early and drove out to the address listed on the website for the race. It took me to a lodge way up above the lake. I had no idea how to get down to the water. Luckily as I was turning around in the parking lot I saw a truck with bikes on the back and followed it. Followed it for 2 seconds, then the road was turning back and forth and I just drove along hoping I was going the right way, the truck no longer to be seen.

AND then the low tire light came on... so now my blood pressure was going up. I could just see myself on this twisting turning road with a flat. Luckily I made it to the beach area and parked, decided I would worry about the tire after the race. Whew!
2016 Cobb Mobb !!

Did all the typical race prep. No numbers for helmets or bike frames, just a running bib - so that was easy. Bikes racks were first come, first serve, so I got my bike set up by the "Bike Out". And of course with 30 minutes before the start of the race here comes some dude...squeezes his bike in on the same rack, even though there are tons of other open places. Ugh.. so irritating. (this happens to be irritation #1 of the day). Ran, swam, checked my transition again and then proceeded to wait for the race start.

There were a lot of events going on at the same time at this race. An Olympic distance tri, a Sprint tri, an Aquabike, an Aquathhon, and a Duathon. Makes me wonder why the t-shirts and the awards all said "Olympic Triathlon"...... maybe they planned all the other events after the artwork had been done??? I really like the shirts and awards, but I didn't do an Olympic Triathlon.

The swim for the Olympic was two loops of a 750m course. On the second loop they would come back by the start. So they set off the waves of the Olympic race first, and then got the first wave of the Sprint in the water and low and behold.... swimmers coming through on their second loop had to swim through the people treading water waiting for their start. "Look out, swimmers coming through". (irritation #2). My wave was last and so even more people were trying to make their way through. It was INSANE, a cluster.  I had a pretty non eventful swim, a minor wetsuit freak out, stopped and unzipped it about 5 inches or so. I'm not really sure how this could have been made simpler with less congestion - I guess they didn't want to put buoys farther out for the 1.5K?

I checked the participant list before the race and saw that one girl put 1:05 for her predicted finish time. I put down a 1:30. As we were waiting for the swim start, I was pretty sure I saw her lined up by me in the water. Didn't see her again after that - she beat me by over 2 minutes on the swim! Yiy!

Out of the water into transition and out onto the bike course. Pretty tough bike course, and of course there is the guy who has to play leapfrog on the bike when you pass him because he doesn't like being passed by a girl. On the way to the turnaround I caught this guy on every hill, only to have him pass me back. One time he even came around me then stood up and coasted, I guess it took so much out of him that he needed to rest. At the turnaround for the sprint course he kept going - thank you! But speaking of the turn around... it was marked in red spray paint on the road. I almost missed it, as did the two guys behind me who all said the same thing. How about a cone? A sign? A volunteer?
Made the turn and headed back toward transition, another leapfrog guy to deal with on the way back.

Back into transition and onto the run. I think I drank too much on the bike, my stomach was full and it made it uncomfortable to run. Skipped the first aid station. The run was out and back and hilly! All I kept thinking was what Bill told me when I was with him while he was playing golf - "downhill to the water". I saw the women's leader on the run course, there was another woman ahead of me but I kept thinking she was a relay, she was running pretty easy and waved both hands at me as we crossed paths and shouted some encouragement. I was thinking I was 2nd, but you can never be sure.

The run finished into the transition area. Really?? Wow, I can't remember when the last time I did a race that allowed participants into the transition area until the last cyclist was out on the run. I felt bad for the people I saw going out on the run after I finished. So many of them had no idea where "run out" was. I helped send people in the right direction. At the post race someone even said to me, "weren't you working in the transition area after you raced?" There was no announcer at the finish, no one to take your timing strap off (there was a bucket over to the side), no water. I guess this is where the missed volunteers were supposed to be. Mike Gerrity (my friend Denise's dad) was in charge of transition, he was the ONLY one there. He was body marking in the morning (no body markers showed up), directing at the mount/dismount line, directing racers... doing everything! His wife who also raced was working packet pick up before the race started (no volunteers). If Mike hadn't been there I don't know what the RD would have done.

Okay so here is my race pointer of the post - PLEASE acquaint yourself with the in's and out's of the transition area! Walk through it before the race starts. "SWIM IN", "BIKE OUT", "BIKE IN", "RUN OUT", "FINISH". And make a mental note of where the Mount/Dismount line is! I saw way too many people looking really frustrated as they ran out the wrong direction.

So all that rant was the not so good part of the race.. now for some good stuff!

The Post Race was AWESOME! Perfect weather helped, but there was cold beer, and good beer! Corona, Blue Moon, Dos Equis... food, sodas, and live music! It made waiting for the awards a little better. But the timing got all messed up somehow and awards took FOREVER. I don't want to go on about it anymore. I finally found out that I was 2nd overall female. They were calling out names so fast because they knew people were frustrated from waiting. The race started at 8:00 am. I finally got in the car to come home at about 2:30. That was a long day. Still some work to do.

Swim 1:30/100 yds
T1  :43
Bike 20.4 avg.
T2  :34
Run 8:00 avg
2nd Overall Female / 8th Overall M&W

The guy in blue did this cool art piece during the race!
Cute little dog named Peanut that I met.
Took this because it had Phoenix's name! 
Cheers! See you at the next race!

*Oh.. I didn't have a flat tire, just needed some air. Pulled my trusty little compressor out of the trunk and topped off all 4 tires. Voila, no more check tire light!