Lifetime Fitness Triathlon Race Report
This past Saturday, I competed in my third LTF triathlon in Minneapolis, Minnesota. This race is always fun for me because I get to also spend time with family (as it is Nate’s hometown). My parents, brother and his girlfriend also came up from Missouri to watch too. The weather was perfect again this year, with temperatures in the sixties during race morning and just a slight breeze. The race began early, as the Pros were the first wave to begin the race. The women started 3 minutes behind the men at 7:03AM.
The swim was a beach start with a short run into the water. The swim was one loop with calm, lake water. The water temp. this year was a nice 74 degrees; usually it is closer to 80 degrees, so it is very nice starting off the race without getting your core body temperature up at all. I was in second position most of the swim, just behind Sarah Groff. I had a smooth and fast T1 and was the first to hop on my bike.
I had a goal heading into the race to really push the first 15k of the bike. When I got o n the bike, I was feeling good and had a great rhythm. I followed my goal plan and pushed the start and as I got into my ride eased back just a bit. I was expecting to see some other competitors come up on the bike (last year eight of us were riding “together”), but this year I was able to stay in front the entire ride. During the bike ride, you have to stay very mentally focused, but not just focused on pushing the pace, but paying attention to the road, looking out for turns, holes, people, etc. The course is pretty technical, with narrow roads, so you have to keep your head up. I was most pleased with my bike ride overall with the race.
I exited the bike about 20 seconds ahead of Julie Dibbons and about 30 seconds ahead of Becky Lavelle. Once I got onto the run course, I pushed the first mile and then settled in to pace. I was able to keep my lead and extend it to 1:23 once I crossed the finish line. It is a great feeling being able to break the tape and accomplish your goal. I was second last year, so it was nice to finish up on top this year.
This was the first race in the Race to the Toyota Cup Series, with the final race in Dallas, Texas in October. I will be racing in four out of the five races and will be eligible for the overall series standings.
By the end of the day on Saturday, we were tired…partly because of the 4:00AM wake up for the race! After the race, we got to spend some time with the family and some good friends from college, who happen to live right near the race course! After spending some time, Nate and I were off to a wedding…(my sister-in-law’s sister was getting married) and we got to spend some more quality time with family, eat some great food (and wedding cake). We returned back to my brother-in-law’s home and hit the sack. Before heading to bed, I heard some very tragic news, Jimi Flowers, Para-Olympic Swimming Coach, died on Friday from a climbing accident. Jimi was an outstanding coach and inspiration to all. He was always asking about my triathlon races on pool deck and keeping up with all the athletes. He would also write inspirational quotes up on the board at the start of workouts and I loved the extra pick-up it would give you for the moment. There is a trust fund set up for his young children. You can find the information for the fund at the link: http://usparalympics.org/news/article/14260.