UVAS triathlon 2007

It’s been 5 years since I raced at UVAS! I’m not sure why it took me so long to go back, it is a very fun race. I’m sure I was injured a few of those years (last year for sure). Last year Heather did the race and I took pictures. This year, Heather volunteered at a local 5K race for girls while I raced for the 3rd time in 4 weeks. I am definitely ready for a race break. Next up will be Age Group National Championships in Portland on June 30th. We’re looking forward to the Portland trip. We’re going to make a little vacation out of the trip and do some siteseeing around Oregon.

Race morning I was up a 5AM eating breakfast. I had gotten everything ready and into the car the night before. The race starts pretty early (7:30AM) and I wanted to be there in time to do a little riding to warmup the legs. The race is south of San Jose in the middle of nowhere and it takes 45 minutes from our house to get there. I arrived at the race around 6:15AM and the parking lot was already filling up with other racers. I saw Gino on the way into the parking lot, another M40-44 person I needed to worry about. Thanks Gino for reminding me early in the day of all the competition that would be there!

The parking lot was filled with thistle plants and so I carried my bike and stuff to the road so that I didn’t start the day with a flat tire. After getting a prime bike spot on the end of the row in TRIbe reserved racks I headed over to bodymarking. Bodymarking has evolved over the years. It use to just be a bunch of volunteers with magic markers writing your race number on your arms and thighs and your age on your calf. Now they have ink pads and stamps and stamp your numbers on…not nearly as fun and doesn’t allow the volunteers to show their creativity. Bodymarking isn’t really a race neccessity, for the most part it just helps the photographers figure out who you are. The nice part about having the age written on your calf (and everyone else’s calf) is that you can tell if someone passes you in your age group. Heather actually counted the number of M40-44 that went by her on the bike in a race last year and then when I went by yelled “you are in 4th place” 🙂  I had my very own on-the-course spotter.

This years’ UVAS race had a slight change due to the resevoir water level being very low. We usually swim around a little island and exit at a boat ramp. This year the swim started and finished at the bottom of the boat ramp…but the boat ramp just continued down the side of the resevoir for another 100yds or so to get to the low water. Besides an extra run up the long ramp I didn’t seem to think the change made much of an impact. I knew ahead of time that I was going to take my wetsuit off completely at the bottom of the ramp as soon as I could, rather than running all the way to transition still wearing it. By the time you get to transition it is much harder to get off because the water has all come out of the suit.

I didn’t feel super strong on the bike the first few miles despite warming up 20 minutes before the race. When I turned the corner to head around the back side of the resevoir I seemed to find a rhythm and started feeling really good. These short races can be deceiving, you can feel really strong…but it really comes down to who can withstand the most discomfort on the ride/run. It’s an all out effort for the most part. I didn’t even wear a watch, I can’t figure out what I would do if I looked at the watch during the race…”oh, that mile was slow I better speed up” ….why wasn’t I running faster in the first place!! The rest of the bike was good. I went back and forth with Dale Jackson and two other guys in my age group the entire second half of the ride.

I had a quick bike/run transition and headed out on the run. About 1 minute into the run, a guy passed me and I looked at his calf and it said 42. He would turn out to be the guy that got the 3rd place podium spot in my age group. I felt like I was running strong, but I just didn’t have enough to hang with him. At the turnaround on the 5 mile out and back run I saw Chris and Gino about 1 minute after I turned around. That was motivation to run fast on the way back because they are both in my age group.

I was happy and a bit surprised with the results for two reasons. I was surprised that I finished 13th overall and I was even more surprised that it was 5th in the M40-44 and that there were also 2 guys in the M45-49 ahead of me and one guy in M50-54. So the M40+ had 8 of the top 13 spots! And here I thought it would get easier the older I got!

I don’t have any pictures from the race since I was racing and Heather wasn’t there…but here is my little race chart showing my progress through the race:

UVAS race progress

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