Sunday, May 4, 2014

Wildflower Olympic Distance–Robin

May 4, 2014 – Lake San Antonio, Bradley, CA
Swim 1.5K – Bike 40K – Run 10K (2.2m + 4m)

2:42:14 (23:56-4:44-1:23:50-1:26-48:29)




Olympic Distance: FCA TEAMMATES – Cory Floyd, Karen Nickel, Mike Cassidy, Troy Outman; Martin Messersmith
Mtn. Bike: FCA TEAMMATES - David Fraser, Timothy Hess
Long Course: FCA TEAMMATES - Clyde Floyd, Dan Perkins, Nevah Frogozo, Scott Hodson, Troy Soares; Dale & Tana Jackson; Martin Messersmith

Couldn’t have started this day out any better!  Only at Wildflower can I go worship Jesus and be fed by God’s word.  After attending the church service, I’m more than ready to race for Him. 

Karen, Troy O. and I get on the bus to the swim.  This is a historical day because there is a major course change - the 3rd time in WF history and 2nd time due to drought.  We are swimming at the end of the lake and then running 2.2 miles, with 2 good climbs, to our bikes. Then it’s on to the regular bike course.  And finally, a shortened run of about 4 miles with 1 huge climb.  As a runner, this is good news.  I’m looking forward to it!

Karen and I warm-up and check out part of the course.  We have to run up the Harris Creek boat ramp, down a trail, onto a trail where water used to be and then back up the original boat ramp.  Sounds like a doozy! 

Before I head down to get ready I pray with Karen.  Prayers are lifted up for safety, Troy O’s calf and Karen who is recouping from a stomach bug. 

I walk down the long boat ramp and find my spot at the bottom.  It will be great to have my shoes on early!  I realize I forgot my Pam spray to help get the wetsuit off fast. A nice gal in my age group lets me use her Body Glide.  Thanks God!

Down to the start I find my group.  I hear the water is super dark and wonder what that will be like.  The wave before us goes off and then we are able to warm up.  When I jump in It’s like someone turned off the lights!  Wow, so weird!  I wonder if we’ll be seen at all especially with our black caps (never had a black cap before…definitely not a good open water swim color if you want to be seen!)

Time to line up.  Julie Moss is here announcing and makes me raise my hand since I was on the podium last year and have aged up.  I quickly and embarrassingly raise my hand.  “Follow Robin, she has a good line in the water.”  Oh great, now I have a target on my back…but really anything can happen and this is all for fun!  Then it’s one more tip from Julie.  “Girls, wipe your faces when you get out of the water.  You’ll come out with a nice black face.”  Good to know!

It’s time!  Ready, set, go!  Into the black!  It takes quite a bit of looking up and some trust in the girls ahead to stay on track.  Finally after 200 meters, the water clears up and we can see!  Yeah!  A gal keeps bumping me.  I wait until she drifts off and then try to speed up and cut over.  Unfortunately I time it poorly and kick her as I make my move…shucks, I hope I didn’t hurt her!

140504_wf_oly_robin_swimAt the first buoy I’m hanging with some of the top gals.  I don’t know for sure if anyone slipped ahead.  It’s nice to have a draft!  The next buoy comes quick.  Now, it’s a straight shot back. 

The gal in front of me starts to weave a bit too much but fortunately there is another.  I jump on and she pulls me well through the previous waves.  Soon the water starts getting dark again…close to home!  I push hard to stay with my draft and just barely hold on.

Finally, I’m done. [5th place]  My wetsuit comes off great except for the one leg with my chip.  No worries, a little extra pull does the trick.  It’s nice to get to my shoes quickly.  I have no towel to wipe the gunk off so I use a sock…lovely! 

RUN #1
140504_wf_oly_robin_1st_runTime to climb!  Karen is still waiting to go and is there to give me a high five!  I pass a girl in my age group on the way up.  I like this running thing out of the gate!  I run controlled up the ramp and then start picking it up.  I have no idea if I am the first in my age group or not. Our group was the first wave of gals to go off so it’s possible I’m the first age group woman on this course. [later learned that I was 1st starting the first run]

I take water every chance I get!  Troy tells me that it gets dry out here so don’t pass any aid up.

I’m passing guys and feeling great!  Mile 1 is 8:07.  Soon my hamstrings start to really bother me.  Lord, I put this race in Your hands.  If this is going to be an issue today, I will accept that. 

Mile 2 is 7:16.  I can see T2 in the distance.  Hey, there is Anna.  She runs with me a bit.  I see Troy and give Ariel a high 5.  “How are you doing honey?” Troy asks.  I smile and say “my hamstrings are already getting tight”.  He tells me he’ll pray.  I have an amazing husband!

I have a good transition to the bike.  I mount and am able to pedal and slide my feet into my shoes which are already on the bike.  Up Lynch I go!  I’m feeling the long ride I did this week in prep for the Auburn Tri!  At the top, I get a nice break.  I start seeing the FCA signs and it reminds me who this is for.

Once out of the park I start to feel better.  I’m seeing some collegiate women and encourage them along.  I still wonder if I’m the first age group gal or not…will hopefully find out at the turn around.  My hamstrings are still feeling tight.  I hope my 2nd run goes well!

At the big hill at Mile 8, I can see 2 big trucks ahead going really slow and blocking the right side of the road.  I can see a girl struggle to stay upright behind them.  As I approach, I can see if I try to pass on the left I’d have to cross the double yellow line…not an option!  I try to get the drivers attention in his side mirror.  I motion for him to move to the left.  A rider comes up and decides to pass on the left, totally not safe especially with riders screaming down the hill!  Finally the driver moves just slightly and it’s enough to pass.  As I go by, I worry for the girl that was struggling and I hope she got by safely.

Now I get to enjoy the nice downhill to the turn around.  I used to brake here in the past and the previous downhill.  So far, no braking…I sure have come a long way!  Thanks God for giving me the confidence!

As I approach the turn, I look for gals.  It’s too hard to tell where I am, and, while trying to stay aero, I may be missing some.  I see Troy O. go by the other direction.

The turn finally comes. Yeah, time to go home!  I catch up to Troy O. and he asks me to pray for cramps he’s been having.  “Will do!”  Poor guy, that is rough!  I wonder how Karen is feeling.

Lots of guys are passing me now but no women yet.  I continue to feel pretty strong.  A fast looking guy goes by and then slows down.  I don’t want to pass so I hold back to see what he does.  I decide to make a move and pass.  He soon passes me back but later I pass him again.

Only a few short hills to go before we turn back into the park.  A girl goes by in blue.  My first reaction is “bummer”!  My second reaction is “it’s not over”!  I discover that I can pass her on the uphills so I continue to press and keep her in sight. 

Into the park we go!  The girl and some other guys scream by on the downhill.  One last big climb.  I catch and pass the girl and say “good job”.  I hear a man’s voice say “thanks, you too!”  It’s not a girl, wow, had me fooled!  Could this mean I am the first age grouper then?  I try not to focus on that and just get to T2.

Finally, back to Lynch.  Will I break here?  I scream down and feel comfortable…NO BRAKES!  Thank you Jesus!

My dismount is good and I’m able to pull my feet out of my shoes.  My transition is fast and smooth…which is not the norm for me!  Again, thanks God! [1st Place]


Here we go!  I run out and see Anna ahead at the stairs with a sign.  I cannot read it but appreciate the love.  I give her a high 5. 

A guy passes fast and I tell him good job.  I soon feel my true legs coming back and I pass him back.  I’m amazed how good I feel!

Mile 1 is 7:31.  Now it’s time to climb Beach Hill on foot - for the first time ever!  Will my hamstrings hold?  I decide to run the whole way steady and not push it hard.  I look for the FCA signs Karen and I put out…it’s great encouragement!

I am still passing collegiate girls and also age group guys.  3/4 of the way up there is a group of folks cheering.  I give them a smile as I pass.  I hear a guy say “hey, I think that’s the first age group girl”.  Wow, could it be true?!

Mile 2 is 8:56.  I’m at the top!  Yeah!  One more mile and then I’m at the top of Lynch.  The Aid Stations are great!  Lots of enthusiasm and aid!  I am passed by another guy and I stick with him.  Soon I am passing him back…”good job”.  Another guy goes flying by.  Will a girl come past too? 

Mile 3 is 7:23.  Yes, Lynch!  Free speed!  I let it rip.  No hamstring pain, just fatigue now.  Thank you Lord once again!  I know I’ve got to push it hard.  I have to really dig deep to keep it up.

Mile 4 is 6:31.  I’m at the bottom…go, go, go!  I enter the finish shoot and raise my hands to the Lord.  “Thank You Jesus!”  I hear someone say “sprint!”.  That could be a girl so I dig deeper and sprint.  I make it across the line with no one near.  Wow, what a day!  And to top it off, I was the first female age grouper to make it to the finish (since my wave went first)! Once the other waves finished, I was 7th overall.





Age Group






LC 5:09:56 M45-49 3rd 30:06 2:48:32 1:43:02
DAN PERKINS LC 5:36:59 M55-59 4th 31:03 2:57:00 2:01:13
TANA JACKSON LC 5:56:42 F40-44 7th 35:30 3:05:12 2:03:08
MARTIN MESSERSMITH LC 5:57:33 M45-49 37th 35:15 3:05:12 2:08:58
DALE JACKSON LC 6:07:16 M50-54 23rd 30:12 2:58:07 2:30:18
SCOTT HODSON LC 6:10:17 M50-54 28th 32:43 3:18:29 2:10:17
Nevah Frogozo & Clyde Floyd
LC 7:04:20 Open Coed 30th 44:28 3:23:33 2:48:01
JODY GALVIN LC 8:34:29 F35-39 53rd 51:08 4:26:42 2:59:36
TIMOTHY HESS MTN. 1:09:28 M50-54 5th 7:07 40:25 15:18
DAVID FRASER MTN. 2:00:39 M70-74 3rd 12:02 1:06:20 26:01



2:42:25 W40-44 1st 23:56 1:23:50 48:29
MARTIN MESSERSMITH OLY 2:54:52 M45-49 24th 27:02 1:25:44 52:45
CORY FLOYD OLY 3:01:20 M30-34 41st 30:29 1:28:58 54:53
TROY OUTMAN OLY 3:07:17 M40-44 36th 27:51 1:32:35 57:17
KAREN NICKEL OLY 3:24:22 W35-39 22nd 31:33 1:41:27 1:02:29
MIKE CASSIDY OLY 4:03:13 M60-64 18th 34:29 1:47:40 1:20:35