Sunday, May 21, 2017

Auburn Int’l Tri–Robin-2017


5/21/17 – Auburn, CA


1.5km S – 40km B – 10km R


2:58:05 (29:07 – 1:32:45 – 53:07)


1st Place, 40-44


Long –Jesse Moore, Troy Soares

Int’l - Dave Campbell, Flor Hodges, Leila Sermek

Mini – Anna Soares, Farah Avasarala, Mike Bradley, Sydney Lewis

What a treat to be heading down with Anna to the race start!  I am constantly praying that the day will go smoothly for her.  She's practiced the swim and the bike course, so I feel confident that she can make it.  Just hope she's safe and/or doesn't get a flat.

We get set up, warmup and take a bathroom break.  Time flies and we need to get out of transition already.  Troy has to get to the start and we hope to get pray with him there.

Anna and I struggle to get her wetsuit on.  Our plastic bag trick doesn't work well when in a hurry and because our bag is too weak.  I find myself getting frustrated and frazzled.  I apologize to Anna.  It's not good to get her stressed out on such a big day.

We run down to the start to pray.  We've missed Troy because his race was starting.  Mike Bradley prays with Anna and I. Our friend Farah Avasarala is doing the Mini like Anna.  She is a sweetheart!  She’s going to swim out to the start with Anna after I take off.  That gives me peace of mind. I get to give Mike’s wife and my training partner, Trixie, a hug before I head up.  She biked down here with her teammate Sara.  So nice to see them both at the start!

I look at my watch and it’s time to swim out to the start!  After 5 min, I’m still swimming out there!  Wow, this start is way out here!  I’m just barely make it out there with a few minutes to spare!  So glad Farah is helping Anna get out here!  I run into a friend Dana Haldeman.  We live in the same town but the only time we seem to run into each other is at the start of triathlons!  I also see Leila Sermek from our track group!  She’s a super fast swimmer and sure to be first out of the water!

A kayaker comes along and trys to explain the course.  It’s really hard to hear her so I ask the girls around me.  I think I’ve got the right buoys.  Here it goes.  Lord, may I honor you today! 

Ready, set, go!  I get out fast and in a good position. A girl on my right runs into me and I move to the left.  This happens a few more times.  I’m starting to get off course.  It’s too hard to speed up to pass in front and I don’t want to slow down.  I decide to try rolling over her back.  I saw this demonstrated at our FCA Tri camp and I tried it out there.  It’s barely felt by the other swimmer at all if done right…but can I do it right?  Ready, go!  I take a stroke and roll right.  It works!!  Thank you God!  Now I’m clear!

I think I can see Louise Knop on her paddle board keeping an eye on everyone.  She’s a teacher at the girl’s school and we recruited her last night for this job.  I want to stop and wave but the effort might make me tired.  I’m noticing that I feel tired and it’s really hard focus.  It’s a bit of a bummer because I really have grown to love the swim.  It makes sense because I barely get to the pool once a week. 

I make it to the first buoy fine, turn left.  I make it to the second buoy, turn left.  Now I’m swimming back but into the sun.  I just try to follow the other swimmers.  Five minutes into this stretch, I realize there are guiding buoys to the far right that are supposed to be on my left!  Oops!  I ver right sharply and swim towards one.  Ok, I think I’m good now. 

Last buoy, turn left back to shore.  I hear the sound of another race starting.  That must be Anna’s wave!  I thought she would be swimming already.  Bummer, I won’t be able to see her at all on the bike.  Lord, please protect her,help her be safe and have fun.  Thank you!

170521_auburntri_intl_robin_mike_swimLast push to the finish!  As I get out, I hear people cheering for me and MIke Bradley.  Mike is right next to me!  Yeah!  I shout, “go MIke!”  I pull over and pull off my wetsuit.  Off to bike! 

I get my helmet, glasses and socks are on the bike already.  It’s not too cold so I won’t need a jacket but I did opt for the socks for comfort and to save time at T2.  As I leave transition and mount my bike, I cannot slide my feet in one of the shoes because my socks are stuck on the velcro of the shoe.  As I wiggle my foot to loosen it, the shoe comes off the bike.  Bummer, I stop, get off the bike and put the shoes on.  Note to self, don’t do this combo again.

170521_auburntri_intl_robin_bikeFinally I get going and up the first hill I go!  A 50 something gal passes me and I cannot match her…wow, amazing! The first 3 miles up to Shirland Tract feel great.  All that biking I did with Trixie has helped!  The switchbacks up Shirland Tract also feel great.  No straining or major fatigue.  Thank you Lord!  I was up late the night before and spent days working hard on our FCA Endurance ministry for this race.  So it’s a nice gift not feeling exhausted at this point!

Up past our neighborhood and down to Auburn Folsom Road.  I think about Ariel as I go by Karen & Jeremy Nickel’s neighborhood.  She stayed the night with their family and is probably already off to church with all of them.

I pass T2 and the Mini bike finish. I am thinking about Anna and hoping the swim went well and the bike is off to a great start.  I will have to wait until the run to see if she made it. 

As I head through the bike path, I see our neighbor and babysitter, Celie Cranney.  Her and the Placer Band are volunteering along the course.  All those kids volunteering on my way over to HWY 49 are great!  And the volunteers all the way up towards Foresthill Road as well!  So clear in their directing and happy too!

I see my teammate Troy Outman up ahead.  I pass him on the way up to Foresthill Road.  I tell him “good job”.  I thinking I’ll be seeing him again soon though. 

Over HWY 80 and up along Bowman Road I go.  The aid station on the top of the hill past Bell Road are working hard.  I don’t see Troy’s high school classmate as usual this year, bummer!

Down the hill I go screaming!  There are no cars so I let it go.  Troy Outman flies by me like I’m standing still!  There are two guys at the bottom directing and stoping the cars.  We safely Oake the right turn and head up to Placer Hills Road.

I pass Troy on the way up.  Soon I see Dave Campbell and Flor Hodges flying back…Wow!

As I get to Placer Hills Road, I see bikes going straight.  The volunteer is just standing there and the CHP are stopping the cars for people to go across. I almost go straight but I know that’s wrong.  I turn right.  This is not good, this needs to be fixed!  As I ride down the road, I decide to U-Turn and tell the CHP.  I see Troy made the right turn and I gesture that I’m going back to help fix this in case I confuse him.

I stop next to the CHP and tell him that everyone should turn right and that no one should go straight. He tells me it’s not his problem and that I need to speak with the guy directing.  I bike over to him and tell him the same thing.  He just stares at me and says nothing.  He seems to nod and I feel some relief and go on. 

As I bike up to the turn around, it continues to bug me.  I stop and tell the lady at the turn around to try to notify someone about it but she says she doesn’t know who to call. 

A little down the road I see the USAT official on the motor bike, Bryan Lewis (Sydney Lewis’ dad), pulled over.  I tell him and about it. He says there is nothing he can do because folks should know the course.  I continue and still feel uneasy.

I get back to the intersection and see 2 guys going straight!!!  What is happening?!  I slow and tell them to go right.  One guy argues with me and says “it’s straight!”.  No much I can do.  I shout out to other cyclists coming up to the intersection.  I shout “go right!”. 

I head back up to the Aid Station.  I pull over and find the guy in charge and tell him.  He says, they’ve heard and they have called it in.  He is very upset too which makes me feel relief finally. 

Across HWY 80 and back to Foresthill Road is smooth.  As I come up to the Bear Diner and Starbucks, I notice there are no volunteers monitoring the cars going in and out.  Suddenly I see a car pulling out right in front of me.  I shout and try to slow down.  Fortunately they saw me at the last minute.  Thank you Lord!

The rest of the bike back all I can think about is tell the race directors, Joe and Colleen, about that parking lot situation.  I get to transtion and rack my bike, I am looking around.  I run out and don’t see them. I do see Farah and I tell her to pass on the message.  I hear Anna shouting, “Mom!”.  Oh, I was so focused and stressed out that I forgot to look for ANNA!  I turn around and wave!  “How did it got?”  She give me a smile and thumbs up!  So  glad to hear!  Thank you Lord!!


As I run out, I feel convicted.  I let myself get so frantic that I failed to trust the Lord and find peace in Him.  I ask Him for His forgiveness.  Lord, help me keep my priorities straight.  Anna is a big priority and I feel bad that I didn’t think about her. 

170521_auburntri_intl_robin_runI feel pretty good running but I’m also not redlining it. I want to make sure I have enough energy to get through this run.

As I run around the Overlook and head towards the road to the canyon, I see Flor coming back already!  “Great job Flor!”. Wow, she’s like 3 miles ahead!

I can see a girl ahead of me in the distance.  I hope to catch her!

Mile 1 is 8:28.  Down into the Canyon to the gravel road I go.  That 50 something gal is already climbing out!  Impressive!  I tell her good job!  I think I”m 4th overall!

A little further I see Leila coming back. I tell her great job!  As I approach the turn around at the next aid station, I notice I’ve gained on that girl.  As she heads back I tell her good job. 

I get some water and get excited to climb up to the next Aid Station. That is where Anna and I are going to volunteer with our church youth today. 

MIle 2 is 7:45.

I make it to the Aid Station feeling strong.  I can see Troy Outman and Leila in the distance.  I’m so close to that girl now.  “Moms Run This Town” are volunteering.  They are a great group of ladies that truly run all over the place!  They cheer me through.  I tel them that I’ll be back later.

On the way past the aid station and up to the canal, I pass that girl!  I tell her good job.  A little later, I pass Troy.  He asks if I’m alright.  I tell him I”m good.  I ask how his injury is holding up and he says good…yeah!

Mile 3 is 8:04.  Towards the end of canal I see Leila.  I tell her good job and ask her how she’s doing.  She’s not feeling good and is loosing energy fast.  I offer her some Clif Bloks and she takes them.  I tell her to hang in there and that I’ll pray for her…which I do as I continue on.

Back to T2/Finish area I go!  I’ll have to run back up to the Moms Aid Station for 2 more miles.  170521_auburntri_intl_robin_run3As I run through, I see Anna, Farah, Trixie, Mike, and Sarah cheering.  I wave and smile.  I ask Anna how she feels and she says tired with a smile.

Mile 4 is 8:13.  Around the Overlook one last time!

Mile 5 is 8:12.  I climb up to the Aid Station.  I feel strong and am so glad that the race is flying by!.  There are a few runners ahead.  Hard to tell if they are ahead of me or still working on the first loop. 

Mile 6 is 8:36.  Almost there!  Yeah!

Just a bit more and I can hear the race annoucer…then I see it…and see Anna and the gang again!  Just one more push!  I look up to God.  Thank you Jesus!  I’m done!  Anna comes over and I give her a big hug. 


Auburn Mini Tri–Anna - 2017


5/21/17 – Auburn, CA


500m S – 13km B – 4km R


1:40:19 (17:47- 5:57 – 51:15 – 1:21 – 24:01)


7th (out of 8) Place, 1-14


Long –Jesse Moore, Troy Soares

Int’l - Dave Campbell, Flor Hodges, Leila Sermek, Robin Soares

Mini – Farah Avasarala, Mike Bradley, Sydney Lewis

170521_auburntri_mini_anna_swimWe have to swim to the swim start. I am feeling good. I see Mrs. Knop from school on the paddle board. 5 4 3 2 1 Go. It is crowded, but I keep swimming. I make it around the first buoy and keep swimming. When we get to the next buoy, the other swimmers join us from the other groups. We swim and swim and get to the last buoy and swim in to shore. I run up the ramp and to transition. I start to take off my wetsuit but it gets stuck on my feet. After what seems like 5 minutes, I finally am able to pry it off.

170521_auburntri_mini_anna_bike2I get on my bike and start biking. I coast down hills and pedal up hill. We turn left and right. Somehow I make a wrong turn but I get back on track. After a lot of pedaling, we get to Shirland Tract. I make it up the switch back without stopping. I coast downhill and uphill. When I get to the three big hills, I slowly make it up the first one, the second one and the third one. I go down the big hill and bike on the busy road. I don’t see Ariel, Ellie and Ben but I thought that they might have had to go to church. I bike to transition, get off my bike, take off my helmet and put on my hat. I start running but realize I left my Garmin.  I go back and get it.

I get some water and run down the trail. I think I’m going the wrong way so I stop and yell back to the volunteer on the trail to make sure I am going the right way. I am running slowly because I am tired. I run on the trails and soon get to the pavement part. I start crying because I feel emotional. I get some water from the aid station and keep running. I get on another trail and start running fast with God’s help. I pass some people and make it to the road and run through the finish line.


Auburn Triathlon Half Distance - Troy - 2017


5/21/17 – Auburn, CA


1.2m S – 56m B – 13.1m R


5:41:49 (38:49 - 1:24 - 3:12:24 - 1:12 - 1:48:02)


2nd Place, 45-49; 6th Overall


Long –Jesse Moore

Int’l - Dave Campbell, Flor Hodges, Leila Sermek, Robin Soares

Mini – Anna Soares, Farah Avasarala, Mike Bradley, Sydney Lewis

I wake up early to spend time with God. Thoughts of my injured ankle and missed workouts traverse my mind, but I manage to purge it all to focus for a moment. I never know how, but God makes it work out, and that reminds me how much He is deserving of my attention.

I love this part where we all gear up in the garage and ride our bikes 6 miles to the start of the race at Rattlesnake Bar on Folsom Lake. Besides Robin, myself, and our friend, Dave Fraser, it's exciting to have Anna too. She's doing her first Auburn Triathlon! She's been volunteering for years and they decided to give her an entry. She's been training so hard for it and I'm proud of how brave she is.

The temperature is perfect on the dawn of this day. It is the Lord's day and we all want to do His will and appreciate this opportunity we're given. I reflect on yesterday's FCA pasta feed and Iron Prayer. God extended the food and helped the speaker, Joey Montoya. It was great!

As I near transition on the steep descent I see the WeTri youth team recovering from a mishap. They say they're Ok but I later learn their star athlete crashed & broke his bike. Sad because they are such a talented, mature team of kids. We train with some of them during the FCA Auburn Tuesday Track workouts.

A rack full of FCA! Flor, Troy O., Katie, Krista, Dave F., Mike B., Robin, Anna and myself. We get a group photo and catch up. I try to run a little and my left foot is sore. I have to rely on God! Robin is helping Anna. I wish I could but my wave starts soon. I pray with Troy & Mike before making the long swim to the start line. The water is perfect.


170521_auburntri_lc_troy_swimGo! I feel a little more confident after the Folsom International last week. I find some feet to follow. I look forward to the swim back because I know Robin, and then Anna, will also be swimming the same course. The staggered start and shorter distances could allow for us all to finish together! Around the first buoy and things get hard. We're swimming directly into the sun! I loose my draft and the constant feeling of not knowing where I'm going is sucking energy out of me. I keep thinking the next buoy will change course out of the sun, but it doesn't. I can only see the fiery ball and a few splashes from swimmers way ahead. Finally we turn towards shore and out of the sun. I'm able to turn it up a notch and finish strong. 38:49. Slow but good effort. Coming out up the ramp there is a good cheering crowd and the announcer is terrific as usual, knowing my name and talking about FCA. Very encouraging.


170521_auburntri_lc_troy_bike2After a good transition (it's great not having to put on a jacket!) and great send off from Francie Campbell (transition volunteer extraordinaire), I'm off for the climb up to Auburn. Starting off well and thankful for great weather. I see Flor's family at the "Y" and figure I must be ahead of the Olympic distance racers. My plan is to conserve more and fuel more to help my tight Achilles and hamstrings for the run.

I'm glad to finish the tough Shirland Tract Rd and cruise through Auburn. It's my 12th year doing the race so the route and the wonderful volunteers through town are a welcoming sight. The lady monitoring traffic near the KFC looks familiar. I ask, "You were here last year?". "Yep!". "Thank you!"

At the top of Bowman Rd I look forward to seeing my HS friend, Doug Olson, but he's not there this year. At the Placer Hills Rd intersection I see the men volunteering but they're not saying anything. I mention, "You need to tell them to go right" but he doesn't seem engaged.

I continue climbing, through Weimar, and Applegate. I keep expecting to see someone ahead or get passed, but there's no one around me. On a long gradual descent from Applegate, I push it and feel like I'm flying. Just when I think, "surely no one will catch me at this speed", I look way back and see a biker coming. That's weird. Still cruising fast and thinking it'll be a long time before he catches me, he goes by me. Wow! It's Jesse Moore, Robin's running friend from college and a top triathlete now. He tells me that he was directed the wrong way at Placer Hills Rd and went pretty far off course.

Soon another guy passes me and says the same. He's a young guy from Davis. Him and I go back and forth to the top in Colfax. It's really warm and I've been focusing on drinking a lot of water. A bottle at each aid station. The young guy looks dehydrated. I tell him to make sure he drinks enough.

On the drop to Bear River, I pass him and gain some good ground on the hair-raising descent. I pass another guy on the climb and figure I'm about 5th place. Normally I'd be about 12th but I guess the top guys went the wrong way. I climb well but the young guy passes me again. I'm glad to start making the descent from Colfax to Auburn and I pass him back and stay ahead. I'm still drinking a lot.

At the Placer Hills intersection I again see they aren't telling us which way to go. I tell them again, "You need to tell the riders to turn right". As I turn, I see a racer stopped, reviewing a map with the Highway Patrol. Something is really wrong here.

This out-n-back is always hard but I stay focused and try to give God my best effort despite the bumpy grind. I see Jesse and others coming back and see I'm in 6th place. After I make the turn, I don't see the young guy behind me. He must have skipped this section trying to make up for the extra he did going off course! Sounds like a case of "2 wrongs to make a right". It's a bummer to go extra, but it's still cheating to cut the course. I imagine what Jesse will think when he's sees someone ahead of him… again. On the last 10 miles I focus on finishing my fluids and stretching.. Preparing for the run. I finish in 3:12:24.


As I head out of transition I'm thankful to see Anna cheering. I'd been thinking about her Sprint race the whole time hoping her first big tri went well. "How did it go?!" "It went good, I went off track but got back quickly". Thank you, Lord, for keeping her safe. I hope Robin had a good race, too.

170521_auburntri_lc_troy_runRunning down the narrow single-track, it is completely beautiful. Everything is deep green and cool despite the hot sun. I'm taking it easy to see how the Achilles goes. But I'm quickly noticing how good my body feels. Like it's really hydrated and the muscles are more fluid. Thank you, Lord, for again surprising me. I was only concerned with my ankle and didn't think about how much better running could be when the whole body feels good. I continue drinking, 2 cups at each aid station, as much as I can get down. Extra fluids are working well this race.

It's still hard work so I look forward to seeing my friends and teammates at the Murphy's Gate aid station at mile 3. It'll be such a boost. Now I see the leader running back... It's the young guy that cut the course. Jesse is near behind him. It looks like I'm still about 6th place. Now I see little Othniel Marshall. He's running with me to the aid station where his mom, Charity, our teammate, is working. Yay! It's a great welcome. They give me sunscreen, cold water, and a lot of encouragement.

I head back with new motivation. But whenever I think I can push the pace, I start to feel my ankle and I sense God telling me to just be content and trust Him. It feels like it is on the verge of failing but yet isn't. I start complaining why my ankle can't just be better. I feel God saying that it is there to remind me to trust Him. It finally sinks in and I decide to focus on God every time I feel it. I recite Ps 23, "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want..".

At the bottom of the course, I psych up for the killer hill. Fortunately there is an aid station where I fuel up. I push the hill until it's too steep and walk. I didn't want to walk but it is God's plan. I actually make good time. Usually it is hard to start running again but by walking as fast as I can, it actually is a relief to run again at the top.

Thank you, Lord, I'm feeling great! Instead of melting in the heat, I feel optimistic. I see 5th place coming back and set to try catching him in the next 5 miles. The greatest thing I get to look towards now is the FCA Endurance aid station at the top of the hill! My church and family will be there and it'll be a huge help! I see them way up ahead and they start cheering. It makes the hill go by quickly. I'm so glad to see Robin for the first time since the race start.

170521_auburntri_lc_troy_run2On the canal trail, I'm able to pick up the pace. It is such a great feeling to be able to increase, instead of decrease, the effort towards the end of a race. I may be able to catch him. Even right at the end. It could be for 1st place in my age. All I know is to give it my best.

I see our friends and neighbor's, Kayden and Mason out biking. I also see other runners we work out with. Hometown races are great! Through the finish line transition area, my friend Troy O. sprints over to high-5 me and encourage me for my final lap.

I push the trails as fast as my ankle will allow and keep looking ahead for the runner in gray I saw miles ago. Down to the bottom and now I look up the long hill to my favorite aid station. I push it faster than ever, still not seeing the runner but thinking he must be close. My family and church cheer me on and I feel great. This has been such a surprising race, thanks to the Lord. I imagined a lot of walking and pain but instead I'm on the hunt, giving God my best effort.

170521_auburntri_lc_troy_finishI never do see the guy in gray but I finish with nothing left and couldn't be happier! I hydrated well and my head feels clear. The ankle did make me rely on God and that led to a lot of joy. 1:48:02 for the run. 5:41:49 total. 2nd place in my age.

Other details: Amazingly, Jesse not only passed the young guy, but apparently lapped him on his way to victory, even after being lost in the Meadow Vista area. And the young guy didn't purposely cut out the out-n-back, but was directed the wrong way. The Placer Hills intersection directed a lot of athletes in both races the wrong way. That was all very unfortunate because we love this race and it's future depends on athletes having a great race and coming back. We pray that they do.


Sunday, May 14, 2017

TBF Happy Kids Du #5–Anna & Ariel - 2017

Date/Location: 5/14/17, Granite Bay
Distance: 1mi R – 3miB – 1mi R
Time: Anna: 27:57 (Previous 29:59)
Ariel: 34:41 (Previous 40:25)
Place: Anna: 1st age/1st Overall
Ariel: 2nd in age group



10, 9, 8, …, 3, 2, 1, go!  I start running and look for Kylie who is a fast girl in my age group.  I go through a gate, up a hill, down a hill, and then up a hill.  There is a boy in front of me and I try to pass him but I can't.  I try again and pass him!  But he passes me back.  We go down a hill and I pass him again.  I run hard to stay ahead of him but he's on my tail. He gets me right before transition.


I get into transition and get ready quick.  I get out of transition ahead of that boy.  The boy has a road bike and passes me.  I try to catch up but he's too fast.  I see these two girls and I pass them.  I go down a little hill and another boy passes me.  I try to catch him but he's too fast.  Then a girl about Anna's age passes me.  I go to the turn around and then another boy passes me.  I keep going up this little hill and I hear someone crying.  It's a girl my age! I ask her what is the matter she tells me something is wrong with her bike.  I pass her and say “God's got your back!”. 

I go to up a small hill, down a small hill, up a small hill and then down a small hill.  I go around a corner and go straight into the wind!  This feels hard.  I pray that that girl would be happy and I prayed for strength to bike into the wind.  Then I remember a verse: “if you hope in God, you'll fly like an eagle.  And when you run, you will not grow weary.  And when you walk, you will not faint” (Isaiah 40:31).  Right then, I feel God put a song in my heart, “Fight Song”. Then I start to feel stonrger and stronger.  I start catching up to another rider. 

And I go down the hill into transition, take off my helmet and go out on the run.  A girl starts gaining on me.  I try to keep her off my tail but she’s still there. 

I run across a little streets and see the pathway to the finish.  That girl is gaining on me and I don’t want her to catch me.  I sprint very hard,  I can see the finish line now.  I race through and I beat her!  I shake her hand when she finishes.  I feel good!  Btw, I got 2nd place.


 WP_20170514_08_55_26_ProWP_20170514_08_56_18_ProWP_20170514_09_05_00_Pro WP_20170514_09_05_07_ProWP_20170514_09_39_53_Pro


At the race start, I see two boys that look competitive and fast.  I'm excited that I have competition!

When they say go, I start running and a little girl sprints ahead.  I know she's not going to keep the pace. I pass her and keep running into the trail.  I follow the lead biker and go through the trails.  When I get out to the open part, it's a straight away to the finish line.  We have to run through the finish to get to transition. 

I have a quick transition and get on the bike first.  I start biking up the hill and over the bridge.  I'm surprised I haven't seen those boys yet.  When I turn at the end of the bridge, I look back and see one of the boys in the distance.  I keep biking on the loop.  When I get around the loop and start biking back, I cheer for the kids coming towards me.  I see Ariel and smile at her.  This cute little boy bikes by and says with enthusiasm “good job, you're doing great!”.  He did the same thing in the last race!  I tell him good job. 

I keep biking and see my little friend Othniel Marshall.  I say “ good job Othniel!”.

I keep biking and make it back to the bridge.  I go across the bridge, down the hill and back into transition.


I jump off my bike, take off my helmet and glasses. 


I start the run and there's no lead biker this time.  I run along the same trail.  A person directs me and cheers me on.  My legs are still numb from the bike. 

I get to the open straight away and start running to the finish fast.  When I get close, I sprint. WP_20170514_08_58_27_Pro

I point up to God as I finish.  I am first overall.  I see the two boys finish and shake their hands.  Thank you God!


Saturday, May 13, 2017

TBF Folsom Int’l Triathlon (Troy)


5/13/17 – Granite Bay


1.5km S – 40km B – 10km R


2:24:14 (25:38 – 16:31 – 42:06)


1st Place, 45-49


Dave Campbell

My first triathlon of the year.  Fortunately it’s a beautiful day.. not the cold temps of the aqua-bike I did last month.  My concern today is my sore left achilles tendon. My appreciation today is that all of my family will be there cheering for me.

I spend time reading the Bible and praying.  It’s difficult getting up earlier, but I highly recommend it as a start to any big race.  I thank Robin for starting the practice.

At Folsom Lake, I warm up a little on the bike as the Sprint Triathlon has already started.  The air is chilly and I’m wishing I brought gloves.  But maybe it’ll heat up in an hour. Coming back to transition I see the young WeTri athletes leading the race on the bike.  Josh, Chase and Sydney.  Josh and Syndey come to the Tuesday Track workouts.  Not only talented, they are very nice kids.

I run a little bit, prepare transition and head down to the beach.  Our friend, Dave Campbell, is racing.  When he’s not racing, he’s often volunteering.  His wife, Francie, is a very consistent volunteer. Even though Dave is 3 age groups above me, he is still tough competition for all age groups!

Robin and the girls pray with me before the start.  Robin & Anna just did some swimming and tell me the water is nice.  Great!  The last 2 practice swims at Rattlesnake Bar were really cold, but really helpful.  As we wait for the signal, I see Sydney.  The WeTri athletes have teamed up as a relay and are doing the International distance, too!

Go!  The swim already feels better.  I try to find some people to get behind.  There’s a lot of drift wood but swimmers ahead blaze a path.  My goggles fog up periodically but I left a little water in them so when I shake my head it gets clear again.  I find someone to draft behind.  I’m trying to keep myself relaxed.  Sighting is going well.

Around the first buoy, I still have my draft.  A mile seems like such a long way.  Can’t believe I got through 2.4 at HITS last month.  I’m still feeling cold at times, but most of the time I feel good.  My draft swims off course some times so I try to focus on the buoy and home he comes back on course each time.  I really appreciate it because he’s a faster swimmer than me and helping my time.

Around the last buoy and it’s straight to shore.  I hit his feet a couple times as I get closer and then I realize, that looks like Dave!  This means I’m having a good swim.  24:55. WP_20170513_08_33_47_ProWP_20170513_08_33_48_Pro

We Come out of the water together and start the run up the beach.  I leave my suit on making sure I don’t get cold.  This run has been almost .5mi mile during the drought.  The Google maps view still shows the water way down, making my swim look like a crawl through the sand.


In T1, I put on my jersey and a light jacket (which is difficult).  I can see Dave already taking off on the bike.  I put on socks.  Better safe than sorry. 


I’m off!  My wonderful family is cheering and tells me to try catching Dave.  I’m going to try.  Out of the park, heading to Auburn Folsom, I’m shifting down, picking up speed, looking for Dave when.. clunk!  Did my derailer just break?  My chain is wedged in the frame.  Fortunately I remained calm and didn’t force it.  I get off and am able to get it out and back on.  Only a minute lost.  Onto my familiar route through Granite Bay, Penryn, Loomis and Newcastle.  I’ve been trying to dial my bike in but it’s not feeling perfect yet.  But I’m going well.  Trying to be efficient.  My hands aren’t cold at all.  The jacket is good but it’s warming up.  A perfect day.

I keep looking for Dave ahead but no sign.  Just relax.. long way to go.  Onto Val Verde Rd, a typical training loop, I’m pushing faster.  Now on King Rd, a gradual climb, if I make up some ground this is where I should see him.  Sure enough, far ahead, I know that biking form.  It’s funny that I can tell many of my typical racing partners by their bike or run form, before I can even see who it is.

I’m really motivated now and keep on the pressure.  At Newcastle Rd, the volunteer is holding the flag and a car is stopped.  Confusing but I cruise through.  About 14mi, I pass Dave and tell him good job.  Over the tough Power House Rd hills and now it’s ALL DOWNHILL on my favorite road, Auburn-Folsom.  Feeling good. Flying along.  “Thank you, Lord, for a good day. Please help my foot make it through the run”.

Back in the park, a Every Man Jack racer passes me near the finish.  Strange because that team is the fastest here and should be way ahead.  Maybe he had a really bad swim? (turned out that a few of the top athletes were directed the wrong way down Rattlesnake Bar and lost 10-15min).

1:12:37.20.6 mph.  I coast in and my family cheers immediately.  Good transition, off with the jacket, and I head out with my hands full: hat, gels, and race belt that fell off.


I’m stiff and my foot is sore so I take small steps and slowly let it all loosen up.  Onto the trails I’m careful through the sandy spots so my foot doesn’t slip and strain.  Fortunately most of the course is on the fire-road South with pretty good footing.  I focus on form, picking up heals, higher cadence and good foot strike.  I drink water at every aid station.

Mile 2. I take Hammer Gel and accidentally drop the wrapper beyond the aid station.  I never like seeing wrappers along trails so I will get it later.  At the first levy crossing we begin a mile loop before heading back.  Wow, feels sooner than expected.  I catch a couple guys ahead and see a few more coming out of the trees.  I’m feeling good running, still careful of the foot but have good energy.  Maybe I can place well if I keep it up!

Mile 4. Heading back, I think of Dave catching me.  He’s a faster 10k runner.  I pick it up.  The foot is doing well now.  I pick up the wrapper at the aid station and take another gel.  Just 2 miles to go!  I try to maintain momentum on all the ups & downs.  I cheer for the runners still going out.  With a mile to go, I pass a guy and really pick it up.  I’m striding out more, pulling up my heals, the foot doesn’t bother me at all. Thank you, Lord!  I see Robin and our girls and am grateful to finish.  A blessing.


  41:39.  2:24:20 total.  1st place in my age group.  Dave finished just 30 secs back.  The WeTri relay team was just behind me as well, but they started 3min after so actually beat me by 2 minutes.


The race went better than expected.  A good start to the season, but each one is up to the Lord and I’m happy with that.