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.