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.