Sunday, May 6, 2018

Wildflower Olympic–Troy - 2018


May 6th  – Lake San Antonio, Bradley, CA


Swim 1.5K – Bike 40K  – Run 10K


2:38:52 (26:07 – 2:55 – 1:22:57 – 1:37 – 45:14)




Long Course

Teammates: Clyde Floyd, Reynold Lewke, Robin Soares

Friends: Dave Leroy, Elise Winter

Olympic Course

Teammates: Caryn Galeckas, Dana Haldeman, Suzanne Hartley,
Friends: Sydney Lewis, Gary Chan

On-Road Sprint

Teammates: Anna Soares;

Friends: Chase Visser, Josh Cagney

Wildflower is Back!

It’s great being back at Wildflower with transition again perched above the crystal blue water of Lake San Antonio!

For the last 3 years there were cattle and deer grazing where we used to swim.  And last year it was cancelled all together.

Robin did the Long Course yesterday and it was completely an answer to prayer.  God allowed her injured foot to hold up and she ran the whole course.  Thank you, Lord!  Today is my race and I’m concerned with a sore achilles, minimal training, and new bike frame which I’ve only ridden for 8 miles.  But I’m also concerned for Anna doing her first Wildflower race, the On-road Sprint.

Anna & I both ride down to transition.  It’s a beautiful sunny day.  We set up our spots and Anna practices bike mounts & dismounts while keeping her shoes clipped in.  This will be the first time she tries this technique.

We go to the Wildflower Church Service.  We really appreciate Terry Davis putting this together each year.  It’s worth every minute focusing on God before final preparations for our race.  This also happens to be where Robin & I were “introduced” 16 years ago.

I watch Anna start her race and then I finish my prep.  Fortunately I’m able to see her whole race before I have to jog down to my wave start!  Please read Anna’s story but I’ll say it went smooth and was quite surprising.

I pray with my FCA Endurance TeamMates, Caryn Galeckas & Suzanne Hartley and Clyde Floyd (who raced yesterday).  I do a lot of arm swings trying to losen up.  My swimming isn’t strong right now but I will do my best.  Julie Moss is announcing like usual and calls out many names including mine and mentions FCA’s ministry role here which is nice.  The water is warm. I start a few rows back, to the right (as the 1st buoy requies a left veer).


180506_wildflower_olympic_troy_swimGo! Start is ok.  Soon I try to find a draft but fail.  I’m on my own but having a great time.  The water is so nice and the buoys easy to sight.  I check in with God periodically to see what I should be doing.  I feel Him reminding me to keep an eye out for a draft.  Soon a guy goes by and I jump on.  Strange that someone better than me was behind me and now giving me a draft.  I have to keep adjusting to stay behind him, but by the turn I’m getting better at seeing his bubbles.

Good turn, but while heading back I lose my draft.  Now I just have to push on my own.  Thank you, Lord, for letting me pace well and give this last bit all I’ve got.  The final 200 yds is tough but I give a good solid effort.  Despite the dizziness and exhaustion, I stand up well and tear my suit off fast.  12th place. Terrific!

Now for the long run up the ramp while carrying my suit.  I’m winded quickly, but very happy with how things are going and thankful for the cheers and just loving knowing that the Lord is with me.


180506_wildflower_olympic_troy_bikeTransition goes well (4th fastest) and now I’m in 9th.  I’m running out fast on bare feet, which hurts but ignoring it.  There’s a group mounting at the line so I keep running through and try leaping onto my bike 10 yds ahead of them.  Snap!  I’m straddling my bike and looking down at my seat and broken clamp pieces on the ground.  The seat post clamp broke.  I can’t figure a way to put it back together.  The surprising thought of having to drop-out gets more and more real until I finally surrender to it being reality.  Then a bystander says, “jump the fence and get tech support”.  I move toward him and in doing so cause a woman to fall off her bike.  I feel really bad and apologize.  Forgetting the fence, I get on my bike and pedal standing up until I can exit the course.  I ask a couple vendors and finally just ask to borrow someone’s seat.  The K-Man Triathlon Shop tent quickly swaps seats and I’m graciously off and back into the race!  I’m now in 31st place, about 1/2 way back in my age.

Surprisingly the seat position and height is not too bad.  I don’t have my seat bag so I couldn’t adjust anything if I wanted to.  I’m just going to go as hard as I can with what I got.  While climbing I start getting upset that a used seat post had been used to outfit my new frame.  But I have to let that go.  The Lord has allowed my race to continue and the bike is performing great.  And I feel like I’m performing great.

180506_wildflower_olympic_troy_bike2I’m out of biking shape and did not expect to be going fast.  But here I am, in the aerobars, with the wind flowing through my helmet… I’m having a blast!  It’s be almost a year since I raced and it’s so much fun.  I’m passing a lot of people since i was in the last wave and had a 6 min mechanical.

Another guy and I go past each other a number of times.  I don’t know my place but I imagine that i’m moving back up in the ranks.  Thank you, Lord, for making the bike so much fun, compared to the discomfort I was anticipating. 

Entering the park I read he FCA Endurance verses placed on signs along the road.  Jesus is the reason I can enjoy this so much because my many sins have been forgiven.  With a big smile I pass the final spectators before flying down Lynch Hill to transition.  I’m now in 9th place again!  After the mechanical, God gave me a 4th-fastest bike split.. I’m so thankful.


T2 was ok, 7th fastest, still in 9th.  Now for the really hard part.  Legs are stiff, sun is hot, training is lacking, but who knows, everything has been better than expected so far! 

I see my wonderful family cheering for me and they are a great motivator.  Anna just ran 3mi of this course really fast and I need to give my best as well.  I drink water and get splashed every chance I can.  The volunteers are so great.  Every cheer is appreciated.  I see Sydney Lewis  from WeTri and we encourage each other.  I see a guy hurting and say a quick prayer for him.  On the hot paved hills I read the FCA signs for the run and try to appreciate every bit of truth on them.  I encourage others I pass. 

180506_wildflower_olympic_troy_runThank you, Lord, I’m running well!  Onto the dirt portion of the course.. memories of yesterday as I used this section to watch Robin and friends race.  As I told them yesterday, I remember that the end of the run is really at the top because the last mile is downhill.  I eat my Hammer Gels, get a lot of water, and a final splash before the tough hill to the top.  Ouch! 

I’m trusting that using all my strength now will still get me the final mile.  At the top.  Ugh!  But sure enough, as I start rolling down, the strength comes back.

If I push the descent, I could break 2:40!  Flying down.  My legs are spinning.  it’s a little scary.  Just stay in control but don’t hold back.

I even catch a guy ahead of me before the bottom.  With exhiliration, despite exhaustion. I run down the finish chute so thankful to God to let this race go much better than expected!  Maintained 9th place with an 8th-fastest run split…and broke 2:40!  A blessing!