Sunday, June 24, 2018

CA International Tri–Robin-2018


6/24/18 – Pleasanton, CA


1.5km S – 40km B – 10km R


2:35:42 (28:50 – 1:51 - 1:16:17 – 1:16 -  48:07)


2nd Place, 40-44 (10th Female OA)


Int’l – Clyde Floyd (FCA), Dave Campbell, FCA Relay (Danielle Hess Davi, Tim Hess & friend)

Sprint – Anna Soares, Dave Fraser

Great to be back at this race with the whole family!  Last year, Anna and I came alone while Troy and Ariel volunteered at a bike race at home. 

I booked a hotel 2 miles from the start so Anna and I get up early and bike over.  After waiting to get our packets, the transition area for the sprint race is packed!  Anna gets help finding a spot from Francie Campbell.  Dave, her husband, will be tearing it up today in the Intl with me for sure!  I get set up and catch up with FCA Teammates Clyde and Tim Hess.  Tim is doing a relay with his daughter Danielle and a friend. 

I burned my right forearm on Friday with hot coffee that spewed out of my french press at home.  I have it covered in a water-resistant bandage and an ace bandage.  Troy helps me put on my wetsuit over the bandage to keep it from pulling off. 


Anna and I meet Troy and Ariel for a pre-race prayer.  As usual, we start with a few folks and we have a few more by the end of the prayer.  More folks trickle in after like Tim and we pray with them too.  We find out the race is delayed because there is no ambulance on-site.  The ambulance actually broke down and we are waiting for the replacement.  It’s getting hot standing in this wetsuit.  Troy, the girls and I huddle to pray for race director Ryan Coelho and that we could get an ambulance soon.  God is good!  Five minutes later we see it drive in the park. 

Time to go!  The swim begins and the waves begin with little time in between.  Anna is off and hopefully feeling great!  I get in a warm-up and make it to the start with just a few minutes to spare!  This is a men’s and women’s 40-49 wave.  I seed myself a few rows back behind some men.  I don’t want to get pummelled.


Ready, set, go!  My position is great though I do have to pause twice to let guys go ahead because they’re running into me from the side.  I’m not feeling as strong starting out as I did at Auburn a month ago.  My left arm has been bothering me and I’m feeling it now.  I hope that it gets better.

It’s a long trek out to the first turn buoy.  Despite the close proximity of the wave starts, it is pretty clear sailing.  I can put my head down for long stretches and get some good momentum going.

The first buoy turn is good and now it’s another long stretch.  Some swimmers in orange caps fly by and I realize that they are from the last wave that started behind me.  I am able to jump on the toes of a guy and hang on till the next buoy.  I am really moving now and breathing hard.  At the buoy I loose him but find another orange cap to cling to.  Pretty soon, I’m alone again.  The good news is I can see the finish, the bad news is that it’s still far off and I’m tired.  Another orange cap comes alongside and I match the pace.  I think it might be Danielle.  I’m still struggling to push now.  I just need to hang on.

The shore gets closer and I’m able to find another draft in the home stretch.  Pretty soon, the bottom is near.  My guy is still swimming so I keep holding the draft.  Once my hand hits the bottom, though, I get up to run, even though my guy is still swimming.  I run up to shore and pull my wetsuit carefully off my forearm. The ace bandage is intact…yeah!  I just about get the rest of my wetsuit off and kick it off my left foot. But it gets stuck on my right foot.  Darn!  I reach down and pull it off.  Now, off to my bike!



This time I have my shoes on my bike.  I’m hoping I can slide my feet in while riding.  I haven’t practiced so it’s a risk.  I run out of transition.  I hear Troy cheering for me.  I hop on my bike and am able to put my feet on top of the shoes as I ride up the short hill.  Once I turn right and hit the flat part, I am able to slide one foot in at a time!  Yeah, thanks God!


I get into my aerobars and try to get into a good grove.  I feel pretty speedy for the first few miles but then I’m soon getting passed by a lot of guys and a few girls.  Dave Campbell goes by and so does Dana Ginsburg.  Dana is 53 and beats me every time we race.  I try not to get discouraged and just keep pushing. 

We go through some industrial areas, across Hwy 580 and up into the rural hills.  I actually begin to catch up to Dave and Dana.  I also pass a few girls in my age group and a few guys that passed me.  It’s a risk to push this long hill because I can tire myself out.  The fast guys are now heading back on this same road.  They are flying!  I see a guy off to the side on the other side of the road with a CHP with some sort of issue with his bike.  I’m wondering if he needs something.  I soon see his bike shoe on the ground still attached to the pedal and crank.  The whole thing fell off!  Oh my goodness!  Poor guy!

I see Dave and Dana heading back.  The turn-around is ahead!  Yeah!  I make the turn and try to hammer.  I’m feeling fast until I start getting passed.  Yep, that’s how it goes for me but not giving up!

I pass the guy with the CHP.  He’s got his shirt off now and you can see the road rash on his shoulders…ouch!  The CHP is wrapping him up with some gauze.  So glad he has help and that it wasn’t worse!

Back through the industrial area I find myself alone.  I turn on Isabel Dr and it’s a long 3 miles to the next turn.  I’m at Mile 20, only 5 more miles!  I can do that!  I’m sure Anna is done with her Sprint by now.  I pray it went well for her.  She’s so grown up now that I don’t have be so concerned with her safety.

I’m feeling tired.  I think I could pull over and nap!  Let’s just get it done!

Finally I make it around this back loop and am just a mile from the park.  I can see runners heading out.  I look for Dave.  He must be already through this part!  I see a lot of fast girls.  Wow! 

As I pull into the park, I am able to slip my feet out of my shoes and put my feet on top.  Yeah!  As I hit the bike dismount line, I’m already ready to run!  As I run to my transition area, Troy and Tim are cheering for me.


I ask Troy how Anna did.  He says looks like 2nd place…yeah!  I make a good transition and head out. 



It’s good to be off the bike but I feel tired.  Heading out, part of me is already relenting…why push it if I don’t feel great?  Just keep moving!

Mile 1 is 7:59.  I hope this gets better.  There are no girls around me so it’s really hard to get motivated. 

I head for the “big hill”.  It’s a short and steep hill followed by a flat out and back.  This is were I can hopefully see some girls to chase down.  Up I go, ouch!  I run the whole way but it hurts at the top.  I see Dana heading back and a few other girls.  I can feel my competitive juices start going a bit.

Out and back and down the hill.

Mile 2 is a 7:58 average.  Surprisingly I soon find myself nearing the 3rd mile.  That didn’t seem too long.  I could do this loop again!  Still struggling to push but feeling more excited.  A guy flys by me and I know he’s finishing up. Wow, impressive!


Mile 3 is a 7:51 average.  Better!!  I see Anna cheering and smiling.  I ask her how her race went and she says great…2nd place!


The next mile I feel really motivated to push.  Thank you Lord!

I climb the hill a little faster this time.  On the out and back I am closer to Dana and some other girls.  I actually pass Dana’s husband.  On the way back, I notice a young girl moving along well.  I think I’m safe from getting caught.

Mile 4 is a 7:48 average. Keeps coming down!  Thank you Lord for turning things around for me mentally and physically!

I can see a huge crowd of runners ahead of me.  I’m going to try to catch as many as I can.

At Mile 5, I’m maintaining a 7:48 average.  So nice to be almost done!

I finally make it off the trails and into the grassy park area.  I am pushing hard.  Suddenly that young girl comes flying by me.  I’m so close to the end that I just react.  I dig deeper and pass her back.  I tell her good job and try to keep pushing.  It’s still a bit of a stretch to the finish chute.  Can I keep this up?  Lord, I’m just going to keep trying.  I am able to hold her off and finish strong.  Thank you Lord!  I didn’t think I had that in me!


CA Tri Sprint–Anna–2018


6/24/18 – Pleasanton, CA


0.5m S – 9m B – 5km R


1:11:26 (18:51 – :38 – 29:14 – :45 -  21:56)


2nd Place, 1-15 (14th Female OA)


Int’l – Clyde Floyd (FCA), Dave Campbell, FCA Relay (Danielle Hess Davi, Tim Hess & friend)

Sprint – Anna Soares, Dave Fraser

Anna’s California Tri 2018

I walk down to the water and I look for someone to talk to. I see a girl in the water and walk over some to her. We get into a good conversation. We talk for a while and then get ready to swim. The swim start has been delayed for a while because the ambulance has not shown up yet. I swim over to the start and get ready to go.


The race directors say go and I start swimming. My friend is faster and swims ahead. I swim though and focus on God. It is a long swim but I keep steady and take one stroke at a time. Every once and a while I do a few strokes of breast stroke. I get to the 1st buoy and know I am 1/3 the way done. I go around the buoy and start for the 2nd buoy. I try to stay up with swimmers but most of them have passed me. Some fast men start to pass me from the back. I keep swimming. Every stroke gets me closer. After a while I finally get to the last buoy and head to shore. The shore is far away. But my excitement of finishing keeps me going. I hope my friend hadn’t got too far in front of me. I try to stay with people as I swim to the shore. I stay up with them pretty well, but a lot of them end up going in front of me as I swim. As I get closer, I can see the bottom of the water which is covered with seaweed. I can see the ground coming closer and closer to me. Soon I can walk. I stand up and unattached the velcro on my wetsuit and pull my wetsuit down. I kick out of my wetsuit and run to transition. I grab my helmet and glasses in transition and grab my bike and started to run out of transition.




I jump onto my bike at the bike mount and start to bike up the hill out of transition. As I am biking up the hill my foot on top of my bike shoe keeps slipping off my bike shoe as I pedal. When I get to the top of the hill, I slip my feet into my bike shoes. I start to bike onto the flat and try to make up time lost on the swim. I keep pedaling hard and am able to catch some people. After a while of flat, I turn the corner onto a downhill. I try to go full speed but it is a gradual downhill and it takes a while to get going faster. I turn at the bottom of the hill onto a flat road where two years ago there was a car on fire. At the end of the flat road I turn again onto another road.


The temperature is good and I isn’t cold or hot. I see a hill up ahead I had trouble on last year. I pedal hard up it and make it to the top. There is a downhill on the other side which I get going full speed down. I also stretch out my calf while going down it. I hit the bottom of the downhill and turn to a short flat road and then turn again onto a road that leads right to transition. I can see runners running the opposite direction than me. Where the runners are coming out to the road, I see my friend. I am so surprised that she is that far ahead of me. I slip my feet out of my shoes while going down the hill to transition. I drink some electrolytes for energy. I jump off my bike at the bike dismount and run to my bike rack. I grab my shoes, hat and my new gel I am trying out and am off.



I start running and feel good. I try out my new gel my dad let me have. It is a honey gel and it is too sweet for me. I can’t wait to wash it down at the aid station. I run onto the trails and up to the road where the bikes are coming the opposite direction of me. I run along the road and turn into a bike park and am back onto the trails again. I soon see an aid station up ahead and grab water and see my friend coming back from the out and back. I start to do the out and back and go up a hill but don’t slow down. I get to the top of the hill and run on the flat. I run around the turn around sign and head back for the aid station. I run down the downhill to the aid station. I grab water and keep running.

I run through the trees on a path that goes up and down. I see a man up ahead and want to catch him before the finish line. I run up and a steep hill and down again. Running through the trees is fun and shady. I speed up and pass the guy I want to pass and see the last hill up ahead. I run up it and run down the other side. I see a girl up ahead and look at her leg to see how old she is. The sharpie on her leg is messy and I think it says 14. I run by her and get onto a small road that leads to the finish. I see the finish up ahead and sprint in. I point to God and give him the credit. The race went well. I got 2nd and my friend got 1st. Also the girl who I thought was 14 was really 45. On the podium the ages from 1st to 3rd were 12, 13 (me), 14. So I guess in this race the younger you are the faster you are. Praise the Lord for He is good His love endures forever!


Sunday, June 3, 2018

Auburn Sprint Tri–Robin & Ariel - 2018


6/3/18 – Auburn, CA


0.3m S – 8m B – 2.4m R


1:05:45 (8:34- 1:16 – 33:20 – 00:45 – 21:48 (9:05 pace)


FCA Endurance Relay, 1st Place


Int’l – Dana Haldeman, Dave Campbell, Elise Winter, Kris Kennedy, Leila Sermek, Rosie Kracher, Troy Outman, Troy Soares

Sprint– Anna Soares, Chase Visser, Josh Cagney, Sydney Lewis, Timothy Hess (FCA), Wyatt Hamilton

Robin (Swim-Bike)


This year, I’m doing the sprint relay with Ariel!  This way, the whole family can compete AND we can do our FCA run Aid Station for the entire race. Traditionally we’ve done the aid station for part of the day.

I meet Troy and Anna at transition.  We reunite with our local teammates and bay area teammates Tim Hess and his daughter.


Just before we see Troy off, a bunch of us get together to pray.  It’s so nice to have others with us united in Christ!

After Troy takes off, Anna and I get a warm up in together.  The water is perfect!  This year I feel more at ease with Anna competing…thanks to Jesus!  He has shown me that she can definitely hold her own out there.  Last year, I was honestly concerned that she would get hit or panic.  So cool to see her excited and confident!

Our swim is quite short.  We actually have to cross the path of the Olympic and Long Course swimmers coming back at the first buoy.  This could be interesting!  Before the race starts, I warn Anna to be careful there.

Ready, set, go!  I get a good start and am in 3rd place heading out.  The top two girls quickly distance themselves from me.  At the buoy, I take a quick look and see the coast is clear.  I cross with no incident.  I hope that’s the case for Anna too! 

I continue on to the next buoy.  I notice a girl in my age group to the side of me.  I pull ahead at the next and last turn buoy.  I’m headed back to the finish already so I push hard.  It just feels great swimming open water.  I love it!

I make it to shore and pull off my wetsuit.  As usual lately, I have trouble kicking it off.  I yank it off manually and then race to my bike. (3rd woman)


I have a pretty quick transition.   I decided today to run out with my bike shoes on instead of putting them on my bike.  I didn’t have great success at Wildflower so I’m playing it safe.  I run out of transition and hop on my bike.  (Still in 3rd place, with 6th T1 split, for women). I feel good as I head out. Thank you Lord! 

I climb the big hill out of Rattlesnake Bar Park…phew!  Boy my legs feel tired!  I keep pushing knowing this bike ride is over soon.  Even though my legs are hurting, I am still passing riders going up Rattlesnake Bar Road. 

180603_auburn_tri_sprint_robin_bikeThere is a relatively flat stretch so I get in my aerobars and push.  I see my friend Anne Thilges as I turn onto Newcastle road to head up to Shirland Tract.  Great to get some encouragement!

My legs continue to feel tired but I still continue to pass some riders.  I turn onto Shirland Tract and start climbing.  As I crest the first climb, I can see Sydney Lewis ahead of me on the big switch backs. I mentally prepare myself for this part.  It’s tough!

I dig deep and push up the switchbacks.  Soon enough I’m flying down the backside and catching up with Sydney.  I tell her great job as I pass.

There are more hills ahead.  I sure am looking forward to turn on Auburn Folsom and flying to T2 to meet Ariel!

My legs continue to complain as I climb.  I finally make it to Rosemary, my neighborhood!  Now it’s time to fly downhill!

I really feel like I am flying.  It’s so fun to be racing right past my house!  I get on Auburn Folsom and continue to push hard.  I pass Karen Nickel’s neighborhood and it’s quiet this year.  I miss that crew this year!

I turn towards the downtown square to meet Ariel.  The whole main intersection is all shut down for the race!  So cool!

I dismount my bike and run into transition looking for Ariel. (now in 2nd place, with fastest bike split for women)  There she is!  She takes off my timing chip and puts it on herself.  She is excited to head out.  “Have fun, Ariel!”.  I sure hope I’ve given her a good cushion to stay ahead of Anna. We’ll see!


I’m doing a relay with my mom. I’m doing the run. I see the first girl come into transition. Then I see mommy come in. She’s in 2nd place! I take her chip and put it on my leg and start running.

I cannot see the first place runner. There is a guy behind me. I turn on Orange St. then I turn on to Finley St. I turn again and again.

Now I’m running past Placer High School’s track. I turn on Stadium Way then I turn again on Finley St. I turn again on to Brook Rd. which goes up and down. I turn on Channing Way. Then I go up a hill to the turn around.

I see my friends, Gracie, Amelie, and Paisley (“Paisley Pie”).  I turn at the turn around. I soon see Anna! 

I turn again on to Brook Rd. then I turn on to Cherry Ave. I do a big Zig Zag then I turn on to High St and race down the long home stretch. (Finish 2nd for women, 1st for relay, with 6th fastest run split)


At the awards, I got to sing a song with the Reggae band singer.  It was about our Father in heaven which was cool!  And then I got to volunteer at the FCA Endurance Aid Station.


Auburn Olympic Tri–Troy - 2018


6/3/18– Auburn, CA


1.5km S – 40km B – 10km R


2:35:49 (24:16 – 1:01 – 1:21:58 – 1:12 – 47:21)


1st, 50-54; 5th Overall


Int’l – Dana Haldeman, Dave Campbell, Elise Winter, Leila Sermek, Kris Kennedy, Rosie Kracher

Sprint– Ariel & Robin Soares, Anna Soares, Chase Visser, Josh Cagney, Sydney Lewis, Timothy Hess (& daughter Danielle Davi) (FCA), Wyatt Hamilton

Long – Jesse Moore, Richard Kane, Kevin Miller

It’s our hometown triathlon!  Love it.  Ryan Coehlo, of USA Productions, has joined Joe & Colleen Pace in a new management partnership and has created a new bike, run and finish line venue.  It’s pretty exciting.

Yesterday it was great being part of the FCA Endurance Iron Prayer with a new speaker, Adam Downing from CrossFit Echelon in Rocklin.

Fellow Teammate, Troy Outman, joins us at 5:30am at our house to ride to the start.  Anna is also riding down with us and Robin will join us later.  It’s really fun seeing Anna’s enthusiasm and energy on the ride down.  She’s doing the sprint, Robin & Ariel are a Sprint Relay team, and Troy O & I are doing the Olympic Distance.


It’s great seeing friends and other FCA Endurance teammates in transition, like Dave Campbell, Josh Cagney, Chase Visser, Dana Haldeman, Elise Winter, Leila Sermek, Rosie Kracher, Tim Hess & his daughter Danielle Davi.



The water level is the highest I’ve seen!  Warm, too! Long Course goes first.  Usually the start is way out (due to low water) and I see the men lined up there, but the start is actually close to shore this year!  I alert the announcer and he postpones the start while the field swims back to the correct buoy.  it’s going to be >90 deg today and I feel concern for those doing the Long Course.  No one on our team is doing it this year.

We pray before the start, a pretty good group at that.  In a triathlon there’s always so much that can go wrong, and also so many opportunities to make a good difference.  I really want to remain focused on God because he’s the only One that can make the day a great success all around.

The Swim

The water is great!  I’m warmed up.  A little more prepared than I was at Wildflower. Boy, Wildflower was so great!  Thank you, Lord, for the fun that it was even though I was not fully prepared.  Remembering how fun it was really gets me excited for today.  I’m also really excited about Anna.  She’s better prepared than I and so excited to possibly go faster than ever!  As I wait for the horn, I know friends Dave Campbell, Troy Outman and Kris Kennedy are floating somewhere near me but we all look the same in wetsuits and caps.  Some cheers and encouragement to each other and we’re ready to..

Go!  A group goes out way ahead.  Easy sighting going south, away from the sun.  A guy comes by at the perfect pace and creates an exceptional draft.  I follow him to the far turn, thankful for the opportunity to not have to sight.

Turning North, we’re into the sun.  Many of us have to stop to get our direction.. multiple times.  Every year this part is annoying. It’s like faith swimming.. blind.. hoping there’s a buoy out there somewhere in the bright glare.

I’m very warm and let in cool water into my wetsuit at times.  We meet up with slower swimmers from the sprint that started behind us.  Anna & Robin are out here somewhere.

I make out the last turn buoy I think.. but it keeps changing from yellow.. to orange.. to yellow.  I get closer and can see that a boat is taking away the yellow buoy and is sometimes driving in front of the orange buoy.  I almost follow the boat the wrong way.  I’m relieved to be on the straight stretch to shore!  I push hard.  It feels like an average swim for me but never too late to try to make up ground.  Thank you, Lord, for a successful 1st leg. (4th pl, 19th o/a)

The Bike

In T1 I see Troy Outman already at his bike.  He’s smiling and doesn’t look too rushed.  I have a fast change and am actually out ahead.  (3rd pl, 13th o/a) After getting my shoes fastened and the heartrate and breathing down finally, it’s time for the steep climb out of Rattlesnake Bar.  I see Anna ahead!  Oh, this is so cool.  Thank you, Lord!  I’m riding near Leila Sermek.  She’s a very strong athlete.  I comment that I’m trying to catch Anna.  I’m amazed I’m not able to pass her until we get to the Y where she heads right.  I’m very proud of her and cheer her on and she gives me a big smile.

Time to settle in to a strong pace that will still leave something for the 10mi climb towards the end.  I zoom through familiar roads like Rock Creek and Taylor.  It’s beautiful and cool out.  I’m really liking my bike setup – a Felt FR1 roadbike with aero bars.  The best part is no speed wobbles when I ride with no hands now! Much safer.


Down Lonzanos Rd, fast but safe.  Up the steep climb by Ophir School  I really like this light bike.  At the top I see our neighbor, Celie Cranney, volunteering.  Down Wise Rd is fantastic!  I feel like I’m flying.  I pass a couple guys and try not to let up on the gas.  The course has been well marked and managed.  After passing Baxter Grade, the right turn onto Ayres Homes Rd comes up real fast!  I turn and see a guy coming back.  (turns out multiple racers in the Long Course turned instead of going straight).  At Mt Vernon, a motorcyle referee directs me to the right.  I guess the course monitor didn’t show.  This is the main effort – the long climb to Auburn.  Thank you, Lord, for strength.  It’s hard but I stay seated for the climbs and keep spinning.  Whenever there is a flat or descent I try to push harder.  I catch a couple more guys.  Along the flatter sections I’m really having fun seeing how fast I can go.  Finally, into town, and some more intersectins are missing marshals but I get through fine.  Down Nevada St, the fast left turn onto Chamberlin goes smoothly and I crest without extra effort.  Left at the Court House I make my first mistake, almost going into the wrong lane.  It’s tricky here but now I’m about done, coasting into T2.  Thank you, Lord, for a great, safe ride.

(1st pl, 5th o/a. 4th bike split)

The Run

I grab my bag in the gear tent while a nice volunteer holds my bike.  Rack it, shoes on (kind of slow, T2 split is 13th place) and now I’m off.  I see Anna and Ariel!  So happy to see they are safe and smiling. Thank you, Lord!

It’s a new run course which makes it interesting.  On downtown city streets.  It’s getting hot.  Around Placer H.S. where we do Tuesday Night Track.  Up the tough Finley St.  I think of Ariel running this tough course in her relay.  Proud of her. Over the Cherry Ave bridge and down into the cool neighborhood – a nice reprieve from the heat.  I don’t know what place I’m in but just know that every stride counts – best effort and good efficiency.  Down the steep Virginia St I try to let my legs go as much as possible.  Aid station near Maki Air is great!  Run by Paulo, a local Ultra athlete and race director. Onto Pacific St. I’m all alone and wondering how far other are ahead.  And then I see Charles, a young athlete from We Tri Team.  Wow, he’s like 2 mi ahead of me!  Now it’s downhill for a ways. I see some familiar faces out walking / hiking.  The best part is up ahead – the FCA Endurance Aid Station!  Music blasting, lots of energy, like a beacon at the top of a long hill. 


So great to see Robin, our friends from Tuesday Track and some friends from Auburn Grace Church.  Now it’s the fun stretch along the canal – just don’t trip on roots!  The shade is great.  Back on the road I try to keep my pace, pushing hard, and preparing for the killer hill to come.  Virginia St. – don’t look up, just keep the wheels spinning in a low gear.  It’s a brutal climb and I’m glad I’m not doing it twice like the Long Course.  I run it without stopping! 

It’s been a terrific race, and that’s because of God.  I don’t deserve it but I sure appreciate a fun exciting event where I feel I gave it my best.  Allright, it’s pretty much easy here on out.  Go, go!  Through downtown and then the long finish along Lincoln Ave.  I’m exhausted and the finish line looks so far away.  Finally I’m done!  Thank you Lord!

(1st pl, 5th o/a. 6th run split)


Auburn Sprint–Anna - 2018


6/3/18 – Auburn, CA


0.3m S – 8m B – 2.4m R


1:09:04 (10:32- 00:41 – 39:04 – 1:05 -  17:40)


3rd Place, 13-15; 15th Overall!


Long –Troy Soares

Int’l – Dana Haldeman, Dave Campbell, Elise Winter, Leila Sermek, Kris Kennedy, Rosie Kracher

Sprint– Ariel &Robin Soares, Chase Visser, Josh Cagney, Sydney Lewis, Timothy Hess (FCA), Danielle Davi (FCA), Wyatt Hamilton

IMG_20180603_063145642_BURST000_COVER180603_auburn_tri_troy_annaI bike down to the race start excited to start the race. I set up my transition and get ready to swim. My mom gets to start the sprint with me because she is doing a relay with Ariel. We walk down to the swim start together. I am trying out a new wetsuit hoping that it will come off my ankles better. We do a warm up swim and then swim over to the start. I see some other girls about my age that are racing too. The starter says 3, 2, 1…and we are off!

The Swim

I start swimming and try to keep up with my mom. She has a different speed in mind. I keep swimming and every once and a while I run into some drift wood floating on the water. I feel good as I swim through the water. I hit the turn and look up to make sure I don’t run into other swimmers that are swimming a different way (for the other distances). I keep swimming and I am almost to the next turn. I get excited as I get closer. I turn and head straight for shore. I keep swimming while looking forward to getting to shore. I try to pass more and more people as I get closer. As I get closer to shore, I get ready to take off my wetsuit. I touch the ground and pull off my wet suit. It slides right off. (15th place for women)  I run up to transition and grab my bike supplies and I am off.  As I run out with my bike, a friend tells me that my mom is only 3 minutes ahead of me. I know I can’t catch her but it is fun knowing I was close to her in the swim. Someday I’ll catch her. (now in 7th place for women, with fastest T1 split)

I jump on my bike and slip my bike shoes on. I pass a girl in my age group and keep biking. I know the area well so it helps to know what is up ahead. I am going up a hill when dad all of the sudden comes biking by. We are both glad to see each other and say good job to each other. I get to flat section and pass another girl. I bike through the trees and fast down and uphill. It is pretty flat, but then we turn and I know that we’re going to get to climb a big hill. I get up the first hill, which isn’t that big. I keep going for a little bit and then I spot the switch backs. I pick up speed so I can get up the hill better. I bike up the hill and do not stop. I make it to the top and go fast down the backside of the hill. I bike up and 180603_auburn_tri_sprint_anna_bikedown a little bit and then reach what some people call “The Three Big Hills”. I start up the first segment of it or the 1st hill. I get to the top of the first segment and drink some water. I try to gain up speed for the next hill. I find points in my head where I will stand up or shift down. I make it up the 2nd hill, which leads right into the 3rd hill. I know I am almost done with the big hills and push hard up the hill. I get to the top and relax and slowly move downward while stretching. I see a girl in front of me who seems like an adult, but when I look at her leg it says that she is 15 years old. I try to pass her on the bike before we get to transition. I pass her then she passes me back. This keeps happening all the way to transition. She comes into transition before me but I know I can catch her on the run. Before I get to transition, I see mom is finished. She handed off to Ariel and is leaving now to run the aid station. (now in 6th for women, with 8th fastest bike)

Transition was not planned out well. Athletes have to run pass their T2 bags in a tent, put their bikes on the bike rack and run back for their stuff. As I run by to rack my bike, I make a mistake and run in front of an old guy. I tell him I am sorry and then rack my bike. When I get to the run, I encourage that man and keep going. (still in 6th for women, and 9th fastest T2 split)

I catch up to that 15-year-old and pass her. I tell her good job and keep running. The run almost goes all the way over to where my best friend Leah lives! My mom told her mom that I would be running over there and I am hoping that Leah will be there. I pass an aid station and drink some water while also pouring some onto my head. As I get closer and closer to Leah’s house I see Ariel coming back from the turn around. I give her a high five and keep running. I then see another friend from our weekly track workout. I tell her good job and keep running. I then turn the corner and I see Leah and my friend Gracie there cheering me on. I tell Leah and Gracie thanks and keep running. I pass someone older than I. I pass the same aid station and pour some more water on my head and also drink a little. I run downhill towards the finish line. I run down it fast all the way to the main road. I can see the finish! I start to run faster. As I get closer I start to sprint as fast as I can. I finish strong. (4th for women, and fastest run split)  I find Ariel and we pray and thank the Lord for letting our races go great. “Praise the Lord for He is good! His love endures forever!” Our whole family had a great races thanks to God!