Sunday, June 3, 2018

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)