Sunday, May 12, 2019

Folsom Lake International Triathlon (Troy)

April 13th, 2019 – Lake Berryessa, CA
1.5km S – 40km B – 10km R

2:26:57 (25:55 S – 1:13:26 B – 47:36 R)


2nd 45-49, 20th o/a


OLY – Dave Campbell, Keith Hansen, Dominic Pollizzi

AQUA BIKE - FCA: Troy Outman

SPRINT – FCA: Ariel & Anna Soares; Josh Cagney

Anna, Ariel and I arrive at Granite Beach.  Robin is sick and not able to do the Super Sprint as planned, so Ariel is doing it in her place!  It will be Ariel’s longest race event.

There’s a lot to get ready and we get to the start barely in time but we always stop to pray beforehand.  We want to remember there is so much more going on here than just seeing who is fastest.  Triathlons are about persevering and giving your best even when things aren’t going your way – which is perfect training for “life”.  This is something I need constant reminding of.

I’m doing the Olympic distance which starts an hour after the Super Sprint so I have time to swim with Ariel in her race before doing my race.

The Super Sprint starts!  Anna’s in the middle. Ariel’s near the back.  And I’m still putting my wetsuit on – with help from others near me.  I jump him and catch up to Ariel.  Thankfully she had a different color cap (due to changing Robin’s entry to her) so I could find her. 

Ariel is doing terrific, swimming straight.  I swim alongside talking to her peridically.  The water feels great.  Usually I’d be concerned about getting cold before my race but it’s nice.

Near the end of the swim I see Anna get out and struggle with her wetsuit.  I have a new water-level view of my girls racing.  Ariel gets out next and I get to watch her, too, while standing in the water beside her.

I watch their race while in my wetsuit, cheering through transitions, and even seeing Anna sprint to her finish before I have to run to the start of my race.

Go!  Into the swim.  And into the sun.  So hard to see.  It takes so long to get to the first buoy.  Finally, after the turn, I can see again.  We seem a long way out in the lake and the wind is making the water choppy.  Coming back in, I try to get some glide out of some of my strokes.  I see Dave Campbell just ahead as I come out of the water about 16th in the Over-45.  I struggle a bit with my wetsuit and run for the bike.

T1:   It’s a perfect day so I don’t need a jacket.  Keith Hansen is a couple minutes ahead.  I leave T1 before Dave somehow.  And my friend Troy Outman is probably not far behind because he starting a few minutes back in the Aquabike division.

Bike:  Biking out of the park, Dave Campbell, goes flying by.  He’s really biking strong lately.  I start pushing harder.  I was really concerned before the race because I realized I had the wrong 11 speed cog set on my wheel for my 10 speed bike.  But thank the Lord, it’s working ok.  I catch and pass Dave.  It was really helpful biking most of this course in a practice tri workout with Troy Outman a week ago.  It felt good then and today is shorter so I have no reason not to push hard.  I get different pains in my glute, foot, legs.. but each time I focus on the Lord and try to trust Him and not get anxious.  Each pain goes away and I’m riding pretty well.

On the way back (a long descent down Auburn Folsom), I catch up to Keith Hansen and go back and forth a bit.  Another rider passes me and drafts off Keith for along time.  Does he not know that drafting is not allowed in triathlon?  I remind him not to draft as I push hard to get by him.  Eventually Keith and I get far enough ahead.  It’s really hard staying in front of Keith.  We always make sure to keep the required 7 meters between us.  Keith goes by one time and even says, “Don’t worry, I wasn’t drafting”.  And I say the same to him when I go by.

I’m really tired and sore for the last climb up Twin Rocks Rd but now I’m almost done with the Bike


T2:  I roll into transition with a great dismount.  Anna and Ariel are cheering for me.  Such great supporters. 

Run:  There’s someone right behind me so I start off pretty fast.  I hope I can hold it.  My achilles has been bothering me lately and I pray the Lord will hold it together for me.  It’s a pretty course, winding through single-track under a lot of shade.  It is getting hot out.  On the dirt road it’s continuous up and down.  It’s tough on the legs.  Many racers who started earlier are coming back.  One says, “watch out, there’s a snake on the road”.  I wonder if it’s a rattlesnake coiled up on the side of the road.  I keep my eyes open.  Then I see a runner coming towards me reach down quickly and PICK UP the snake and move it off the road!  That’s when I notice it was only a King Snake.  At the turn-around, I make a move and end up passing 3 strong runners.  I don’t know the course at this point.  It’s a new trail which winds around and down and then up a steep climb back to the levy.  It’s really hard work but I’m able to stay ahead of the others.

I don’t know what my place or time is but I feel like I’m pushing hard and making the best of every part of the course.  I know God wants my best effort with a smile, not my best time with a medal.  On the way back, I’m not seeing anyone ahead of me to chase, but I try to push as if there is someone.

We round the water-tower hill and I’m so glad we didn’t have to climb it.  Finally down the finish stretch, there’s my girls, I thank the Lord, and I’m done!  I gave it my all and my body hurts.  Good effort.  Dave Campbell, 10 years older, finished just 30 secs behind me, which means his run was almost 2 min faster.  Another mile and he may have caught me.  Or the next race.. 


God is good and with His strength I can keep persevering in Triathlon and more importantly in life.  God Bless.