Saturday, July 9, 2022

June Lake Olympic Tri-Troy-2022

July 9th, 2022 – June Lake, CA
Swim 1.5K – Bike 25 miles – Run 6.2 miles

3:05:26 (30:00 – 5:32 – 1:24:11 – 1:15 – 1:04:26)


4th M50-24 (out of 5); 29th/72 Overall


HALF- FCA: Anna Soares, Robin Soares

SPRINT – FCA: Ariel Soares

The whole family is racing this morning.  We camped in the tent last night after a 4 hr drive and arriving at dinner time so not much sleep.  I get up early to help Robin and Anna with breakfast and their bikes since they’re doing the 1/2 Ironman starting at 7.  Ariel is doing the sprint at 8 and I’m doing the Olympic at 8:30.


The high mountain fresh air and beautiful views make this an epic get-away race venue.  But the water is frigid cold at the shore.  We hear it’s warmer farther out.  Robin and Anna start and I hope they don’t get too cold.

Ariel’s swim is shorter so she’s going without a wetsuit.  I hope she doesn’t freeze!

Everyone is out on their bikes now and it’s time for my race.  I do get in the water for a quick swim even though it’s really cold.  We start in knee-deep water.  I look to the Lord, He’s the only reason I can race with a smile, He makes everything we do have purpose.  I look around and encourage everyone to have fun.  Go!


Immediately I’m having trouble getting enough air.  I swim fast for a hundred yards but then feel the difficulty.  Soon I’m falling behind, really working hard for air and just not feeling snappy.  At the first turn it gets really choppy which makes it even harder to get air.  After the 2nd turn we head back to the start for lap 2. Wow, Ariel did this first lap and made it look easy, I'm already tired.

On the 2nd loop I start getting cold.   I don’t know how Ariel did it without a wetsuit! At the final turn I’m cold and tired but keep trying my best.  I’m glad to get to the shallow and start the long walk out. 29:31 is pretty slow for me but I did my best. I keep my suit on till transition to stay warm.  It takes me forever to get it off.


Good, on the bike, wearing my jacket. All is good except for the fog in my head. When I get cold in the swim and then am working hard, I can't focus well on the situation. It's like tunnel vision. I'm biking through the beautiful town of June which kind of looks like Switzerland. The road is getting curvy and one sharp turn in particular takes me by surprise. I can tell I'm going around a corner but it's like I'm watching a movie. It's scary because I don't really feel like I'm in control. I thank the Lord that I get through it okay.


It takes 5 or 10 miles before I can start thinking clearly & warming up. The surrounding hillsides are beautiful and the many lakes as well. Although they're lower than 2 years ago. There are a lot of bikes around and I notice many of them are older styles, not flashy. Many racers today seam easy-going and either very experienced or first-timers. It's a great group, and reminds me how great a sport triathlon is. It's something anybody can do, is really fun at moments and helps you learn a lot about yourself, and hopefully also about how important the Lord is for getting us through life.

I reach the highway and take off my jacket. Quite warm now. I’m very tired. It's a gradual climb and windy and seems to go forever. Robin and Anna have to do this twice. I wonder if they're behind me or in front. A few cyclists pass me which is a sign of how tired I'm getting. I think back to how well Ironman Des Moines went but I don't feel as comfortable now. I finally turn onto the road to June Lake and one more short climb I turn into the park and descend down to transition. Have a great dismount. 1:24.  it's always exciting switching to the run.


As I head out onto the beach Ariel is there cheering for me and says her race went well thanks to God. I thank God For letting it go well for her. now I pray for Anna not to have bike problems and Robin to not have hamstring problems. Just a week ago she had to walk during a 7-mile run race because of it. I'm praying for a miracle that she can get through this tough 13 mi run.

I look forward to water starting the run but the aid station isn't open yet. It may be because the half Ironman hasn't come through yet. Up the steep sandy hill to the main road. It takes my breath away but I practice my fast walk pace.

It's a different course this year. So now it's mainly downhill to the entrance to our campsite. Now we turn left onto a gravel fire road I've never been on. This is where Ariel turned around for her run. It's quite hot and I really need water.

1.5mi. I drink three little cups of water. It's very cold which is nice. My run is not feeling good. I don't know if it's the elevation or fatigue but I'm very thankful I'm not doing the half today which I actually thought I was just a day ago. This course is kind of boring unlike previous years climbing up into the mountains where wildflowers and shady trees await you. But now we turn through a small grove of trees and it's nice for a quarter mile.

2.5mi. in the sun descending a sandy trail I suddenly feel light-headed. I've never felt this before and part of me welcomes it and just wants to fall down and go to sleep. No, I quickly remember talking to Ariel about not giving up with the Lord. I won't give in. I start doing anything I think might help. taking off my hat raising my arms in the air getting pumped up focusing on the Lord. Slowly it goes away and I feel back in control. That was weird.

3mi. At the turnaround I can see Robin in the distance at 1.5 MI. I yell but she can't hear me with the wind. I drink a lot of water and realize I have to conserve and monitor my effort.

4mi I see Robin and get a quick thumbs up from her which is an answer to prayer. I turn and jog with her for a bit to find out the hamstring is hanging in there. I'm praising God and so happy that she's able to run this well so far. Now I start figuring out how far back Anna will be. It's her first half Ironman so expect her about a half an hour behind Robin at best.

4.5mi more water at the aid station and heading back to the road. There's Anna! I quickly tell her all I was thinking about for her. "Anna, remember to drink a lot, walk The hills, conserve. You have plenty of time." She also had a running injury with her hip but she looks great and again I thank God for that.

Up the long Hill. I have to walk every minute to keep from getting too light-headed. I don't mind not being able to push hard as I  like to because today is really for Anna's 1st Half and Robin's prep for Hawaii Ironman. God did a miracle for me a month ago at Iowa and I couldn't be happier. But this light headed thing does make me want to check my health (kidney?) when I get back home. [Later tested positive for COVID]

Now it's all down hill and I'm done! Just don't fall on the steep sandy section. Ariel is cheering at the finish. Thank you Lord for getting me through without collapsing!

Now Ariel and I get on our bikes to go cheer for Robin and Anna!