Sunday, August 6, 2023

Tri Santa Cruz–Olympic Distance-Robin-2023

August 6th, 2023 – Santa Cruz, CA
Swim 1.5K –0.3m T1- Bike 22.4 m – Run 5.7 m

2:40:48 (34:14 – 1:10:09 – 48:59)


2nd, 45-49W


Oly: Dave Campbell, Dave Leroy, Troy

Sprint: Anna & Ariel

IMG_20230806_072419701_HDRIt’s such a blessing being in Santa Cruz racing with the whole family!  We haven’t all raced a tri at the same time before. The girls will be doing the sprint and Troy and I will be doing the Olympic. The swim course loop is the same though we do 2 laps and the girls do one. The bike course loop is the same. This is my first and only triathlon for 2023. It’s been a tough year with various challenges and training has been hard to fit in much training. I’m just grateful to be at the start line injury free!   

We are celebrating Ariel’s 15th birthday this trip. We took a fun train ride up the mountains yesterday and after the race today we’ll go to the pier and beach.

I am terrified of being cold in the ocean but hopeful I’ll survive. I’m wearing my friend Karen’s special swim vest with hood under my wetsuit. The swim start is delayed because of fog so the girls, Troy and I have time to hang out. It’s fun looking at the fun signs people made one with Dory on it…”just keep swimming and biking and running!”.


Soon we get the all clear from the lifeguards and it’s time to go! Troy’s wave starts out ahead of me. I see him bravely run into the water. Then it’s my turn!  I haven’t touched the water at all which is a risky move not knowing what to expect and knowing the temp is around 60 degrees. I run into the water, jump in and start swimming. I’m pleasantly surprised how the the vest hoodie is keeping out the cold!  Thank you Jesus!  With every stroke I’m so thankful for my friend Karen loaning me the vest.

The first 500 I hit 8:36 which is 1:43 pace. Thank you Lord for the extra buoyancy! Back home in Folsom Lake I’m like 2 minutes slower per 500.  As I sight for shore, I see the sprint distance swimmers take off. Go Anna, go Ariel!  Ariel is not even wearing a wetsuit today but just a speedsuit!  She’s tough! 

Soon, I’m running out of the water along the beach and jumping back into the ocean for one more loop. The second 500 I’m a little slower at 8:48, 1:46 pace. I feel more tired now but still enjoying the comfort of the vest. Troy is surely out and running to his bike. I hope he survived the cold!  We are both wimps when it comes to cold.  The shore is getting closer and closer!  My pace slowed down my 3rd 500 to almost 2:00 pace but so glad I’ve been comfortable for this swim!

I exit the water and pull my wetsuit down to my waist.


It’s a long run to my bike but a good opportunity to get warm.  I struggle to get off my wetsuit at my transition sport but I know being warm is worth the extra work and time!  I get on my dry jersey, beanie and jacket. I feel comfortable heading out.


230806_tri_santa_cruz_oly_robin_bikeThis course reminds me so much of the Tri California Treasure Island Tri Troy and I did many years back. It’s a flat neighborhood ride that is mainly a straight out and back. There are some technical turns in some spots as well. This is my first of 6 times on this “loop”.  There are a lot of people out here! It’s controlled chaos!

Soon I see Ariel, then Anna and then Troy. We are going to be seeing a lot of each other!  This is great! Who needs spectators when you have family racing with you.  It’s so cool to see their smiles!

The first 5 miles take me a bit to warm up and get my bearings on the course. I average about 17.6mph. 

The next 15 miles, I’m able to average just over 19mph.  Even though the course is monotonous, it is fun watching for my family. The girls are doing 3 less loops so eventually they disappear and I look for them on the run when I pass the run course. I continue to see Troy and cheer him on.

I see Anna going out for her run. She is smiling and looks strong. 

I start my final loop I see Anna finishing up already! Go Anna! That means Ariel will be done soon too!

I no longer see Troy. Now I’m all alone out here.  It’s less crowded by lonely!  I got to get this done so I can see them on the run!

I finally finish my final loop and I’m coming into transition.  I see Troy on the run. Our friend Dave Leroy is just behind him…I think he’s going out on his second loop compared to Troy’s first loop.


I hear Anna and Ariel cheering for me as I get off the bike. I’m able to transition a bit faster this time thankfully.


My legs struggle the first mile to adjust…more so than usual since this is my only triathlon of the year!  I eek out a 9:39 first mile…ugh! This is going to be a long one!

230806_tri_santa_cruz_oly_robin_runI start to get my legs back. I see Troy coming back smiling. I give him a high five.

Mile 2 is 8:31. Better! Thank you Lord I can be doing this…and with my family!

I squeeze in a quick bathroom break. That’s better. I see Troy coming back out for his final loop!

Mile 3 is 8:50. Someone has their boombox going outside their bus/house. Some good old 80s classics.

I turn around and head out for my last loop. I start to pay more attention to the women racing around me.  Maybe I can pass some.  Two women who must be friends pass me. I can’t quite match their pace but I try to pick it up so they don’t get too far ahead.

Here comes Troy.  He looks good!

Mile 4 is 8:28. I’m on my way back now. Yay!

I continue to keep my eyes on those 2 gals and it seems like I’m gaining a bit. In the meantime I do pass a few other girls.

Mile 5 is 8:23. I’m getting faster and I’m not dying. Thank you Lord!

The race is almost done!  I’m not going to catch those girls but I’ve definitely closed the gap.

IMG_20230806_115517046I hear a train whistle. I know that whistle! That’s the same train I took yesterday! I can see the train is slowly approaching crossing spot to the finish line. I’ve got to get there quick!  I pick it up double time and take advantage of the downhill to the tracks.  I can make it! I push hard and get across with a few feet to spare. Thankfully it’s not a fast moving train! I’m the last one through. I feel bad for the others behind me!  I do find out later that the other runners kept running on the dirt on the other side of the track and crossed behind the train. I push hard down the bike path to the finish.  The sun has burst through the clouds and it’s just a gorgeous day in Santa Cruz! Thank you Lord for a great race!  I cross the line and look up to God. Troy is there smiling. Best way to finish!