Sunday, August 6, 2023

Tri Santa Cruz–Sprint-Anna-2023

August 6th, 2023 – Santa Cruz, CA
Swim 850meters –0.3m T1- Bike 11.2 m – Run 3.05  m

1:12:39 (16:48 – 1:20 – 33:58 – 1:16 – 19:32)


2nd, 16-19F; 5th out of 97 Overall W


Oly: Dave Campbell, Dave Leroy, Robin

Sprint: Ariel

Today I get to race the Santa Cruz Tri! This will be my first race swimming in the open ocean. I don’t always like swimming in the ocean and I don’t like the cold, but with God’s help I’ll get through it. I’m just doing the sprint distance while my parents are doing the Olympic distance. They will have to swim 2 laps in the ocean a lot longer than I will be swimming. I only have to swim one lap. They also don’t like the cold so it will be a battle for them too. Once I finish the swim I will be good to go till the run. Recently I have been having shin problems and they're slowly healing. They still bother me when I run and I’m praying they won’t bother me during the race.

The race is delayed by 10 min because of fog and it gives me more time to look at the dark and unfriendly water. Mom and Dad go first and we get to see them swim their first lap. Before starting their second lap they have to run up onto the beach and then jump back in. I’m happy to see that they are not frozen and still doing well. Then it is time for Ariel and I to start the swim. I am excited to be racing with Ariel, I haven’t raced against her for a long time. The announcer counts us off, I say a quick prayer, and we go.

I jump in and start swimming as fast as I can to stay warm. I also keep an eye on Ariel to make sure she’s doing ok. She’s hot-blooded and is wearing a speed suit instead of a wetsuit. As I swim, my face and toes go numb while my tongue wishes for non-salty water. As I get to the first buoy, I go around it with Ariel behind me. I have been constantly looking back to make sure she’s good. I hope she can see me looking back and knows where I am too. I start to pull away and I hope she can jump on my feet for a draft. I then start to focus on the next buoy and know that God will take care of Ariel. I try to get into a good rhythm and force some cold water into my wetsuit to help add motion to my arm strokes. I get around the second buoy and head towards the shore. I’m thankful that God has helped me almost finish the swim. When I get really close to the shore I start to put more water into my wetsuit to help me take it off faster. As I run out of the water I see Ariel up ahead, she must have passed me when I was getting close to the shore. I then try to get my wetsuit off, but the zipper isn’t working. I run over to a volunteer and ask them to unzip it for me. I then get it off and start running to the transition. I thank God for getting me safely through the swim, now I just need to get warm on the bike. The run to transition is longer than normal, but I use it to get warm fast. As I run into transition I start to jump over a curb in the parking lot, to take the quickest way to my bike, but I then get yelled at by a volunteer to go around. I apologize and run around, the long way to my bike. I get to my bike, disregard my jacket, and quickly get on my bike. Lord willing I will get warm on the bike.

230806_tri_santa_cruz_sprint_anna_bikeNow I just have to catch up to Ariel. I am surprised at how far ahead she is already, it must’ve taken me longer than I thought to get my wetsuit off. The bike course is three loops with an out and back. I’m excited to be able to see all my family racing all at the same time! I get to the turnaround and can finally see Ariel ahead of me. She is a fast biker. After I turn around I slowly catch up to her. I tell her good job and that God is with her. As I bike up in front of her I look back one more time to yell some encouraging words. When I look back in front of me, I’m riding straight into a reflective delineator post that is in the road. I ride right into it and I’m expecting to crash. However, the post is plastic and I stay still upright on my bike. I’m so shocked that I didn’t crash that I run into the next reflective delineator post. I then come to my senses and swerve back onto the road. I yell back to Ariel that I’m ok and keep riding.

I eventually see Mom and Dad and cheer them on. There are a lot of bikers on the road because both the Olympic and Sprint racers are on the same course. I do my best to move to the right every time I pass someone and stay out of people’s drafts. I’m thankful that God is keeping everyone safe from running into each other. I end up going back and forth with some guy who is about the same speed as me. I pass him a lot and he passes me a lot, we help push each other.

I eventually finish the 3 loops and bike down a different road to transition. I don’t realize how close I am to transition and quickly try to get my feet out of my bike shoes. I’m a little rushed and accidentally go over the bike dismount line. I apologize and get off immediately. I want to represent my jersey and not break the rules, plus this is the second time someone has yelled at me. I think I got a little confused because the dismount line was different from the get on your bike to start line. As I run into a transition I try to make it my fastest transition. As I’m getting on my shoes Dave Campbell yells at me to go faster. I appreciate his encouragement, but I’m still shaking a little from the bike and I feel that this rushing is making me slower and I’m making more mistakes. I finally get my shoes on, after what seems to take forever, and start running.

I run up the path and begin to run along the coast. As I’m running on the run course, I see Mom going for another loop of the bike. We cheer each other on. I appreciate being able to run next to such a beautiful coast that I once a year get to see. I’m trying to push the beginning of the run and pass as many people as I can. I try to pretend that the first-place runner is just around the corner. I do see the top runner heading back to the finish already! I got to meet her before the race started. She is a triathlete from UC Davis!

As I continue to run, I’m thankful that my shins are not bothering me and I’m praying that my fast start to my run doesn’t make them worse. I pass a girl at the turnaround and head back, almost done! I run through the salty air back to the finish. I see Ariel and encourage her to give her best effort for God. It is so cool to watch her race. As I finish the last bit of the coastal path I see some surfboard class in the water. I would love to do that someday.

As I run back into town, I can start to feel my shins a little bit. I monitor them and so far they are not getting worse. I see Dad heading out on the run course and encourage him. I then hit the path to the finish and push hard to the end. I finish pointing to God, thanking him for a spectacular race! I haven’t done a sprint for a while and it felt so quick and fun!

It was great to be able to run at Santa Cruz, a place I haven’t been to since I was a toddler! I’m also so thankful that God kept my shins strong and protected my whole family in the swim. It was also a blessing to be able to see my family so much during the race, it made it a great family race!

230806_tri_santa_cruz_sprint_anna_runPraise The Lord For He Is Good, His Love Endures ForeverIMG_20230806_112142118