Prerace: Got up at 4:15 am, wasn’t sleeping anyway got ready
and woke up Scott to drop my off at June Lake Ski resort (no parking at beach) and got to bus at 5:25. Two deer were blocking our way right before we got to the parking lot. Amazing, I have never seen so many deer, as I have this week at June Lake.
The bus driver hung my bike upside down (weird bike racks). As I watched my water drain out I asked him to flip it the other way. Not too much water lost and I hadn’t filled my nutrition bottle yet. Slight thought about removing nutrition bottle, but no liquid no problem. Wrong!
Got an end cap (transition opened at 6am) and set up transition area only to find out
1) I forgot my cap for under my helmet and 2) lost straw for my nutrition bottle on the way from ski resort.
Ok plan B, there is always a plan B somewhere if you are doing a Triathlon and most of the time I will have whatever I need or whatever someone else needs in my car. Unfortunately, my car was back at home. I found a running bandana that I could use under helmet, yeah 1st issue done. Figured I would use egels on bike and the liquid in my run bottles, not what I planned, but it could work. After, I settled down to eat my breakfast and relax, I realized there was still a shot to find my straw, long shot, but it was there. Hopped on the next bus heading back to the ski lodge and told the bus driver what I was looking for. Wouldn’t you know it; I found my smooshed up straw about ½ mile from transition in the middle of the road. Walked back to transition and reshaped my dirty, hmm, straw.
Was pleasantly surprised when I ran into Tina, whom I had met 2 years ago at this race. Tina is doing IMAZ this year and is so excited. I had seen her training all week, but didn’t recognize her with all her tri gear on.
Swim: This is a water start swim, which I absolutely love. There is nothing better, especially, when you have ample time to warm up, literally. Katie would have enjoyed the water; it was perfect at 64 degrees. Went with full wetsuit (might have even gotten away with sleeveless), neoprene cap and race cap (no booties). We went off 5 minutes after the guys. I immediately got into a 4 count stroke, which was great until me and another lady kept banging into each other. I slowed down and went to her left, hey I think its Tina. I couldn’t find my rhythm again and started doing 3 to 1, 1 to 1 strokes to calm myself down. This was a longer swim than the day before and I knew our swim guide missed a buoy during the preview. No worries, my goal was to take the swim easy and make up time elsewhere. Garmin showed me actually swimming 1606 yards (little over 1 mile) instead of what was suppose to be 1500. Swim time 37:14. Now I don’t know if this included the time I fell in the sand coming up the beach or not. Yes, I fell again.
Bike:They just changed the bike course a couple of weeks ago, so no more on 395.I have to say I loved the new route. It was hillier, but you also got some relief on the down hills. No constant climb like 395. The best part was that you got to see the other triathletes on the course. On the old course I felt I was in no where land, especially on 395, since everyone else was so much faster. The hardest hill came about 5 ½ miles from transition. Think of Chalk Hill at Vineman, only steeper and a bit shorter. There I was chugging along and I saw a car to the left of me not moving. This was entertaining to me, because he was blocking all possible traffic in both directions while filming me climb up this hill. I rattled off something to him, before telling him, watch out there is a police car coming. (I could just see them colliding, they didn’t, thank goodness). The last few hills/miles of the course I saw the 1st place guy running down the mountain. I thought, no way he is going to finish before I am even off my bike, no way Jose. It was fun seeing runners on the same portion of the bike course. Runners were cheering me on as I climbed the hills and one of them. As I finished the bike and started the run I heard the winner being announced. I was ok with that, I made it off the bike before he finished. There was about 1300 ft of climbing in 24.86 miles. Bike Time: 1:34.
T2: I had already sprayed bug spray on before the bike, so my only issue was there was no space for my bike on the rack. Since, the kids’ race was over guess who took over my end cap and the next few feet on the rack. Yep, couple of mountain bikes that I had a hard time moving let alone pick up when one dropped off the end. A volunteer came over and helped me move them, so I could rack my bike. Ugh! Pet peeve of mine. Now for the fun.
Run: The run course, you can’t actually run the whole thing, in fact, hiking or walking up a steep hill may be a better description. You start off by running on the beach in the sand and continuing up a big sandy hill to a paved road at the top. Then you have a couple of rolling hills on the blacktop, before you cross the road and head up a fire road to the hiking section of the race. It was fun cheering the other runners on. What was even more amazing is that there were still cyclists coming in. You had to cheer them on. On the steep hike up the mountain, 2 guys passed me up. They were walking, but were much taller than me and had very long legs. Darn my stumpers were no match. Got to the top of the mountain and knew I had to average under a 15minute mile to hit my goal. My time was already tanking on the hike up the mountain. I had no energy (it had been zapped all week), just the will to enjoy this beautiful course kept me going.Kept my pace as fast as I could (you all would be sleeping) and looked for the 2 guys inblack that passed me. The forest part, oh my goodness, it’s so beautiful and makes the hike to get up all worth it. Earlier, I said the fun begins, but really for me it starts on the down hill. No matter, how I feel or what I think is or isn’t wrong, this is my playground. I have the need for speed, granted my speed isn’t as fast as most of yours, but it’s mine, mine, and mine.
Steep trek down the mountain began a little sandy and rocky and then came the boulders, I had to stop and climb over, yes stop. This portion is real technical and if you don’t watch your footing you can go over the side, fall in a sage bush or wind up in the rocks. It seemed a bit more tore up than it did a few days earlier. It was much more traveled on and sandy. I don’t wear trail shoes and now I know why others do. I literally had to stop, sit down and shake out the rocks in my shoes.
Once, I got down to the bottom there were volunteers to guide me along my path and cheer me on. After, about a half a mile, a little boy (from the aid station) ran up to me and offered me a nice cold sponge (AMAZING). I got another one a half mile later, which worked out perfectly. I found those 2 guys in black that passed me going up the mountain and I was gaining ground on the up hills. They were walking and I was running as fast as I could. Once, I passed them I saw the down hill (very sandy and a bit rocky) and booked it to the finish line. I actually heard them call my name as I crossed. YEAH! Run time: 1:46.
This wasn’t my best, but with approximately 1300 ft of climbing on the bike, 1000 ft of climbing on the run at an elevation of 7400 to 8400 with no energy I will just have to do it again next year. Total Time 4:05:26
Thanks for all the support and well wishes, Laura L. Booher from the TwoIMs