Only a month late!
I headed down to Auburn the night before the triathlon with my friend Evan (who did the Half Iron Man!) and his girlfriend. We picked up our packets, attended the pre-race meeting, set up our T2 transition areas and got free food from a church triathlon group doing a free pre-race spaghetti dinner.
Attending the pre-race meeting was pretty helpful, as the 3 courses and a separate T1 and T2 made for a confusing course map.
We woke up bright and early (but not early enough) and headed to the race. We ended up getting a little lost heading to the start (which was at a random river bank not on any map), and we were extremely worried we were going to be late and/or miss the start. We ended up being in time, but definitely rushed. Word of advice: if you do this, race leave early and possibly go find the swim start on the day before.
The swim was in the warm (74 degrees I think!) Folsom Reservoir. The swim was a wave start with waves leaving every 5 minutes (international men, international women, half iron men, half iron women, mini men and finally my wave, mini women). I felt really good on the swim, despite not doing a ton of it in the last month before the triathlon. I even caught up and passed a few of the men from the wave ahead of me!
500 m, 8:51 2/5 AG, 13/61 overall
I’m pretty excited about the 13th overall, including the men! I wonder what I could do if I actually trained for the swimming.
T1 was fairly straightforward. I stripped off my wetsuit, put on my top, helmet, shoes (forgot socks, oops!) and sunglasses and headed off on my bike.
The bike was hard! It was only a little over 8 miles, but there was about 800 feet of climbing over the first six miles with some steep sections. The bike leg was probably the leg I was best trained for, but it was still really hard. I did the vast majority of my training via mountain bike, and really only went on one ~10 mile road ride before hand. That was probably not the best training plan, but it worked out ok. I did drop my chain within the first minute of riding, which cost me a good minute. And they were not lying about the section of steep switchbacks. I even got off and pushed for a bit. I literally cannot remember the last time I had to do that on a road bike. The road is closed to traffic and quite nicely paved and scenic. Looking back, I could have pushed harder on the bike, but I’m still happy with my performance.
13 k, 42:26; 4/5 AG, 32/61 Overall
Intense face (aka trying not to die)
My poor set up the previous night caught up with me here. I had forgotten to untie my running shoes! Rookie mistake. I finally got my shoes untied, threw on my race belt, drank some water and headed off.
I headed off on my run, and in my loopy state, started the wrong way around the loop. In my defense, the girl in front of me did too. Someone yelled at us, and we turned around before we had gone more than a 100 yards or so. The run course for the mini was awesome! Most of the run was on a shaded trail that ran along side a creek. Then there was a nice long downhill on a paved (but closed to traffic) road. The sunny uphill that followed was the worst part of the course, but it wasn’t that bad at all. Before I knew it, I turned a corner and could see the finish line in the distance. The last little bit was on grass through the park, and then I was done! My legs felt pretty good the whole run (proof I could have pushed harder on the bike), and while I felt like I ran well, I had no idea what my time was going to be.
4 k, 20:52; 5/5 AG, 37/61 overall
Now, I know the run time isn’t especially great in the grand scheme of things, but it is awesome for me! I usually feel like I’m speeding along at 9 minute miles, but I did the 4 k with an average pace of 8:20! Race day adrenaline, trying to pass men, and a nice downhill really made for a great run.
Glad I waited to have these flattering shots before writing the recap.
1:18:24; 4/5 AG (though they originally had the AG wrong and gave me the 3rd place AG award) 26/61 overall
I would highly recommend the Auburn Triathlon as a challenging, early season race that is well organized, a perfect size and a whole lot of fun.
Also, my friend Evan killed it on his first triathlon (that’s right, he did the World’s Toughest Half Iron Man as his first ever triathlon). Though after seeing his face on his last couple run laps, it made me never want to do this particular Half Iron Man.
A post shared by Lynn (Tahoe Fabulous) (@tahoefabulous) on