Race The River Race Review

This summer has been the summer of triathlons. I haven’t written on quite a few of them, I blame mostly work. This weekend, I went over to Coeur d’Alene for the Race the River Sprint Triathlon: 1/2 mile swim, 16 miles on the bike and a 3.2 mile run. I decided to stay in Coeur D’Alene for the night since it was a 7 AM race and you had to be done with set up in transition by 630/645.

Saturday, I picked up my gear around 1 pm. It was quick and easy at Northern Idaho University. There was no wait and it was a quick in and out. I went and checked into the hotel and went to Main Street and walked around some. I also sat by the Lake a little bit, a first since the attempted CdA Half Ironman that I pulled out of because I was freezing. I ended up getting a drink before heading to church and then to get a quick bite to eat for dinner and calling it a night.

Race day, I was up bright and early (gotta love 5 AM wake up calls on days you’re not working…) and got changed. After making sure I had all my stuff, which included going back to the room after getting to my car, I was off to the start, about 10 minutes away. After getting parked and unloaded, I found a spot in the transition area (we were set up by color of our swim caps). As I was getting my stuff set up, someone else started getting set up next to me and we started chatting. It was her first triathlon and she was asking questions, which I tried to answer. Apparently by triathlon number 4, you’re a pro. What was odd about this tri is that the number for the bike wasn’t two sided and didn’t stick together. There was a ticket that you tore off your bib and had to pin or tape to your bike. Thank goodness for electrical tape. I ended up sharing with the lady next to me because she was scratching her head too. One thing I was a fan of though was the timing chip. Normally these suckers have to be returned or you get charged anywhere between $100-200. The chips were foam and wrapped around your ankle before sticking one end to the other (yes I taped my on for security). After the race, you threw it away and were done with it. Score!

Around 630, I headed to the start. There was a pre race meeting before the elites started at 6:59. The red corral followed at 7 AM and we were off without a hitch. The first half of the swim was in the lake before we turned onto the river. The lake was choppy and I was trying to not get kicked in the face (or the gut). I ended up swimming the best 1/2 mile of the year (bonus!). It was actually a bit of a hike from the river to the transition (1/4 mile might be overly dramatic). I got out of my wetsuit and changed and got out to the mounting part of the bike course, where there were two people arguing about having not turned on headphones in.

The bike course was out and bake. The first few miles were flat and nothing to worry about. After mile 5, we hit some hills which were not fun. You could see people coming back and you’re realizing you’re having to do the hills on the way back. After 8 miles, you hit the turn around and came back. More hills but you hit flatness the last part of the course. Had it been a 12 mile course, I would have probably pulled my best bike of the year. When I was getting back to the transition, I nearly went the wrong way around the round about, but avoided it. When I was running my bike in a little kid nearly ran in front of me (face palm).

The run was on the Centennial Trail and the first 2/3 of it were out and back on part of the course you had to get from the swim to bike. After you doubled back, and you went out along the lake. It was fairly flat, some minimal hills if anything. What I’ve liked about triathlons is that you (most of the time) have your age on your left calf, so you know if someone ahead of you is in your age group. I was able to pass at least one person in the 30-34 yo women’s age group and an additional 5-10 people, so I knew I wasn’t finishing last. I actually held a decent pace and picked up the pace the last mile. The last .2 miles, you had to go up a little bit of an incline. There was an older guy in his 70s ahead of me that I ended up passing because I’m not competitive at all.

Overall, I finished in 2:12:40. I was 10/10 in my age group coming out of the swim, but by the end of the run, I was 8/10. Overall, I was 147/217 (which is nowhere near last!). Fun race, didn’t finish last and didn’t get hypothermic or penalties!

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