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race report | take the hill tri

Last Saturday morning, I woke up to this:


The forecast had been dismal all week, and I was pretty cranky about it (just ask Nick), but I was hoping they were wrong (they weren’t).

Nevertheless, I packed all my gear for the Take the Hill sprint triathlon at Gustavus in Saint Peter and decided racing in the rain would be a last minute decision. Of course I knew the entire time I’d race, but I just wanted to complain about the crap weather a bit. (Last year’s race weather was equally terrible.)

PRE-RACE // It was pretty relaxed. Nick and I arrived about 90 minutes early, checked in, met up with a few friends who were also racing and arranged our gear in transition near the bike and run in + out. I learned my lesson last year, so bike shoes, run shoes, socks, ear warmer and race belt went inside a plastic garbage bag to keep them dry. Because there’s nothing worse than biking and running in wet socks and wearing a soaking ear warmer.

Also, braids = brilliant. This is now my official race hair 🙂

THE SWIM // 500 yards, 11:10. Based on our estimated 500-yard time, we were assigned waves for the pool swim; my 8:00 time put me in wave three. I opted to swim in my suit for two reasons: 1) a wet kit = a frozen kit when it’s 35 degrees; and, 2) I didn’t want to chlorinate my new #teamSOAS kit. I don’t remember much about the swim other than it never felt hard and that it went by quickly. Granted, it was only a 500-yard swim, but it flew by. So, my 11:10 time… it’s not accurate. My lane partner started about 30 seconds before me, and after I finished, I toweled off on the pool deck and put on my pink peacock SOAS kit and lululemon swiftly tech long sleeve before I crossed the timing mat outside. I remember the clock saying 8:32 as I neared the end of the swim, so guessing my swim time is closer to 8:05 (the clock started with the first swimmers in each heat).

T1 // 2:35. SOAS jersey, ear warmer, gloves, race belt, socks and shoes on, and I was off on my Argon. A bit of a slow T1 for a sprint, but layering up took work.

THE BIKE // 12.5 miles, 40:19, 18.6 mph average. I love my bike, I love riding my bike, and racing on my Argon for the first time didn’t disappoint. It was fast, responsive and just felt good. And, other than frozen braids and my legs matching the color of my pink shorts – they were numb and frozen – I felt good. While it wasn’t as windy as last year, the cross wind still blew me around enough that I couldn’t stay in aero around several of the curves and down the one hill.

T2 // 1:16. Helmet off + shoe swap and off on the run.

THE RUN // 3.3 miles, 23:37, 7:07 pace. Mile one wasn’t too bad. My legs were a bit heavy, but they warmed up quickly as I ran through the arboretum. The hill – the one that leads up to campus and the race’s namesake – came around mile 1.5, and it hurt going down and coming back up. After slogging to the top, I had two goals: To catch the triathletes in front of me, and to see how hard I could push myself the rest of the run. I kicked it into high gear and repeated: You can do anything for one mile. And, after passing a few more runners as the route rounded the football and soccer fields, I crossed the finish line, unsure where that 7:07 pace came from, but I’ll take it!

OFFICIAL TIME // 1:18:45, 1st AG, 2nd overall female, 13th overall. For the first race of the season, I’m really happy with it! It was a great race to test my fitness (which is way better than last year… I cut 14 minutes off my time!) and nearly three months of training with Coach Joe. All the swimbikerunning is working!

And, congrats to friend Nick De Leeuw and my Nick! They rocked the race, finishing 1-2, respectively. All in all, a cold + fun day!

I was waiting on official race photos, but haven’t seen any yet, and this is all I took (gasp!).



23 Comments Post a comment
  1. mattstorlie #

    Congrats, Erin-nice work!! 🙂

    May 16, 2013
  2. I don’t know much about the biking and swimming paces (although I know your times are fantastic), but if I could run 3.3 miles at a 7:07 pace, I’d be giving myself a big ole pat on the back. That’s awesome, Sis! No wonder you got 2nd overall! Way to go. 🙂 Wish I had your determination and commitment! xoxo

    May 16, 2013
    • Thank ya, Sista! And, you DO have it! It just materializes in different ways 🙂 xoxo.

      May 23, 2013
  3. Ok…2nd place?! That is amazing!!! But even more amazing is that you swam/biked/ran outside in the cold and rain…Congrats!

    May 16, 2013
    • It was COLD, Emily, but makes you stronger 🙂 Thank you!

      May 23, 2013
  4. Anne Q #

    1st? GREAT JOB Erin!! I have been rocking the braids for a couple years now in Tri’s since someone had recommended. Totally the best way to race!

    May 16, 2013
    • Braids are the BEST, Anne! Thank you!!

      May 23, 2013
  5. Ahhhh great recap and AMAZING race! I’m so proud of you 🙂 You did super well in all events, but that run — holy cow! Congrats!

    May 16, 2013
    • Thanks, Hyedi! It’s taken some injuries and time, but the run is coming along! And, you, too! You are running fantastic!

      May 23, 2013
  6. Awesome! Well done Erin!

    May 16, 2013
  7. Solid first race of the season Erin!!! Keep up the hard work!

    May 16, 2013
    • Thanks much, Katie! I’m hoping for some warm Cali-like weather at my next race 🙂

      May 23, 2013
  8. Great job Erin!! It was a dismall day. Congrats on the PR and the awesome run! I didn’t know you had a Soas jacket, sweet! Whats with the puffy hair on Nick? Pretty soon he’ll be sporting some braids 🙂 But if it helps him go fast too, so be it .

    May 16, 2013
    • Thank you, Mary! Yes, bought it a few weeks prior… it’s great! Ha… I think he was eating a bagel, too!

      May 23, 2013
  9. Valerie #

    Nice work Erin! Congrats on your 1st AG, 2nd overall female, 13th overall – especially in those conditions!! Keep up that positive attitude as training continues for the big Ironman race!!

    May 16, 2013
    • Thanks so much, Valerie! The power of positivity 🙂

      May 23, 2013
  10. Have you seen any of my tri photos??? I love me some braids on race day! Congrats on that amazing finish. Your swim…so fast…that bike…amazing…and your run looks like my PR would be : ) Glad you were able to survive the crabby weather!

    May 17, 2013
    • I haven’t, but will have to look… braids are perfect race day hair! Thank you!

      May 23, 2013
  11. Mad props to your Erin, 2nd overall female? yeeeeoowwww. love it.

    May 18, 2013
    • Thanks, dear! Can’t wait to hear all about your second marathon! Are you writing a recap?

      May 23, 2013

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