Due to the flooding in Colorado at the end of September, the Oktoberfest Sprint Triathlon that I had signed up to do with my friends Jess and Charlotte got rescheduled to Saturday, October 5. Luckily, it still was a day we could all make it!
The Thursday before the race, we all met in Boulder (with kids in tow) for packet pickup. After we got our race gear, we went out for dinner at Old Chicago on Pearl Street. All 3 of us were going to a wedding Saturday afternoon after the race, so this was our ‘team building’ dinner. It was fun!
The morning of the race, it was only 35 degrees! Travis, Emma and I left the house later than I had wanted to and then we encountered a road that was closed from the flooding, so I was worried that we were going to get to the race too late. But we made it with plenty of time – the race ended up being only about 200 athletes instead of 600 due to the date change, but that meant more room in transition!
The weather had been cool the week before the race so the water was a chilly 58 degrees. Brrrr. Charlotte was a trooper, though, and swam anyway. I felt bad standing around in my many layers, gloves and ear warmers while she was getting into icy water but she totally rocked the 800 meter swim!
We were waiting for Charlotte at the swim out, but somehow missed her get out of the water. We saw her as she was walking past us so Jess ran with her into transition and I ran along outside, since I didn’t want to get in anyone’s way.
Then Jess was off on the bike, wearing long pants, a sweatshirt, winter parka, winter gloves and face mask under her helmet. She said she was cold for the first loop, but then she warmed up and wanted to remove layers but couldn’t! Jess also did really well and crushed the 12.4 mile bike leg.
About 10 minutes before Jess was expected back, I ran around the parking lot a bit and then I went and stood in the transition area to wait for Jess.
Jess arrived, I grabbed the chip from her, strapped it around my ankle and was off on my 5K run!
Right away, my throat and lungs felt hoarse from the cold air. My legs felt great, but my breathing was just really labored. Even though there were people passing me consistently (that’s the reality of a triathlon when everyone starts in different waves), I tried to settle into a pace that was challenging but sustainable. I could tell, though, that I wasn’t feeling as strong as the Community Christian 5K I had done a few weeks earlier.
About the time I started running, the sun decided to make its appearance. So all of my layers made me very overdressed! By Mile 1, I had my gloves off. And by Mile 2, I had my ear warmer and jacket off.
I definitely pushed myself more for our relay team than I would have had I just been racing for myself. There was one main hill on the course leading up to Mile 1. On the way back, I used that hill to my advantage. My splits were (roughly, recalling from memory):
Mile 1 – 11:07
Mile 2- 10:39
Mile 3 – 10:30
Mile .1 – 1:03
RUN TIME – 33:19
TOTAL TIME – 1:36:18
Just for fun, here are my splits from when I did the Oktoberfest Sprint Tri back in 2009 as an age group athlete (times listed in italics show the difference from our relay time):
Swim – 19:57 (+4:59)
T1 - 2:14 (+0:59)
Bike - 46:34 (+0:42)
T2 - 1:09 (+0:13)
Run – 34:07 (+0:48)
Overall Time – 1:43:59 (+7:41)
I hadn’t spectated at a triathlon in a very long time so it was a nice change of pace to watch other athletes (especially the speedy ones)! We checked our time after I finished and noticed that we got 2nd place in the All-Female Relay division. So Jess and I stayed for the award ceremony (Charlotte left after the swim because it was a busy day for her).