Cheryl Sanford – Lake Tahoe Sprint Tri AUG.25 It was a beautiful chilly start outside temp was mid 40’s water temp a shocking 52*, the swim was good, being at 6200′ I cruised for the 500 yards, which ended up being 650 yards. LOL! out at T1 I went to hop on the bike dropped a chain BOOOO! A race volunteer saw and ran over to put it on for me! The bike was a rolling course out on Hwy 89, then you hit a bumpy section of bike path on the way back to transition. Leaving T2 I was feeling good, and I wasn’t having any trouble with elevation. The run course was fabulous it follows along the shoreline for a couple of miles nice a flat with some small hills and a final uphill finish. Was happy with my day and I came in 6th of A.G. 226 overall
Good Day race fans!!! Well, here’s another race report from a regular AG triathlete.
The morning was wonderful at a cool 63 degrees and everyone is happy and mellow. I got my favorite spot in transition. LOL, yes I’m one of those, I like to be on the end of the rack so I can spread out.
Let the games begin!! Got into the water for a pre warm up swim, test the water release race anxiety. “Two min”, Bill announces. I got to the front of the group for the swim start, and they’re off! I was swimming stroke for stroke with someone and feeling pretty good. We were leading and getting into position, couldn’t hold her though, she started slipping away. That’s ok I thought, I still need to bike and run. I got out of the swim 16:24 rank 4 in AG. I’m feeling good, ready to bike.
T1 had my Fav salted watermelon Gu Roctane (thank you Folsom Bike for carrying the latest and greatest in nutrition). Word of advice, never forget to hit the button on your Garmin!!!! I didn’t realize it till I was over the last speed bump heading out the park on the bike. I felt good on the bike except I had a song stuck in my head that some people were singing “Age of Aquarius”, I really don’t know the words, only what they sang and it was on repeat. So, the bike which was a 1:19:4 (6) in AG. It was a psychedelic blur.
T2 2:40 what was I doing? lol, I think I was on a lunch break.
Run- 44:13(4) in AG. . It was nice running weather at 66 degrees and sunny. I love the run portion of the Rancho races. Rolling hills, coach Karyn says hills are our friend, today, I was actually believing that statement.
Finish! Yay! I love coming across the line 2:20:22 4th place in A.G. Awesome! Podium for Folsom Bike!
We selected this event almost a year ago and I had not planned to be coming off of a full IM event 3 weeks earlier. Nor had I realized this would be my 12th Full Ironman since 2009. I always had heard this was a beautiful and challenging course. Last years extreme heat was more of an exception so I was not overly concerned.
We arrived a few days early and were the houseguests of our IM Athlete Services friends. Despite a very long travel day of delays we felt right at home once we arrived and were greeted by 3 super cool dogs. We got dialed in with a great bike shop Vertical Earth and they quickly made some adjustments that were compliments of the sloppy TSA. Did our check in and got a nice feel of the start, finish and transition areas.
Then it was time to get wet. The lake looked awesome and several athletes were getting some yards in. Having heard the water temp was 71-72 degrees I was starting to rethink my full wetsuit. However, with a 6am start I felt I would be more comfortable in long sleeves. The water was super clear and fresh, as it reminded me a lot of Lake Tahoe or Donner and it was amazingly, silky smooth. I did about 1100 yards and my time seemed pretty fast. That gave me a boost of confidence.
We drove the 2-loop bike course and then the reality check occurred. It was stated to be 7,000ft of climbing. Nothing though seemed to steep, nothing like our Beatty Hill. However there were some long climbs but that also meant there would be some long down hills. The roads seemed okay and a good segment was on a 4-lane highway, which would have two lanes for the event.
Transition bags were gathered and dropped on Saturday along with the bikes. Eyed the swim course, which was a two-loop swim and it required you to exit and re enter. Saturday afternoon was the pre race pizza, which is the fuel that has worked, so not time to deviate. Do what works, right?
3:30 alarm came quick. Our friends dialed us in with great logistics for parking race morning reducing some stress. This was the earliest start for an IM race I have had at 6am. All buoys were in and the outline of the swim looked pretty clear. Buoys were located on the left and that is my breathing side!
Swim: I lined up with the 1:16-1:30 start group. Being self seeded you really don’t know how it will play out. However I know that anything faster may be trouble with getting swallowed up. Scott had already lined up with a group ahead. So as I waited with my friend Heather, trying to stay relaxed. Dusk turned to dawn and the cannon fired and the race was on! It took about 10 minutes to get in; having not warmed up I was off dolphin diving in. Trying to stay straight kept eyes down and followed feet. But you need to hope those feet are going straight. It was a choppy start. Bodies, boats and currents were ever present and I was trying to avoid mouthfuls of water. It seemed like I was moving but really had to pull to get over the waves. Made the 1st turn which felt wide and lost site of the 200 meter buoy with the waves. Got aligned and then made that second turn to count down 8 buoys. It seemed like forever to get back to the start and I could see the black arch, hear the announcer, but I was not yet there. Finally got out and ran about 15 yards and dove back in without looking at my watch. Not sure if that was purposeful or being very focused. Much less crowded upon re-entry. More chop and just worked to stay straight keeping tight to the buoy line. Made the 1st turn lap 2 and then the second. Again the last 400 meters seemed forever, getting whacked to the head from a big guy who actually stopped and apologized. WTH? Determined to get done I landed on shore.
Time 1:28:44. 32nd AG/53
Transition included changing into my Folsom Bike Tri shorts and managing my time. Volunteers were great, stripping my wet suit and helping with my T1 needs. I’m ready and time to fly.
Bike: It was already warm and I was sprayed with sun block to avoid the burn. Crowds were all over. Sends chills down my neck! Cheers and screams! Got in areos and off for the 1st 20, which was along the lakeshore. It was gorgeous and serene. Need to focus and stay away from trouble. Got a good cadence and was about 18.5 mph. Made the turn and headed back to town. Closed to car traffic it was great to stay in drops, had some early climbing but not gets out of saddle climbs. Back to town and hearing the crowds I am motivated. Had my friend Jim on the sideline who got my picture and noticed the thumbs up! Ride Happy, Ride Like a Girl! Left town and now headed to the Idaho plateau. All seemed good. Climbing, sweating, downhills, uphills and staying around 18+ mph. Race leaders are already speeding back down. Craze! A couple no pass zones and then freedom. I pushed saw Scott and I was happy as he was to see me. I made the turn around at about 40 miles and headed back to town. Some screaming downs hills in which I was 37-38mph. Back to town and ready for lap two. I was still strong, and about 3:10 ish into the 56 mile point. I was thinking about 6:30 or faster finish, I proceeded, but it was a tale of two loops. The second was compared to sinking in quick sand. The winds were 20-25 mph that is no joke when your climbs were 8-10%. My fitness should be able to endure that but I was slowly reduced down to an average 15.5, not good. I was passed by a gal f in a Green Bay WI tri kit. Seriously there are no hills in GB. I was mentally breaking. Heat was getting to me and I made the turn around hoping that the downhill would get me back to at least 18 mph avg. While peddling hard I almost got taken out by a RWB athlete, who made a bad move to stop dead in his tracks. 30 miles to go and press forward still could be under 7 hours if I could maintain. Did I say 7 hours? That was not the plan but all I could do is manage what I had. Raced back in town and crowds disbursed, was I that late? I am bummed. I passed a lot in my AG and hoped that I was in the mix for top 5 but no idea. Got to transition and they took my bike and I headed to a long transition to get my run gear.
7:05:56 bike—terribly disappointing. 16th AG/53
Run: Stay positive, despite some cramps I need to muster out this run. Not so fast, my GPS watch died again, second race in a row…so discouraged. But who needs a watch, I just need to run. The run was rollers and a little short hills. Flat along the lakeshore at the golf course. It was 3 loops and mentally that is always tough. I then started getting passed by my AG…. not good. I had smileys on my calves so I did get some guy chatter and that helped. I finally saw Scott for the 1st time…. a got a hug and kiss. He was hurting some. The thought of let’s finish together would mean 7 min miles to catch him and he would be walking. Not happening. Made my turn around and back thru some fun neighborhoods of the rich and famous. Great support.
Lap 2 is underway and a lot like lap one but slower. Just stay focused…number 12 finish is in reach and you have 6 hours. No problem. It seemed forever but I saw Scott again and it was comforting. The sky once sunny was now covered in a big dark cloud and it smelled smokey. A big fire had erupted and it seemed close. Some ash sprinkled down. Wow, is this IMLT Pt 2? No one said anything but AQI was changing. Keep running. It was relief the sun was covered and now it was past 12hours…so much for that. I still had 10 + miles. And my thought of a podium had diminished and now it was about finish. Back to town a 2nd loop completed and I heard a guy say Dairy Queen closes at 9pm I still have 2 hours. So I knew it was around 7pm and 13 hours in…let’s get this done. I made the turn around and hung with some local SF young guys…then I passed them. Less than 4 miles to go. Run walk repeat. Then Mile 24 and I said let’s run. And what felt like an 8 min pace, and hearing in the distance you are an IM kept me moving. The spectators, volunteers really kept me moving. Mile 25 placard and I got to get this done and Scott has been waiting. Running hard, and passing a couple in the last mile and the finish shoot was mine, some hand slapping and a big smile and hearing my name. I thought to myself you have come a long way, hating swimming, and doing your 1st IM in 2009 with friends to 7 years later and sharing this journey with my soul mate and my 12 th finish. Crossing that line and standing upright and then the exhaustion.
Run 5:22:26 14th AG/53
Final time 14:12:56 14th/53 AG
The silver lining was having FolsomBikeTriathlon Team getting 3rd place in Tri Club Division V that had many in group!
Thank you Folsom Bike for the support and Proud to Ride Like a Girl!
Had a few laughs with Scott Williams prior to jumping in the warm waters of Rancho Seco Park water. Swim was more of a steady drift for me but none the less, I had a great time getting through the first part of the day and happy to see the bike transitions waiting for me!!
28:44 (yup, a drift not a swim)
It has been over 7 years since my last time out on that bike course and was happy to see some new asphalt!! Saw a few Folsom Bike athletes out there and they were flying. The bike section is a great course to get into a gear and roll through most of the little risers and get out to the turnaround. Was great to have the help of law enforcement as well as the volunteers keeping the roads safe and successful ride—so thank you for that!
Always happy to get off that bike and settle into the trail run that winds through the Rancho Seco Park. Had a great time out there and again thank you to the volunteers for the outstanding support that was much needed due to the warm weather. The run really is a great break up of pavement, some easy trail and a little bumpy road. Again, saw some Folsom Bike athletes out there running strong–Well done to all…
2:14:35 Finish time
4th AG, 6th OA
Robert, Scott Williams and Josiah Garrison
The weather was perfect at 71* for the swim, the water was chilly at first, but quickly warmed up with race adrenaline. I did the swim a little faster this time, at 29:04. I felt good going into Transition 1, changed quickly, lol almost left without my helmet, shoved my GU Roctane into my pockets and took off on the bike. Clipping into my bike I was so happy to get new clips from Folsom Bike a couple of days before. Zero float. My bike was a couple minutes faster at 1:32:38, not fast by any means, but enjoyable, especially hitting the nice smooth pavement of Amador County.
I noticed getting in to T2, that it was getting a little hot out here. I put my shoes on grabbed my hat almost forgot my race belt and number, and left my transition spot to trip on parking block. LOL, no harm, no fall, As I was leaving out on the run I saw Scott Williams from the Folsom Bike Triathlon Team cheering me on, yay, love some cheers! The run was what I’d imagine running through the Sahara would be like, hot dry and the aid stations were the oasis you see, and think is it real? I took off at a good pace 9:40, then 9:10, then 8:40, then the crash started to happen I settled down into a 10:11 min mile and realized that I’m thirsty, not a good sign. I ended up at a 13:47 min mile, not a good run I was 20 min slower than last time. I didn’t give in though; I finished and crossed the line. I ended up in 8th place. I was a little discouraged but happy that I didn’t give up.
Race started at 0800 so left the house at 0530 to make sure there was enough time to get a good parking spot and pick a good transition position. Got to the venue and began setting things up. The bathroom situation is not ideal as the bath house has three stalls and only two were working. Waiting in line was making me anxious. After that issue was taken care of, I began the process of setting up transition. I got my bike set up, bottles in the proper place, tires pumped up, race belt – oops (forgot the race belt at home, so run and buy one), helmet, glasses, shoes (bike and run) ready to go, visor and last but not least wet suit and goggles. So now I am ready to race.
Race started promptly at 0800, the day was perfect for racing, light wind and a bit on the cool side. Swim went well for me, came in at 27:18, 1st/AG (not bad, definitely not my best time). Transition was a bit slow, had some trouble with the wet suit removal at the ankles (something to work on). Mounted the bike and off we went. Messed with the onboard computer for the first two miles, it decided not to register power, and never did get it working so rode with perceived exertion (not the best feedback considering my current physical preparation was not real strong). Finished the bike in 1:28:57 4th/AG. The bike could have gone better, but the wind picked up and we had a cross wind so battled the wind both directions. Transition from bike to the run was really slow. I had a lot of trouble getting my running legs after the bike. This could have been the result of only three runs in the last 7 months with only one run at distance (yep nothing like training to make a race go easier). The run was well off my best time coming in at 1:14:08 (although it was right on target for the pace I had set for myself, so I felt good about that). Total time was 3:10:23 good for 5th place out of 5 in my AG. I got a plaque, but in reality it was a participation medal.
My race performance was on target for my current health and fitness level, so I am not disappointed in my performance. In comparing it to past performance, it falls way short, but realizing that I am recovering from a serious bike accident (complete with broken ribs, separated shoulders and bruised lungs) it was a huge success. I am glad to be able to still swim, bike and run at all and will count this as a win. I am looking forward to stepping up my training slowly and will be looking to improve my performance in upcoming races. Good luck in all your races and remember, “pain is weakness leaving the body”. Thank you FolsomBike for your support of our Triathlon Team.
My training has been focused on long course, getting ready for full IM Vineman, so top end and 1 hr power are a little flat, but hey I can go all day long! That said, this olympic distance race made for some great threshold training with the Folsom Bike Triathlon Team.
The Swim: Got out well, pushed hard and stayed with the lead pack until the very last buoy where I promptly got completely turned around and actually swam “upstream”, back the way we had just come for a full 2 minutes until I realized my mistake, stopped more than once to get my bearings and finally turn for shore. It was frustrating of course, but stuff happens and I chose to keep pushing and stay mentally positive hoping to make up time later.
Exited H20 in 25:22 – enough said
t1 3:00 – Hamstring cramps! Not the end of the world, but it took forever to strip that wetsuit and get going, costing me more precious time early in the race.
The Bike: Once I settled in, it felt good out there. The Pony Express was freshly tuned and humming nicely thanks to the lads at Folsom Bike. I stayed aero and pushed consistent watts out and back. Falling behind on the swim and t1 meant I was alone the whole ride with nobody to really chase down, so it mostly seemed like just another training ride. There was a headwind coming home and a new, rougher road surface this year. All together it made for a longer than expected bike leg.
Bike: 1:09:30, kind of slow for watt I put in 😉
t2 in-n-out in under 30s.
The Run: looking at that elapsed time off the bike, I knew a PR was not in the cards, and probably no podium either. So I focused on what was in front of me, laying down a good run and trying to forget about the rest. Man those fire-road rollers are always a good test of fortitude, especially the final climb at 5.5 miles in! Seeing Karyn Hoffman, Scott Williams and others from Folsom Bike Tri crew on the run course really helped lift my morale. I pushed till the end.
Run: 45:04 – 7:13 Pace- a PR on this rolling, cross-country style course. So that’s something.
Final Time 2:23: 45
It’s not the time I had hoped for and there was no podium this time, which was honestly disappointing. But any day out there is a gift and for that I am grateful. I have unfinished business at this race and next year I plan to dedicate more time to short course racing and training. For now it’s back to 140.6 prep! Attitude determines altitude.
Big thanks to Erin & Wilson Gorrell and everyone at Folsom Bike for your ongoing support of the Tri team.