Having done this event several times I keep trying to raise the bar in time performance and AG placement.
The race logistics are a bit challenging since this is a point-to-point event with 19 miles between swim start and T2- T3. This year was the new bike check in the day before. So that involved 1st checking into Windsor HS and then driving down to the start in Guerneville’s getting parked and the walk to the river. It kind of makes sense as the race logistics and single lane entry and exits from this area backs traffic up. We both got racked and then put our toes in the water, which felt nicely cool considering warm temps. 3 weeks ago they dammed up the swim start so the hot temps had not heated up the water temps yet. It was likely wetsuit legal but no confirming till AM. We checked out the pro racks and saw our friend Jim Lubinski and Robin Pomeroy spots. So back to the hotel and the fueled up with some amazing wood fired pizza at a local joint.
Race morning comes quick and another drive to Guerneville in the dark and a long walk to transition from parking. We wanted to connect with our fellow teammates Robert Peterson and Brian Skehan pre race. We were all pretty spread out in swim waves with birthday boy Scott Williams super early and Brian and Robert in the middle and I was more than an hour after Scott. So plenty of time to have stray thoughts and watch the Pro’s exit from Swim and hop on bikes. This is the latest start and also facing the heat of the day could really change my day. Thank Marnie Skehan for cheering us on and taking pictures!
The F50-54 AG was now getting close to the waters edge and with 3 min in-between waves we swam in to the line up and off we went. This is a fairly “easy swim” but swimming is never that easy for me. I felt like I was moving until I felt the next group starting to pass me…stay focused. Counting buoys and I knew I was close to turn around. The sun was rising and I felt it in my sleeveless suit. I could hear the cheers at the shore and tried to beeline straight there. Exited the water and glanced at time clock…41:34 came as a surprise as I felt faster. 3:24 Transition
Quickly transitioned and hopped on the bike. I know the course pretty well but riding it 1x a year there is always something you don’t remember. My goal is to try to be less than 3 hours. The temp was already warm as I rode and started to pass people in the first few miles. I was conscious of the calves looking for F50-54’s. That’s the hunter in me. I tried for a good portion of the race to stay aero. Watching my speed and cadence. Came to the notorious chalk hill which is now nice paved and is a bump considering we ride Costco Hill and just because. 10 miles to go and I was projecting to be under the 3 hr. time.
Bike 2:54:43 3:12 Transition
Now to get in and out of transition and off to the half marathon. I like this run as it does have hills and dirt path thru a vineyard. It is exposed but there are patches of shade. All I need to keep under 2hrs to make my sub 6hr finish.
Saw several friends running as this is a loop course and it helps to keep each other motivated. This is a very competitive race so you were seeing some very fast athletes late in the race as they had the later starts.
I doused with water and continued to hydrate, trying to smile. I did see Brian Skehan as he was trying to work out his hamstring. I encouraged him and continued forward.
Made my second loop start and tried to maintain my pace. Doing the math it looked like a 5:45 finish. I focused and ran and headed back to the finish. Making that turn into the final turn into the high school and into the finish shoot. Hearing my name over the PA and pushed across the line. Exhausted and spent, the volunteers kept me upright and then I saw both Scott and Robert. Relieved. Got me out of the hot sun and doused with water. The guys seemed happy. 3 of 4 of us were finished. And Brian was not too far behind.
Run time 2:00:05 Final time 5:42:58 8/89 AG and 587/1996 OA
Happy for another opportunity to race and complete this great event. It was great to be here participating as a group representing Folsom Bike Triathlon Team. The four of house combined scored enough points to be 2nd in Division V for Tri Teams! Way to rock it!
Thank you Folsom Bike and the fabulous service staff that again had my bike dialed in!
In the past I’ve done very well with this crowded swim course. It’s an out and back in the Russian river In Guerneville. The water, to me, is very warm and almost too warm to be wearing a wet suit. I was seeded in the 17th wave that started around 8am. That’s an hour and 15 min after the pros. After the gun went off, I settled into a comfortable pace that I was used too, made the turn back to the T1 and I could feel the current push me down river a bit. No problems with the swim, sighting was good or I thought it was. I swam 300 more than I needed too. This happens way too often for me. Everything went as expected and planned. Swim time 42:00 min
Everything went as planned, but very crowded with a sold out race. Time 4:36
This bike course can be very fast if the wind is non-existent, otherwise it can be a real pain in the…..This year, around mile 15 the winds started to pick up. I rode with a head wind for 20 miles, which took some gas out of the tank. I pushed too hard to fight the wind, big mistake, on my part. Also, I spent too much time worrying about my bike speed, and I lost focus with my nutrition plan. This ultimately destroyed my run plan. This sport can be very humbling at times. Mile 40, I had a tail wind that was a huge relief; again I pushed too hard to make up time. Miles 45-55 the winds switched back and forth draining the tank. I just wanted to get off the bike at that time. Bike time 2:49
As planned nothing really to report here Time 4:57
Previous races my hamstrings start cramping around mile 6 or 7. This year was no exception. Like clockwork, boom it happens. I had to re-adjust the game plan to accommodate this ongoing problem. This leads to slowing down and walking at times. Around mile 8 the hunger became a problem. My energy levels were low and mentally I had to push myself forward. I only had five miles left, but it was the longest five miles ever. I clearly was paying the price for not taking in calories in on the bike and pushing the bike speed. I finished the race Very defeated and frustrated. This race was planned an “A” race and I was hoping to PR. That did not happen at all. This race became a glorified training day for Vineman140.6. Run time 2:27
Today was rough day of racing for me. I had high hopes for a PR today, but on a positive note, a lot was learned and needed to be addressed before my full ironman in a few weeks. I want to thank Folsom bike, and Folsom bike triathlon team for their continued support
Start–Guerneville , Ca
Wave 15 start gives you plenty of time to get everything in order as well as see your friends get their race going. As usual the typical items of a Johnson Beach swim were present, a nice walk in the perfectly timed half way point as well as the green slime hitch hiking on your googles. The swim was fun and I didn’t break any records, but given it was my second swim since November……I will take it! 34:43
The new pavement and repaired road ways were flat out awesome. Having clean fresh asphalt makes for a much more enjoyable ride and really easy to get into a groove. My goal was to get through the ride without a mechanical and a smile on my face…. Done and done!! The volunteers were awesome as well as the law enforcement, made each of the intersections a breeze and for that THANK YOU!! 2:28:26
Always a warm sunny run. This is a rolling hills style of run that I would say is not flat, but not too hilly and similar to any run in the foothills in the Folsom area. Running with the symptoms of too much water, made this a really long run for me. Again, the smorgesbord of items at the aid stations seemingly encouraged my side ache with all of the choices but none the less loved it. Thank you again for all of the great aid stations and assistance out on the course. The out and back portion of the course is where I was able to get a quick high five to Scott Williams and get on with the rest of the run. All and all a great fun race and glad I am healthy and able to be a part of it!! Also, watched Karyn Hoffman finish and got in a good group photo post race with Scott and Karyn. Great job to everyone!! #FolsomBikeTriathlon #Trek 1:38:57
Finish time: 4;47:08