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!
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
Race morning was warm, oh no, it will be a hot race through out. It was 83* at swim start so my watch said, lol. Went to Folsom Bike the day before to get my race nutrition GU Roctane , Salt Sticks, and Bonk Bars. Did a little warm-up swim before the start. The swim was a 30:30, I had a drafter that I couldn’t shake till the second buoy, you really know how salmon feel battling upstream. I was second out of the water for my group, YAY!
Arrived at T1 and had to use my inhaler, as the air quality was not the greatest for asthma folks. Left transition hopped on the bike next to teammate Scott Williams, that was cool, and I was behind him for a min lol, then he was gone like a he had a jet pack on his back. My bike was 7 min slower then last time 1:39:34. Arrived at T2 felt good, a little slow but ready to run, or not. Then run was a run/walk I saw Josiah Garrison and we high fived gave me some of his speed mojo, I felt good was running and kept saying my mantras. Mile 3.5, why is my left heel hitting my right lower leg with each foot strike? That’s odd so I concentrated on that and kept moving on, well, I stopped sweating at 4.5, maybe my left foot was telling me your going down, and was trying to wake me up. I was at the last aide station, it must’ve been the look I had, or I was stumbling lol, they asked if I was ok, I said I stopped sweating , well they cooled me down with ice in bra and down back in my shorts in hat. The Folsom Bike tri kit can hold a lot of ice. They wanted to call the EMT’s, I begged them not to, I need to finish, I said. So, love the volunteers, they had two water bottles full of ice water and walked me to a spot that I could run in across the finish, lol where the EMT’s were waiting.
I finished 3:29:30.
Not only did I finish lol, I came in 6th for overall ranking in the series, and 2nd in my AG for female division for the series. And it was all because I finished!
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.
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
This is a race that I have done several times, however I had not planned it on my race calendar. Early Saturday morning, Scott and I decided to test out the water at Lake Natoma, the swim venue for this event. Lake Natoma has been especially chilly due to snow run off, so I better try out the water before I pay money to race. It surprised me that the water really was not that bad. Around 60-62 degrees. Face did not freeze so that is a good sign. So we drove up later that day to register for the event. I have some comparison times having raced this course so I had those in the back of my mind. It is another opportunity to practice my training and represent FolsomBikeTriathlon team. This race had always been the Tri Club championship. So it brings an elevated competitive field. There is both collegiate and tri clubs, STC, EMJ, SVTC, Freeplay and many others.
Race morning we arrived early so to secure a good bike rack position. The air temp felt nice, maybe a little crisp. We unloaded our gear and organized the transition area. Plenty of time to get into the wet suit. I felt kind of nervous for some reason. I think it was more thinking about the chilly water. There were several distances at this event besides the Olympic such as the short course, paddleboard and an aquathon. The temps for the day looked to be high 80’s, so in preparation I froze a water bottle thinking I may need it for the run.
Swim: 32:30 1:53/100yds
Co-ed wave start of 40 yrs. and over. It is a deep-water start, so you had no choice but to be treading water until the start. Quickly our wave started and we were off. The awesome part of the swim today was that the rowing lane lines were still in place making it very easy to stay straight. Even though I was being passed I felt good. Made the 1st turn buoy and could sight the second. I continued to push and made the final turn and headed to the shore. No major issues. Was hoping for a respectable time. I went a little long with my yardage according to my Garmin. Transition 2:53
Bike: 1:16:28 19.8mph
Quickly, I headed to my bike rack. I ripped off my wetsuit and I already had my Folsom Bike top on. I got my act together and I knew I needed to quickly get out of transition. I mounted the bike and headed out toward the CSUS center. We had a hill with the over crossing and then began the climb towards Prairie City and then towards Intel. This is a deceiving road as there is some steepness and then there is some flat. I headed towards the Hwy 50 underpass towards Latrobe Rd. It winds and rolls and momentum is building. I did pass several riders and was back and forth with a male rider. Kind of chase and be chased. The ride proceeded on Grantline Rd and the pavement was pretty smooth. I was in my aero’s most of the time. I saw my speed in the 19-24mph range. I felt decent and continued to fuel with GU Chomps, Vespa and Skratch. The course weaved thru a business park before heading toward Sunrise and the entrance to the canal to get us back to the CSUS. The canal portion is flat and fast. A moderate up on the bike trail to get back to the south side of the trail and to the run transition. Transition 1:19
Run: 49:48 7:58min mile
Quickly transitioned, carrying my race belt, cap and water bottle as I crossed the transition mat. Having no idea where I was in the race for the AG podium. No one had calves marked with their age as is usually done in Triathlons. I got moving and felt great. I had my chilled bottle and sipped and I passed runner after runner on the bike trail. I encouraged everyone I passed. It was warm and there were several people walking or shuffling. I was now 2 miles in and under 16 minutes.
Now I was looking for Scott who I figured would be heading towards me on his way back to the finish. Finally we spotted one another and encouraged each other. I glanced at my Garmin, which indicated I was past mile 3 and getting ready to make the turn around. Grateful for my hand held I did not need to rely on the aid stations.
I continued to push hard as I headed to the finish line. I was now feeling a bit spent as my effort increased. Making the turn back into CSUS and I could hear the crowd lined up along the finish shoot. I crossed the line and immediately saw Scott who already finished and making sure I was ok. I needed to some shade and ducked into the paramedic tent. All was good just some post race exhaustion.
At this point I had no idea how I did other than my watch time. Awards started and still not knowing if I was in contention. Finally the time arrived for 50-54.
Final time 2:42:58 and 3rd AG. The main difference maker was my swim, which I continue to work on. Proud to represent Folsom Bike and love Riding like a Girl!
I had not planned this race on my schedule, however the tri for real series is a good tune up for tri season. There is nothing like signing up at the last minute and rushing to get everything ready. We arrived a little bit behind schedule to the famous Rancho Seco County Park. There are a few predictable parts of this race; the water will be warm, and the run will be hot and dusty. But this day there was an unusual cloud cover, kind of like June gloom. So that may bode well for all three events.
We had six Folsom Tri Team racers. This is awesome and provides a built in confidence builder. This included Brian Skehan, Joe Garrison, Cheryl Sanford, Craig Marchione & Scott Williams. The unfortunate part was that our requested bike rack was no- where to be found.
Swim: 35:02 3rd/5 AG. 97th place OA
The swim start was in 4 main waves. There is a lot of room to find your space and not have anyone really crawl over you.
Swim: Got in the water and it was really nice. Had about 3 minutes before Bill did his low-keyed count down and we were off. The swim is a .92mile. There are about 5 buoys and a couple can easily get lost in the sun. So as we started the clouds started to disperse. I found I got into a rhythm and was following a couple gals. It helps me keep my head down and site less often. I felt good as I made the first turn buoy. The next couple buoys became a little more challenging to see, as the sun was now getting bright. Made the final turn and it seems like forever to do probably 600 yds. I stayed the course and actually felt I was going to have a decent time. It was ok but I still need improvement.
Since this race is not chipped time the transition is added into your bike time. Ripped off my suit, got my Folsom Bike Jersey, bike shoes and helmet on and ran with my bike to the transition line.
Bike: 1:19:08 with transition: 1st/5th AG 55th OA
This is a 24.9 mile ride. The road is open so you do need to be really careful. They have done some paving so about half the course is fairly smooth. All I had in my mind is that I have some catching up to do and I better get moving. I felt the first few miles seemed pretty slow. I then saw my prey and got focused. Catch and drop repeat. Got aero and got moving. Got to the turnaround and I had already passed a lot of people. The winds starting picking up and I felt like I was slowing down. All I was looking for was the 3 towers and the left turn back into the park. Ate some Gu Chomps and 1 gel. Made sure I was hydrated. The ride into the park seems like forever. I knew if I wanted to podium I needed to stay focused. I got back to the dismount line and Scott was there cheering me on. He did the Aquabike and was already finished. I could hear him say hurry up.
Run: 48:46 with transition: 1st/5th AG 39th OA. 121 Racers.
I moved quickly out of transition onto the course. I felt good. I felt light on my feet. I started to make the passes and as I did I told the other runners good job. I could see some women ahead of me and I continued to push. What I like about this run is the terrain, fire road and single track trail and a little paved road. Some rollers too.
Saw Joe, and Brian as they were already heading back. They looked good and our Folsom Bike Kits stood out! I made the turn around and had a few guys with me. I know they did not want to be chicked but they liked my pace. I saw Craig on the fire road just as I got to the single track. With about a mile to the finish I saw Cheryl and cheered each other on. Looking at my watch I was hoping to stay in the 2:38-2:39 range. Fell a little short as I headed into that last stretch back to the finish line. 2:42:56.
This was good enough for the AG WIN and 6th Female OA. I am proud to represent FolsomBikeTriathlon on the podium. I am proud of our team members racing and representing our FolsomBikeTriathlon team well!