A bit late, but it was an amazing trip back home over the Labor Day holidays to compete in the US 5150 Championships at the HyVee Triathlon in Des Moines. Such a close race to home and my body and I enjoyed racing at some lower elevations where I could actually breath!
Flew into Cedar Rapids on Friday night to my parents waiting for me. Was great to see them again, hadn't seen them since March. We loaded everything up and went to Marion to watch the Decorah Vikings play some high school football. I hadn't watch a high school football game in probably 3 years, and it was awesome to sit outside on a Friday night and watch some gridiron live! Saw some familiar faces from the Decorah area.
Saturday, I got up, put together my TT rig (thank you Frontier Airlines) for transporting my bike for free and keeping it safe! Loaded up and drove to Des Moines for pre-race workouts and packet pickup. The biggest event I have ever taken part in, and HyVee really does a great job with everything. Sounds like they take care of the pros extremely well, and were able to bring in the male silver and bronze Olympic medalists. My training buddies Cam Dye and Travis Johnston were also present which made it fun to watch! Skipping through the day, everything went swimmingly, and I was ready to go! Coach Grant Holicky had done a masterful job with my taper, and I felt more fresh then I did all season. Laid down to sleep knowing it was going to be a good day! Major thanks to Dan and Heather for their hospitality and offering up their condo!
Race day! Woke up, had the staple breakfast and coffee and loaded up for Gray's Lake! Got into transition and heard over the loudspeaker that it was going to be a wet-suit legal swim. You're telling me the water temperature changed 2 degrees in 10 hours? I don't think so, they said it was 77.8deg, down from 79.7 the afternoon before. I know there have been some recent tragic deaths during swims, but there is no way it was under 78deg. Anyway, I prepped for the race, and moved down to the water for the group beach start.
Cool picture before the swim.
Got off the pack early to avoid any collisions and settled in behind Boulder RACE swimmer Mitch Rider who would set the fastest split of the day. Ouch, when we made the turn back East, the sun had started peaking through and made it virtually impossible to see. Eventually I made it back, and out of the water in 2nd place.
Oh come on!!! 40sec is all I needed to break the hour mark! It was a fast course, and a group of 4 of us got together and kept the pace high for the rest of the ride, exchanging time at the front. Ended up with the 4th fastest bike split of the race, and left me in good position going into the run.
Unfortunately, when I came off the bike, I had 2 strong runners with me. I quickly lost contact with the leaders, and throughout the run, would lose 2 more spots to racers behind me. The course was deceptively hard, as it got more and more hilly as you got towards the capital. A massive 10% 1 block hill right before the finish was the real kicker in the pants. I crossed the line, and knew I had given everything I could have give.
After the race, I found I had placed 5th overall and landed a spot on the podium! It was a great experience, and know with a full off-season of running, I will be able to improve my 10km time to keep that top 1-2 spot of the bike.
The rest of my time spent in Iowa included: Seeing family and friends, celebrating my 24th birthday, officially receiving my diploma for my Master of Arts in Exercise Physiology degree from UNI, and just relaxing. Some days I really have a hard time not being next to my family, especially when you see a face like this. I love my niece Brooklyn. So adorable, and is walking, talking and going to be the next Missy Franklin in the pool!
My niece Brooklyn