When I was structuring my 2014 race season, I wanted to get in one final tune-up race before the National Championships on August 10th. Luckily I was off from work this past weekend which allowed me to sign up for the Ripon Medical Center Triathlon. This race could have been placed in the category of "races I have always seen, but never thought of doing." Ripon is about an hour southwest of our home in Kaukauna. An hour drive is definitely a doable drive on race morning. The only hitch in my usual preferred prerace night was we had Sarah's cousin's wedding in Appleton on Saturday. Sarah agreed to allow me to drive a separate car to the reception and said it was OK for me to leave earlier to get to bed.
Training for this Race
My training has continued to be focused in on my "A" race which is two weeks after the RMC Triathlon. The week of the RMC Triathlon was one of my last big hard weeks. On the Sunday following the final night of Rock USA, I had one of my last long hard workout. The workout was a long bike ride consisting of a 15 minute warm up, then 2 sets of 30:00 of race intensity intervals with 10:00 recovery. Immediately after the workout I laced up my shoes for a 10k run which was broken down as follows: 5k easy, 3.5k race intensity, 1.5k easy. The workout took about 2:20 start to finish. I then had a swim day and then right back into the hard training. I had an 8 mile run with three 1 mile interval repeats. The next day I had a bike interval workout in the morning followed up with an afternoon 5 mile run with hill sprints in the middle. I took Saturday off for recovery, which I definitely needed. I was pretty sore and tired on Saturday, so I was glad to see a recovery/rest day on my training plan the day before my race.
I ended up getting to bed around 10pm and set my alarm for 4am to leave before 4:30am. I was on the road shortly after 4:30am. The drive wasn't bad and I got to the race site right as the sun was coming up over the waters of Green Lake. It was beautiful, like something off a postcard. There were a few sailboats on the water, which was as calm as glass. After snapping a quick photo of the sunrise, I picked up my race packet and proceeded to get my transition area set up. There was no specific assigned bike racking for athletes. They did have bike racks assigned depending on what event you were racing in and your sex. So I was assigned to the "Short Course Men" bike racks. I was able to nab up one of the spots on the end with how early I was to the race.
With the distances of this race being short and my hope was to finish shortly after an hour, I opted to not take any fuel or water with me during the race. At 6:45am I took my usual doses of of Anti-Fatigue Caps (2), Race Caps Supreme (2), and Mito Caps(2). I also set up my bike to carry a couple Energy Surge on a piece of electrical tape on my top bar. My plan was to take the first Energy Surge shortly after getting out on the bike course and then take the second serving right before dismounting and heading out on the run.
Gear/EquipmentBlue Seventy Reaction wetsuit from www.TheTriShop.com
Custom TYR Special Ops 2.0
Giro Aero Helmet
Rydon Rudy Project Sunglasses
Louis Garneau Carbon Tri HRS Shoes
Zoot Kiawe 2.0 Shoes
500m Swim (7:45)
15 Mile Bike (41:58)
5k Run (20:08)
After the race I got a big kiss from Sarah and high fives from the girls. Sarah was honestly, about as happy as I was. I couldn't believe I just won my first triathlon ever. I put together a great race from start to finish. After finishing, we stayed around the area to watch other racers finish and let the kids play on the park which was right by the transition area. Sarah and I chatted about the race and just enjoyed the morning. The race itself was exceptionally well run. There were a ton of volunteers, nearly all of them were full of energy and cheering on the racers and helping out when needed. The courses were well marked, even if I was a little paranoid of getting lost.
After letting some time pass, the awards ceremony started. I didn't know what to expect for my first ever overall win. When it was my turn for my award, I found out that I had won a hand blown glass vase from Savoie Glass of Ripon along with a $100 gift card to Festival Foods. The vase is absolutely gorgeous and pretty sweet looking! Plus a gift card to the best grocery store in the valley. I was thrilled! So was Sarah!