Well I’m halfway through my season of travelling for races and man it got here fast. Strangely enough this felt like my hometown race. My family from my mom’s side live in Minneapolis and while only a few of them made it out to the race. Everyone made it to the BBQ we had later that day, and that’s really what made this trip for me. I rarely get to race with my family watching so it was extra important that I had a smile on my face and that I got over that finish line not looking like death.
This race was unique for me and I had a lot of small challenges to overcome. First was the weather. It was rainy every day I was there except for the day after the race and then it was awesome. During the race it was muggy and humid, and the course had a lot of mud. The Twin Cities have been getting rained on so there were lots of flooded area’s around town and the ground was completely soaked. Second was that I rented a road bike. I didn’t have time to really get some saddle time before the race thanks to the rain. So during the race I couldn’t really feel my butt past mile 13 or 14. I also couldn’t really get into any aero position which means I was catching wind like a sail! The other stuff wasn’t as important because I was mainly there to just have fun.
No wetsuit this time While the water was warm I didn’t feel the need for a wetsuit and went about swimming without one. The water was warm so I took advantage of it. The start was a time trial start so they had us in pairs going into the water every 3-5 seconds rather than 1 big wave. The entry was a beach start which was cool because I didn’t have to wait behind everyone else wadding through the water. I got plenty of good leaps in and off I went. During the leaps I passed 4 people just inching out. I didn’t even get a swim buddy that I could draft off of in this race and there was a lot of jostling of elbows and kicks that where way off. I will say this swimming in fresh water for a change is nice. I don’t have salt crust on the face during the bike.
It’s been over a year since I had to ride a road bike during a triathlon so I knew it was going to be an experience. The course was very scenic and it went through parts of Minneapolis I didn’t know even existed. Seems the road crew didn’t either cause there were potholes, creases, and horrible divots through the entire ride. I couldn’t seem to pickup much speed either cause after mile 13 or so I could no longer feel but butt. The only reason it was still there was that every single bump I hit I could feel it. I couldn’t even get into the aero position for the ride which felt really weird to me. Of course spectators love to cross the street as bikes are going through and I almost hit a few of them but ended up in the oncoming lane of traffic to avoid them. I’m lucky I didn’t get in a serious accident with other athletes.
Well this was a 2 loop course around the lake I just swam in. It was filled with water from the rains and mud from the soaked grass. It was pretty humid and muggy out so it felt like I was running through a lake. Not to mention it was hot without the sun even being out. Thankfully I had a lot of fun and looking back it wasn’t all that bad. There was another guy going across the finish with me and we both looked at each other and said lets smile and sprint it through. So we did complete with smiles and a hi five afterwards.
Well I might do this race again next year or the Maple Grove Triathlon. It was nice to see family and had fun exploring the trails that Minneapolis has to offer. Till next year.