Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Making a Come Back Again at Fairport Harbor Triathlon

Sunday I raced the Fairport Harbor sprint triathlon. What a great little race! A lot of local talent came out to race and/or work or spectate at the race. I had a blast and was just so thrilled to be able to race again given the ups and downs with my foot. With the ankle sprain a couple weeks ago and only running once before the race last week, I was not sure how the running portion of the race would go. Fortunately it went pretty well.

It was a fun day and my goal was to finish in my age group and top ten females in the race if possible. Reasonable goals given my strength on the bike and assuming my run would be par. The swim I would not count on to get me to where I need to be in the race. If anything it is usually to my detriment and I spend the entire race catching up and passing people.


Because Fairport Harbor is so close (about 10 minutes away) we went up to ride the course and swim the course Saturday. We also picked up our packets with everything we needed for the race. I think this made Sunday a little easier/smoother. 

As of late I have been getting myself ready to race the night before. This race was no different. Hubby switched out my bike wheels to my race wheels and I cleaned up our bikes since they were a little dirty. We had our bikes and kits and all of our gear ready to go for Sunday morning. We were able to sleep in until almost 6AM, which was a real treat on a triathlon race day! 

Chillen with the hubby pre-race
We woke up, made some multi-grain waffles with peanut butter and nutella, packed up and headed out by 6:45 arriving at the race start around 7. It was pretty packed already. We grabbed our bikes and transition bags and headed to the transition area. Because this wasn't a USAT race, we were able to rack anywhere so the hubby and I racked next to each other a row or two back from the bike out/run out area. We were set up and ready by 7:30 and were able to talk with some of our friends.

The start:

The Kayak triathlons went first. Steve's wave was to start at 8:10 and mine would start at 8:15. We got in the water around 8 and it was cold. Brrr! Neither of us had brought our wetsuits since the swim was just 500 meters but I was wishing I had brought my sleeveless. It was difficult to warm up with the Kayakers and Lake Erie being so shallow in the Harbor so we just got wet and waited. They called for Steve's wave and they started. They called for my wave and I was off.

500M Swim:

Finishing the swim
In true sprint fashion, the start was a complete feeding frenzy. I lined up near the front right but had a difficult time with my stroking and breathing the first few minutes as people settled in. The swim is shallow enough that people can touch so some were walking or running versus swimming and that made it more difficult to get around some folks. After 3-4 minutes I found my breathe and as I rounded the buoy to swim back I was on the left just next to the swim lane markers. I felt much more relaxed swimming the 250 back. Finally I saw the people ahead walking/running out as the water got very shallow. I stood and started running while I took off my swim cap, googles, etc. My Ironman watch said my swim was about 10 minutes but it took me a good minute or two to run out of the water and the transition was long so likely another minute to get to my bike.


As I said it was a long transition running from the beach up through a parking lot then through a grassy lane into the transition area. I reached my bike and dried off a bit, put on my socks and cycling shoes, sunglasses and aero helmet and grabbed my bike. I was running it out and thinking again that it was a long transition running up the grassy part to reach the bike mounting area. I would estimate at least 2+ minutes in transition here.

12.4 mile Bike:

start of bike course just before the hill!
The bike course is pretty flat and easy. One negative is that there is a hill at the start! It's not very long but sometimes those short, steep ones are tough! I had set my bike into a low gear to make the climb easy. As I mounted and started to pick up speed I was yelling at some of the newbie riders who were not clipped in on racing bikes to get to the right so I could pass. Then I was off. I enjoyed the ride. Some parts more than others. I passed people the entire race. The female who ended up in 9th overall passed me on the bike the last 1/2 mile or so. I felt pretty decent since my average speed was around 20.5 mph for a split of 36. It wasn't my fastest ever effort but not bad considering the winds on the last few miles of the ride back in. On the bike I had fueled with the Powerbar Perform and also took in a chocolate PowerBar gel around the halfway mark.


T2 was pretty basic. Run the bike in, rack. Switch shoes to my Pearl Izumi Transitions, throw on my Rev3 visor and go! I was probably around a minute here.

5K Run:

The run started with the same hill as the bike so that was a bit challenging but nothing too crazy. I felt strong from the beginning. I passed people the whole race and was just passed by a couple of guys the last mile and one 15-year old female who was 10th Overall with maybe 1/2 mile to go. I liked the course being a loop versus and out and back. I felt it was easier. I was laughing, joking and smiling for the whole run. It was a good feeling. I did not wear my Garmin but based on my IM watch splits I estimate my run at around 24 minutes so likely a 7:45-7:50 pace.

The Finish:

Excited to finish!
I love finishes! Then again who doesn't? This was a fun finish but I was a little nervous since it finished uphill in the grass. I did not want to hurt my ankle AGAIN! I finished in 1:15:36, 11th overall female and 3rd in my age group. Really 2nd after looking at their results since the woman who took 2nd overall was in my age group too. I am pretty happy with the result given where I am with my injury, training, etc. As usual it was nice to have Steve cheering me on as well as some friends throughout the race and finish!

Post race:

Wrapping up awards before the winking lizard with friends
After the race we hung out for the awards then headed over to the Winking Lizard in Mentor with friends for food and beer. That was a lot of fun! I was pretty exhausted after the race and it was a real treat to be able to use the NormaTec MVP compression boots for recovery!


Special thanks to the race director, my husband, friends who cheered and/or raced too! And of course to my awesome sponsors: Rev3 Triathlon, PowerBar, Swiftwick, Blueseventy, SBR Sports and Normatec


  1. You guys are AWESOME :) Great Job, So glad i had the chance to meet you at Mary's party

    1. Thanks Paola! Very glad to have met you too! What's next on the race calendar?