Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Rev3 Wisconsin Dells Race Report

I am so glad that the hubby and I were able to participate in the inaugural Rev3 Wisconsin Dells race! We had an absolute blast - from the road trip to meeting some amazing Rev3 teammates and staff to the race itself to post race. We had a wonderful experience and highly recommend the race to any triathletes that care to venture to the Cheese state.


Driving through Chicago!
We pretty much had all of our stuff ready to go by Thursday evening since we had to work Friday and get on the road afterwards. Steve and I met up at home, loaded the car up with gear and our beloved bikes, dropped my daughter off at her friends and hit the open road. Neither of us had ever been to Wisconsin so this was a new experience. We drove from about 7PM that night to just before South Bend, Indiana and stopped there around 11:30 for the night. We got back on the road Saturday morning bright and early and made our way through Chicago, which I had only seen once before via airplane. Definitely a city I must check out soon! 

Listening to Rev3 Pros talk about the race

We arrived in Wisconsin Dells, which is a huge midwest tourist area. If you're into water parks you will love this place because apparently it is the largest area of waterparks around. We're not really into that but enjoyed some of the other Wisconsin Dells things, namely food and beer! We headed to the Rev3 Expo to pick up our packets and saw some of the Rev3 team including Laura, Holly, Tim, Ryan and some others who were working hard to get the race setup. We listened to the pros talk about their race strategy for the next day and attended the mandatory prerace athlete meeting and listened to Eric, Rev3's race director talk along with the local race director and USAT official.

in transition area setting up bikes
Once we finished up with the expo it was time to check our bikes into the transition area. Rev3 requires its athletes to do this the day before and it really helps make race morning easier since you're not tinkering with your bike, which we all know is the main thing we worry about on race morning! Steve and I changed out my wheels, took a few test spins and headed into the bike check area. 
Sharpie and me

Maybe the best part of setup was running into the one and only Carol Sharpless aka Sharpie aka Mama Bear. She is the team leader and an all-around good person not to mention that her blog is hysterical! I highly recommend you read it. She is one of the many reasons that I love being on the Rev3 age group team! Upon meeting her we walked down to Lake Delton to check out the swim setup and transition. The transition included a rather steep run (sans shoes) up the ashpalt road into the transition area. Around 1/4 mile hike maybe. Anyways Steve and I practiced running up without shoes to see how we would feel. Following this we drove the bike course to get a sense for the terrain. Boy was I glad we were doing the olympic! Hills galore!

After that we checked into our room and then headed out to meet some of the Rev3 teammates at Pizza Pub for a pre-race dinner. There we stuffed ourselves with Hawaian style pizza as we chatted with Rachelle, her friend, Jeff and Andy. They unfortunately did not have a great beer selection so the hubby and I hit up the Moose Pizza & Brewery for a prerace IPA for me, Coffee stout for him and a huge piece of peanut butter cup pie. Total carbfest and in fact I fell asleep with a full belly immediately when we got back to our room.

Race Morning:

I am always a nervous wreck on race morning and Rev3 Wisconsin was no different. My stomach was a mess and I could hardly eat. In hindsight maybe greek yogurt is not best before a longer race. We showered, got dressed, put our race tattoos on, grabbed our transition bags and headed out around 5:45am. Transition would be closing at 6:30. We got done in transition around 6:15 and had a while to wait until our waves since the half rev started first around 7.


The olympic swim is almost as long as the half ironman swim at just under a mile. Lake Delton is a pretty calm recreational lake so I wasn't too concerned with the conditions plus I had brought my sleeveless wetsuit, which I thought would help. Steve's wave started a little before mine as usual and then it was my turn. Due to the narrow entrance off the dock into the water Rev3 had a time trial start where two athletes entered the water in a seated position every three seconds. This was a little nicer than the typical cluster at the swim start. I felt okay until I rounded the second red buoy and then I felt a little tired and a little unsure of the course since the Oly and Half courses were a little different. My time was just over 37 minutes, which seems slow. I feel like I swam longer than need be since I usually do 1.25 miles in 40 or low 40s. At any rate it was okay and I was anxious to exit the water and get onto the fun stuff!


As I mentioned earlier in the post, T1 was a challenge due to having to run up a steep ashphalt hill and path up to the transition area. Running and trying to get my wetsuit off is never easy for me either. I finally got it off in transition, dried off a bit, threw on my socks and bike shoes, helmet and sunglasses, grabbed my bike and ran out of transition. All in all it took over 3 minutes for this.


The bike in Wisconsin was hilly. I was glad we opted for the Olympic distance as we only had abut 600 ft to climb versus the 2000 in the half! I didn't have a very good ride. I never really found my groove as I am so used to riding in my big gear set and I ended up riding in my small gear set due to some of the hills. This is something I'll need to work on for hillier courses. I did enjoy the scenery and watching the pros zip by but I was not happy with my mediocre performance. Was lucky to average 18 versus my normal 20+ this season. I blame some of this as I said on the change in gearing but also neglecting the bike some the weeks leading up to the race as I was mostly nervous about the run.


T2 was pretty straight-forward. Dismount bike, run it in, rack it and change into running gear. Think my T1 was around a minute and a half. I felt okay.


I was a little nervous about the run since I had just had my first six mile run maybe a week or 10 days before the race. I didn't really have time to focus on speed so my goal was just to finish it okay without hurting the foot. This I did accomplish. I felt pretty decent the first mile or two and even saw the hubby making his way back. That was pretty awesome as he gave me a nice kiss, which really helped me stay motivated. That was around a mile or mile and a half in. Around mile 2  I developed some pretty awful stomach cramps. I slowed my pace significantly until around 4 or so when I was cramp free. This was around the time that Rev3 pro Richie Cunningham passed me and shouted "good job Team Rev3, keep it up!" Awesome I thought...Richie was talking to me during the race. That gave me a lift and I felt pretty strong through the end.

The Finish & Closing Thoughts:

Steve and I after the race with our hard-earned medals
I was trying my best to break three hours but ended up coming up in 3:02. The best part of the finish was hearing my hubby cheer me on. I also really enjoyed seeing my teammates after too and hearing how everyone did. My teammates did great as many of them were on the podium and so was my hubby. I was a little sad to not have placed but accept that I was not in optimum condition for an olympic distance race. This was my first longer race of the season and really a step toward training for my upcoming half ironman at Rev3 Cedar Point. If anything I had a great time, met some amazing people and got in a terrific workout!