June 18, 2007 · Print This Article
Hy-Vee Age Group Triathlon
ITU World Cup
Des Moines, IA
June 17, 2007
This was the first year that Des Moines has hosted an event of this size, so I came expecting the worst. After doing the Denver Danskin a couple of years ago, I have become pretty aware of how organized a large event has to be. And if it isn’t, how bad it can be (ie. Denver Danskin).
I was pleasantly surprised by how cute downtown Des Moines is. The Gray’s Lake area where the swim and transition area were is a beautiful, shaded lake. The transition was nicely organized with assigned places. We had to check in our bikes the night before. I didn’t really like the idea of my baby spending the night outside without me, but I sucked it up and dropped it off.
4 am. The wake up call in the hotel rings. I haven’t raced in a couple of seasons, so I forgot how early 4 am is.
4:30 am – TRAFFIC! As usual, a big long line to get into the parking. I had timed the drive the day before and added time for traffic, but I didn’t add enough. I had to ditch the car and walk in. I was lucky enough to have a driver that could park the car.
5:30 am – Arrive at the transition. Rush to put everything in place, get my timing chip, and get in the water before the swim warmup closed.
After racing exclusively in Colorado, I had a hard time believing that the water temp was really 80 degrees! My plan was to take it easy. I really needed to stay at about 85% effort for the swim and bike to complete the run. I tend to get over anxious with the mass start and start out too fast.
The start, as usual, was all hands and feet. But everyone settled into place by the first bouy. I was able to sight good lines without interrupting my stroke for most of the swim. I stayed within my planned perceived effort and felt fresh coming out of the swim. For once I was thinking the whole way “This feels great!”
Did I mention how fabulous it is to come out of the water onto carpet and not have to run through sand? Sweeeeet!
Trans 1 went smooth. I only wish I could run better in bike cleats. I still haven’t worked out the “cleats already attached to the pedals” thing yet.
The bike course was pretty fast and relatively flat. Only one major hill. Very little wind (especially for Iowa). The first 3 miles were pretty congested with racers. That pesky no draft rule is difficult to follow when you’re packed in like sardines.
Top Ten Insights on the Bike
10. Zipp Disc wheels sound sweet as they are *passing* you.
9. I stayed in my planned perceived effort and still had a good mph average.
8. My front wheel is just slightly out of true.
7. Passing men feels good and makes them mad.
6. There is a really cool looking vintage clothing store in downtown Des Moines.
5. This is not the Tour, so why is there a guy in the devil suit?
4. This is awesome! I love racing!!
3. That fun downhill on the way out? Oh yeah, not so fun on the way back.
2. Ladies crossing the street in front of racers think that if they bury their heads and don’t look at you, you aren’t there. Luckily there was room to swerve.
1. I love racing!
Ick! My least favorite part. I just wanted to get through it. Since most of it is a blur, I will keep it short. Very few hills (except the big on at the finish line), mostly cloudy skies, well stocked aid stations. All I can say is that I ran the whole thing (only the 2nd 10K I’ve ever run). Near the end, my goals kept getting shorter. “Just make it to the turn in a mile, just make it to the next block, just make it to the stop sign, just put one foot in front of the other”
Des Moines put on a great show, even for the age groupers! I’ll definitely do this one again if it comes back.
VB Tri Kit rocks! I LOVE POCKETS!! Even if they slow down the swim a bit.
I ended with a PR by 30 minutes! sweeeeetttt. . .
I have more pics on my blog at http://www.twobarnfarm.com
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