Challenge Penticton – Race Report

Morning race prep:

  • My chain came off when I was putting my shoes on my bike and I found out my derailleur was rubbing my disk when in the small gear. The mechanics were able to adjust it big PHEW!!

Swim

  • Where we swam.
    Where we swam, it was much darker race day.

    In the pro meeting we convinced the race directors to have the pros start 10 minutes before the mass start instead of with it.  It was nice not to get clobbered by age groupers as well.

  • It was still a rough start, someone hit my ankle knocking my chip out from under my wetsuit. I felt it slipping, it then came off completely but I was able to grab it before it sank.  I stuffed it into my wetsuit and down into my tri suit.  This was the first time I’ve had a chip come off my ankle!
  • Approaching the first buoy I was still near a couple guys and I got an elbow to the goggle and a few to the chest, so aggressive!
  • It was hard to sight because it was dark and the buoys were small but made the best lines I could and exited the water first women, third overall.  (My times didn’t register I assume because it couldn’t sense my chip stuffed in the chest of my wetsuit).
  • The water was amazing I loved it! Incredibly clean and clear, it reminded me of Bend 🙂

T1

  • They setup the course Ironman style so you had to pick up your bike bag and run into the change tent, stuff your swim gear in your bag and continue on.
  • I put my helmet on running to my bike but then I overshot my bike and had to run back.
  • I also had to stop and put my timing chip back on my ankle before running out.
  • Jen Spieldenner had passed me and was out just in front of me.

Bike

  • Heading out to bike.
    Heading out to bike.

    There have been a lot of forrest fires in the area so the smoke and haze was pretty bad in the days leading up to the race, making it harder to breath.  Luckily it was raining out on the course ahead of us that it cleared the air a bit.  Downside was wet roads but it didn’t actually rain on us so thankful for that.

  • On the way out to Lake Skaha there was a deer hanging out in the middle of the road, luckily a motorcycle was there to slow us a bit and help flag it off the road.  It looked quite content just watching the race there though, I’m just glad it wasn’t a bear.
  • In the first 20K of the race riding along Lake Skaha the wind was brutal.  I was up out of my aero bars trying not to get blown over by the gusting winds.  Jen rode by me and said “get back in your bars you can do it.”  That little encouragement went a long way, I slowly worked my way back into the bars and sucked it up, thanks Jen!!
  • Jen and I went back and forth a few times throughout the race, I typically caught her uphill and she’d smoke me downhill.
  • There were four solid climbs on the race where I was out of the saddle moving at a pace that felt like zero miles per hour.
  • Melanie McQuaid passed us pretty early on but I didn’t even see her.  Carrie Lester caught us around the halfway mark.  I tried to keep her in my sights as long as I could but lost her after a few 90 degree turns and the only 180 on the course.
  • My biking felt solid throughout and I never felt like I completely smoked my legs (maybe one of the climbs).
  • I rode into T2 in fourth.

T2

  • A volunteer was there to take my bike and re-rack it.
  • I ran into transition to grab my run bag.  Even though I had toe warmers on my feet still felt like basketballs and it hurt so bad to run barefoot.
  • I dumped out my bag in the change tent. I was very glad I chose to put my stuff in a plastic bag because it apparently was down pouring while we were riding so I had dry shoes to put on.
  • I put on socks, shoes, grabbed my Gu and belt and was out running a few hundred yards behind Jen and Carrie.
  • Apparently Melanie had gotten a drafting penalty so she was serving her penalty.

Run

  • Running down the main drag.
    Running down the main drag.

    The first five miles were an out and back along a small stream partially on gravel. For this section I just wanted to make sure I was maintaining a good pace and feeling good.  At the turn around I had about six minutes to Melanie and 8 minutes to Lesley Smith who I knew could run.

  • After passing back by transition there was another out and back for the last 8 miles.  It was nice to have a little mid run boost with tons of fans lined up along the course here.
  • At the turn around at about 9 miles I had two minutes on Lelsey and four minutes on the next girl, Melanie had pulled out of the race at this point.
  • Lesley passed me around mile 10-11 so I was running in fourth.
  • I worked hard towards the last 1.5 miles which was a long steady decline back to transition.
  • As I approach I was informed no one was behind me but I knew I still had a half mile to loop around to the finish line.
  • I crossed the line in fourth just missing sub 4:30 (I wasn’t really paying attention to that but a goal for next time).  Fifth place was running hard and finished only about 30 seconds back.

I couldn’t have been happier with my race.  I was first female out of the water, I had a solid bike split and my fastest half marathon to date by about four minutes and it was sub 7:00 pace.  Penticton was beautiful; I would definitely recommend visiting and racing.  Unfortunately it was smokey from forest fires for a lot of the trip but we had a couple beautiful days.

Check out the results.  View more photos.

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