This past weekend I got my first race of the season under my belt. It was good to get out there and compete again and get that fire back in my belly for race season. After having a baby and changing jobs and cities, training has been tough to squeeze in. This race helped get that little extra motivation needed to get “up ‘n at ‘em” each day.

Since this was a fairly laid back race, I’m going to take a bit of a laid back approach to the race report. So here are some of the best stories out of the 54 minutes of racing.

  • Chasing High Schoolers and College Kids

The best thing I saw on the day was the number of High School and College teams that showed up to race. USAT has been pushing their new high School club program the last 2 years and it seems to be paying off here in North Carolina. There were at least 2 High School clubs that each had a good showing at the race, and both Duke and Queens college brought their teams. All in all I’d say there were 30+ kids from these groups and that is about triple the number of 10-20 year-olds you would normally have at a small, local race like this. That is encouraging for the future of the sport!

On the down side… it meant I was chasing college kids all day. I ended up 2nd in my age group and it was a guy from Duke that beat me. Of the 20 people that finished before me, I think it was 3 or 4 “older” guys and about 3 High School guys with the rest of the pack being from the two college teams. That being the case… all the course records were broken this year too!

  • Pace line? And a Non-Draft event…

I know drafting is a touchy subject in the pro ranks… but here, I saw three of the high School kids running a legit pace line on the bike leg. I made a comment to them as I passed them… something along the lines of “you know this isn’t draft legal right?” but then I got to thinking… do they even know what that means? They were all in tier early teens and probably hadn’t raced much. They were also all on road bikes and train together. I mentioned it to the race director and I’m sure he talked with the coach. I didn’t want to make a fuss… especially since I passed them, but they are so young and I’m just happy they were racing. I hope they learn from it… that’s the point of the HS Club program right?

  • Tough Transitions

First race of the season… that means my transitions are a little rusty. I’m still pleased with keeping them both under 30 seconds… but I felt really slow. Also, coming into T2, there is a bit of an uphill and then a sharp left turn followed quickly by another slight left. I got past the first left and realized my feet were still in my shoes… I got one foot out but had to stop and dismount to unclip the other shoe. I know that cost me a few seconds. I was able to minimize the damage though and I’m just glad I didn’t crash!

  • Wind!

The wind was horrible all day! Thankfully it kept the rain away, but it was brutal on the bike. The biggest happening from the winds was in the finisher village the food tent almost blew over. All of us that were standing around grabbed on to keep it in place, but the pan of goldfish went flying (sad day!). The dogs liked that though. We ended up just taking the tarp off the top so we didn’t have to stand there and hold it.

  • 80 degree with hot chocolate and a toboggen

The 66 degrees and rain that was forecast ended up being 80 degrees and windy! Normally this race is super cold and has had some nasty weather in recent year. It has earned a name as the winter duathlon… but not this year. Standing around for awards in 80 degrees and sun made the awards and finished hats kind of comical. Everyone got a winter toboggen and the podium placers got a mug with hot chocolate mix! But… next winter I’ll be loving that I got one!

As usual, Trivium Racing did a great job with this event! I always love the races they put on. They are well done, and the environment is awesome!

A big shout out to Trisports.com for keeping me geared up, Honey Stinger for keeping me fueled and HotShot for keeping me cramp free for an hour of all out racing!

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