Race Report: Magic Man Triathlon 2012

Coach Lora Erickson - First Overall Female, Sprint DistanceFastest Female Splits – Swim, Bike & RunMagic Man Triathlon – IdahoJune 16, 2012

The Magic Man triathlon is truly magical. I was super excited to go to this event because my family loves to camp and we had a great time at this event last year. I was very impressed with how organized it was last year and came back to another great quality event this year. Click here to read my 2011 report.The weather was perfect when we arrived in the evening and it was shaping up to look like perfect weather for the event too, which is always a bonus. After dropping off my bike in transition we headed to our camp spot to set up camp and have dinner. At the athlete spaghetti dinner (provided) I was excited to connect with some of my athletes and my sister-in-law. For one of them this would be her very first triathlon ever and for the other this would be her very first Olympic distance event. How exciting! After the race director went over the rules, course and other pertinent information we drove the route in the car which was a great refresher. The route was out-and-back for both the ride and the run (I am a big fan of out a back routes- the races I put on are out and back ie. Race for Grief &Save Your Skin). After that we were able to connect with several other team members over the fire and enjoy some smores (what’s camping without roasting a marshmallow or two? Right?). My boys especially love to set things on fire over the flames. LOLAs usual I slept very little that night in anticipation of the event. I often go over the route and race in my mind over and over again – it’s so exciting! I love to race! I got up early and picked up my timing chip and finished setting up my transition. It was great to see other Team Blonde Runner members and get our numbers and TBR tattoos on. Today while I was the coach of the team, I was also able to be a team member, which I LOVE! After we got everything set up we headed over to the water to cheer on the Olympic distance athletes which started an hour before our event. Then we waited anxiously in our wetsuits for our race to begin. I was pretty nervous for the swim because I have always had a difficult time swimming straight due to a shoulder and neck injury I had obtained many years ago from a cycling accident. Read the full story here.Despite my hard work, I still have some muscular imbalance that makes it difficult to swim straight so I end up sighting a lot which slows me down. Also, last year my goggles fogged up bad and I had to stop five or so times to wipe them out and see where I was. So, with new goggles on my face I prayed they would stay clear for the race. Finally the race began. As luck would have it (or divine intervention) my goggled didn’t fog up and I was able to sight off another swimmer that wasn’t far ahead of me so I swam fairly straight. I found it difficult to really relax and stretch out my stroke and wasn’t really pleased with my swim split because I know I can do better, but as it turned out I ended up swimming the fastest swim split for the women which was a big surprise.After I got out of the water and had my wetsuit stripped off, I headed to transition. The transition wasn’t as smooth as I would have liked it to be because I was dwelling on my swim time wondering how many women I would have to catch on the bike not knowing at that time I was ahead of them all. As I took off on the bike I passed one women at the very start along with a clump of other men and thought “one-down.” It turns out that the woman was an Olympic distance athlete but I continued the chase. After the first bend I was able to get into aero position and get some nutrition in me. There was a bit of a head wind, so the pace wasn’t as fast as I would have liked. As I passed people I kept looking for any women that might be ahead of me (not realizing at the time that there were none) by the time we hit the turn-around I discovered that there were no women in front of me and I was well ahead of the second women and unless there was a major catastrophe the first place female position was mine for the takin’. In a way this took the wind out of my sails for a bit since I felt I had nobody left to chase (this is the trouble with having a finish place goal), it wasn’t until a man wizzed past me that I “woke up” and re-focus on the other goals I had set for myself for this race. My main three goals were to improve my time from last year (a no-brainer coming back from a broken arm last year), to repeat the win, and start competing with the men. It was this last goal that I had needed to remember. In all honesty these were rather strange goals for me, usually my goals relate to times and only plot me against the clock but for this race I had decide to set different goals. Since I had won this race last year and the race director had suggested that I “defend my title” I opted to concern myself with placing. But that was not my only goal. It took a guy wizzing by me on his bike to remind me that I need to get more competitive with men if I want to achieve my own potential, so I began to re-focus and set my sites on the men in front of me. After all men compete with me right? As I began to pick them off one by one I was able to focus and push the pace a little more (I tend to get stuck in an easy training pace on the bike). I really pushed the last few miles of the bike and went through T2 pretty smooth. As I started the run my calves and Achilles tendons seemed to be a little stiff and cold from the swim still so I eased into a good pace and started catching the guys in front of me. On the way back I could feel the crack in my heel getting pretty tender with each step so I decided to just keep a steady pace (nothing really hard) to see if I could catch a few more men and maybe close the gap between me and the lead four men. At about ¾ miles to go I realized it would take a full sprint to the finish to catch up with the four lead men since they were many minutes a head of me so I just decided to maintain a “cruise pace” and enjoy the rest of the race. After all I had nothing to prove and I had met my goals for the most part. It was fun to cheer for others and high-fiving some Team Blonde Runner team members. Go TBR! I just love racing. This is when all those early morning workouts pay off. When I am able to put all the things I have practiced into action and just race. It was wonderful to sprint in to that familiar finish line as I had done the previous year and see my cute kids cheering me in. “Go Mom” (music to my ears). First Place Overall Female. What a thrill!It was so exciting to be able to cheer in other team members and run with them to the finish (with my little five-year-old helping). Go TBR!

I absolutely love coaching and helping others feel the excitement of working hard and achieving a goal. There is nothing like the feeling of completing your very first triathlon (Go TBR!).

I remember that wonderful feeling of realizing I was a triathlete and the feeling of joy at completing the Olympic distance for the first time. It was especially thrilling to see one of my athletes win her very first Olympic distance event (in her very first Oly I might add). Go TBR!

Chris and Logan pictured below also had solid races both completing the Olympic distance and taking home some hardware. Chris 2nd in his division and Logan 3rd.

It is so much fun to share the joy of racing with others and be part of a team (as well as coach it). It takes a tremendous amount of time and effort (not to mention my husband and children who support me) to coach and put together a team, but these are the moments when it all pays off. It’s a thrill to see those smiles and happy faces cross the finish line and receive their awards. It was so much fun to get to know many of my team members better and enjoy their company. I also appreciate the sponsor support from Intermountain Sports Medicine, Bountiful Bicycle, Elete Eletrolyte, and Emergen-C among others. I have no doubt that my recent Professional Bike Fitting done at Bountiful Bicycle contributed to the success of this event.

As an added bonus to the day I was surprised and thrilled to receive three additional awards for the fastest women swim, bike and run splits for the sprint distance. What more could a person want? Family, friends and fun! Come join us next year! Team Blonde Runner will be there! Go TBR!Become a fan of Team Blonde Runner (TBR) – Triathlon on Facebook.

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