Well, a few months back it sounded like a good idea. Last year I had volunteered at the Olympic Rev the day before I raced the Half Rev at Quassy The whole weekend was such a good time I figured this year I would just race both of them! As race day(s) approached the idea seemed dumber and dumber. It’s not like these were flat and easy courses. And I had only managed to get in the water two times for a total of two miles of swimming prior to this….and now I had to swim 2.1 miles total on back to back days! Anyway.
We packed up the family and headed out on Friday afternoon. We were expecting a 3 hour drive but didn’t expect all the traffic we hit on I-84 near Danbury. 3.5 hours later we arrived at Quassy. It was about 6:00 so still plenty of time to pick up packet and rack my bike. Again, registration was flawless. Everything was very organized and I actually picked up my packets for both races and was able to use the same chip both days. Got my bike racked (with the REV3 pro looking name/number tag) and we grabbed a bite and some ice cream and headed to the hotel. This race takes place in such a nice, quaint area….it’s so refreshing to come back here. Plus the kids checked out the rides at Quassy (which added a cool new roller coaster this year) and they were excited to hit the park on Saturday (another great reason to bring the family to a REV3 event, free tickets to the park). The host hotel is great as well, they provided shuttles to the race so the families could get up at a more leisurely time and not have to be disrupted by driving their athlete to the race. My goal for “The Challenge” was to race as hard as I could on Saturday and then treat Sunday as a catered training day.
Up bright and early on Saturday and grabbed the 5:15 shuttle. By 5:30 we were at the transition area and gearing up. The air temp was chilly in the high 40’s, low 50’s but the sun was rising. Water temp was a warm 69 degrees so I was happy to get to use my awesome TYR Hurricane 5 wetsuit. I was concerned about getting cold coming out of the water on the bike, I actually had arm warmers set up in transition. I did my traditional little warm up swim to get the body and mind ready and then we were off. Our age group was the first wave just before 7am. I actually felt pretty good in the swim once I got my goggles tighten up and the water out of them (note to self: do not let the kids play w/ my goggles). The water was a little choppy and I took on a little more water than usual, but the lake was great and I was able to keep an eye on everyone around me. This was probably one of my best jobs sighting to date. I swam right on course and stayed consistent. Out of the water in 27:16, 16th out of 56 in my AG and 107 overall.
Thanks to all the TriSlide, my wetsuit came off without issue and I was on my way out onto the bike course. I hadn’t pre-ridden the course, but a good portion of the course was shared with the half which I had done last year. I felt great and stuck with my plan to really push this race. There were some good climbs but also some sweet downhills. I was passing people the entire race (a bonus of being a slow swimmer). With about a mile to go I finally was the one getting passed on the bike, one guy came by and passed me. Into T2 in 1:11:12 for 25.68 mi, 21.6mph and I was now 27th overall and 3rd in my AG. I was told there was >2,000’ of climbing on the bike course…wow!
I took a sip of my EFS in transition, threw my sneaks on and I was off. I knew portions of the run course that were shared w/ the half, but really hadn’t put much thought into the rest of the course. I forgot my Garmin so I don’t have any splits but the first two miles were mid 5’s. By end of the first mile I made a few passes including the guy that had just passed me on the bike. He was funny, yelling “you didn’t tell me you were a runner, no fair” to which I replied “you didn’t tell me you were a cyclist when you blew by either”! I just kept pushing forward and felt great. As we crested a small hill at mile three we were headed into the sunlight and all I could hear was an incredibly loud (over top of incredibly loud music) “GO TEAM TRAKKERS, GO CHRIS”. My vision was blurry and I could see a female in the distance…it was CAROLE, MOMMA BEAR!! Gave her a big smile and huge high five…only to round the corner and see a sign for “High Point Drive”. OUCH was all I could think! Mile 4 to 5 was a nice downhill after the “High Point” climb and I caught a few more runners. The last mile had the dreaded climb to the finish, but I was feeling good, happy and thinking I was in the top 15 or so overall. Through the awesome finish line chute in 37:00, now 1st in my AG and 15th overall! Looks like my bike was the 11th fastest of the day and my run was 5th fastest of the day, I'll take that!And I've said it before...REV3 does it right. I received this awesome hand made award as well as all kinds of stuff from GU, AVIA, FUELBELT and Inside Triathlon. Now my race was over, it was time to go have some fun on the rides. The weather was beautiful by this point and we basically had the park to ourselves! The kids ran around hopping on ride after ride...and by 3:00 we were all worn out and ready to hit the pool at the hotel (well, Lauren snuck out for a run).
By the time we left the pool we had missed our dinner w/ the Trakkers Team (guess I should've brought my watch!) I did meet Kathleen Calkins and her son at the pool and we had a great chat. Not only is she an awesome athlete, but a real genuine person...and you know what, most of the pros deal with the same struggles we do. Finding time to train, keeping up w/ the house, etc. Thanks Kathleen and I hope your day went well on Sunday!
Before I wrap up (you'll have to wait a day or so for the HALF REV Race Report), I wanted to give a shout out to my daughter Autumn. She did her 2nd triathlon two weeks ago and she did awesome. It's a great, low key event that doesn't use a timer or anything. It's all about kids having fun. And that she did. After swimming 100yds in the indoor pool she headed out to the bike (and got some help in T1 from Daddy).
Two laps on the bike and she was headed to T2 for four laps around the parking lot! I love this shot of her below breaking the tape!
Joshua was sick the night before, so he missed out, but he was there cheering for sissy!