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Sunday, September 16, 2012

Race Review Tri Rock Lake Geneva

Tri Rock Finish Lake Geneva

We all have dreams. But in order to make dreams come into realty, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self discipline and effort."-Jesse Owens

It takes lots of discipline to get out of bed at 3:30 a.m on a Saturday morning when it's 43F.  I was signed up for the Tri Rock Lake Geneva with a 6:30 a.m. start. I knew Team CMT member Kevin Klein would be there. The last time we did the same tri was Pleasant Prairie and I bailed in the swim.
This was a chance to redeem myself.

Besides  I needed the practice competing in a big event before I go back to Nationals in Austin next year. I already had a qualifying time, so I could relax and just get  some experience.

Sometimes  competing is the easy part. It's all the logistics that are tough. I had to drive an hour to pick up the race packed on Friday night and then an hour back home.  This was complicated by the fact that map quest kept locating to a park in Illinois instead of Edge water Park in Williams Bay. It turned out to be easy to find and packet pick up was a breeze. No timing chip pick up until race day which I still don't get.

Transition closed at 6 am so that meant getting there no later than 5:30 am to set up my bike and running gear. I like to arrive really early in case there are snafus on race morning like getting lost or not being able to find the parking area. I found some on street parking and noted the name of the street. Parking, the walk to the transition area and set up all done with flashlight.  Nothing like jockeying for space in the transition area in the dark. 

There was some confusion about where the timing chip pick location. That meant standing in line and more lines for the bathroom. Lots of long walks back and forth to transition.  I counted off the number of racks to my bike since many of the athletes put there stuff right on the number markings on the ground to designate the racks. I personally thanked some of them for doing that.

I put on my web suit and went to the beach to wait. Bare feet lose all feeling on wet cold sand at 43F.  I had on sweats over my wetsuit and was still freezing. I bumped into Kevin and he was trying to stay warm under a reflective silver blanket. I asked if his family was there and he said no one would get up at 4 am to come and watch.

The race start was delayed because there was so much fog. No one could see the buoys. Finally waves started going first the international distance, the sprint and finally the super sprint.  This event  had 2000 racers. I asked for accommodation as a physically challenged triathlete. They put my group that consisted of women 50-59, Athena's, Clydedales, and relay athletes in the same wave. The biggest wave I have ever been in.  Thanks guys.

 At least there was lots of  time between each wave. Here is what one of the swim wave looked like.

 I started in the back but took a direct line on the buoy. I have a checked past with the swim.  They used to really freak me out. No more. I swam right in the crowd and went right between some tight spots.  I own the swim now. The water was really clear and you could see the bottom. Lots of weeks though. I came out with weeds tangled in my watch.

The transition to the bike was carpeted all the way. Nice touch. Because I had counted racks I easily found my bike. When I took off my wet suit I was steaming kind of like this picture. We were told the water was 68F. No way. It was warmer than the air, but pretty cold. Glad I had that wet suit.
Got on the bike and started and realized I did not have my cycling gloves. Not a critical thing for most riders, in fact I saw the Olympic triathlete go without. My hands go numb if I don't have them. Luckily they were clipped to my bike frame, so I stopped to put them on. Ever try to put on full finger bike gloves with wet hands. Will I ever get this triathlon thing down without making a mistake?

So I was off on the bike course. Hilly with lots of newbies that either had no idea of bike etiquette or did not care. Bikers speeding past without announcing or passing on the right.   That can be fairly high risk for a close encounter of the crash kind. Got thorough the bike without incident.

Back to transition and oh no I forgot to count racks going that way and numbers were covered up by all the considerate athletes taking up extra transition real estate. Thank God for my Tri Wisconsin mat.  Went a bit past my rack, but recovered fast. Then I discovered there was someone racked in my spot. I did not want to put her in another spot and goof up someone else. the spots were clearly marked with name and number. Out of the rack the bike went and gently on the ground. If you don't rack your bike you can be disqualified. That was not going to happen to me. Her bike was still out of the rack when I took my bike home after the race.

So off on the run which was very very hilly. I was tired and my run was slow but I made it in 1 hr 47 min and 17 seconds. Not fast by many measures but another qualifying time for Nationals. Even got this cool medal to add to the collection.

Kevin Klein was at the finish line to cheer me in.  I really appreciated that because it was a busy day for Kevin. We got a team picture taken in our new Team CMT Tri Kit. I think we looked great and will publish the pictures when I get them.

The post part was great with a band and wonderful pancake breakfast cooked up by the Lions Club.
For lots of reasons it was not a race that was easy for me be at.  There are some major distractions in my life right now that I really had to push through to even be at this race.

There were lots of places I would have rather been then on a cold beach at 6 am waiting to jump into frigid water in a crowd. But I did it and I am glad I did. Every race I do gives me more confidence and experience to get ready for Nationals next year in Austin. Overall a good race and a good day for Team CMT.  Actually the only hitch in the day was finding my car after.  I had trouble finding Olive street where I had parked my car and even several locals I asked had a bit of trouble directing me. All good though and looking forward to the next race.

Chris Wodke
Founder & Manager Team CMT

Team CMT is a group of athletes and supporters working to raise awareness and to find a cure for CMT. We have almost 100 members in 17 states. If you wish to join us visit our web site.

CMT or Charcot-Marie-Tooth is the most commonly inherited peripheral neuropathy. It affects over 155,000 Americans (as many as MS).  It is a disease of the nerves that control the muscles. It is slowly progressive, causing loss of normal function and or sensation in the lower legs/feet and arms/hands.

Symptoms include; muscle wasting in the lower legs and feet leading to foot drop, poor balance and gait problems Atrophy in the hands causes difficulty with manual dexterity.

Structural foot deformities such as high arches and hammer toes are common.

Poor tolerance for cool or cold temperatures and many people have chronically cold hands and feet.

Additional symptoms may include fatigue, sleep apnea, breathing difficulties and hearing loss.

1 comment:

  1. Are they strict about the cut off times?? I signed up for Saturday's race without knowing there were cut off times and now I am scared. This will be my first Olympic Distance!