Nothing like signing up for a race 2 days before! But I’m always ready to take on a new race, especially in a beautiful place like Bear Lake.
My wife and I left the house around 3:30am so we could get there in enough time to get checked in and ready to race. It was a clear morning and the temperature would be perfect for racing. I checked in and got to my dedicated transition area. It’s very beneficial for a racer like me to have a designated race spot because I like to take my time to get to the race, and usually I’m a little later and end up racking my bike wherever there’s an open spot.
The swim was great. They started on a large beach area with soft sand and it was perfect for spectators. There is a reason they call Bear Lake the ‘Caribbean of the Rockies’. The water is spectacular! I could see the bottom of the lake through the whole swim. The swim course was well marked, making it easy to make the turns. The water was a little cold but not distracting. The beach is shallow a good way into the water, so everyone ran in the last 100 meters. Which is good since the swim in my worst leg! I ended up swimming a 24:32, which I was happy with.
I knew I was about 5 minutes behind first place coming out of the water. Biking is my best discipline so I wanted to make up time on the leaders. The bike course was well marked and there were plenty of safety officers controlling traffic for us. We rode along the lakeshore and the view helped distract from my pounding heart rate and screaming quads. The course was mainly flat with a few rolling hills which made for a fast bike split. Since it was an out and back, I could easily gauge my distance behind the leaders. I passed a few people on the bike to improve my position overall, but at the turnaround point I knew I hadn’t made up much time. My racing strategy has always been to pound the bike, and then just make it through the run. I had the second fastest bike split (58:56) but the top athletes were all very close.
I came into T2 fourth off the bike. And onto the dreaded run….my wife was yelling at me that I was only two minutes behind third place and to make up some time. I told her she was out of her mind. Little did I know third place went out at a 6:15 pace! I was only 2 minutes behind him but a 6:15?! I knew I just had to push and try to make up as much time as possible. Like the rest of the course, everything was well marked and the signs were easy to follow. Coming up to the turnaround point I saw the leaders and I could see they were holding a strong stride. At that point, I realized third was probably out of reach and I just had to hold onto fourth place. My run time was 43:12 which I was a little disappointed with. I’d like to be right around 40 minutes.
I was very pleased with my overall performance. I was disappointed at barely missing the podium but fourth overall feels great. Total race time was 2:10:51. I’d like to thank my sponsors, Flexr Sports, TriEdge and T3 Triathlon for giving me the opportunity to race Mountain Tropic Triathlon.
For more information about BBSC events go to: www.bbsctri.com