Sunday, April 1, 2012

Leadman 125 Vegas Triathlon Race Report

The inaugural Leadman 125 Epic Triathlon did not disappoint. This race has a unique distance with a 1.5 mile swim, a 68 mile bike and a 8.1 mile run.

The setting is desert. Beautiful desert. Just outside Vegas.

The race started at 10am. Awesome for not having to get up at some ungodly hour. The winds had picked up a bit by the start and the lake was choppy. In typical fashion I was somehow dropped in the first 100m and spent the entire swim solo. I am not the world's best choppy water swimmer. At one point I was quite sure all the men in the wave behind me might catch and pass me. They did not.

I exited the water 7 minutes back in 9th. Ohhhhh this is not where I wanted to be! I flew threw transition, jumped onto my bike (shoes properly attached) and somehow managed to spend the next (what felt like an eternity but in reality was probably only) 30 seconds trying to start pedaling on an upside down shoe and move myself forward. Two course marshals were watching from their motorcycles trying not to laugh. I think I told them this was how NOT to mount a bicycle properly. 

This course is awesome. It is UP and down and UP and challenging. It was WINDY - we are talking 35-40mph, max gusts posted at 67mph - windy. The beginning of the course was awesome, as the wind was pushing me a bit. Then there were a lot of dips through valleys where cross winds threatened to throw me off my bike, so much of my ride became non-aero and just working my best to keep the bike upright while still moving forward.

The final miles of the bike were a massive headwind and honestly just brutal. Seriously - the last two miles felt like an eternity. I managed to come off the bike in what I thought was 7th position, but I really was not sure.

The run immediately starts out uphill. And does not stop going uphill until the finish. It's not overly steep (until the final mile), but it is definitely uphill. On race day it was also into an extremely strong headwind. I kept telling myself to just keep turning the feet over quickly and 8 miles would go by fast. I could see nobody in front of me and the thought of catching any girls or getting paid on this particular day was not something I thought would happen. But I also have learned to NEVER give up. 

 My Zoot visor (missing in photo) committed wind suicide, along with the barriers behind me.

I ran as fast as my legs would go and when a guy caught me I tried to go with him. At mile 6.5 I finally caught a girl. And then there was another and somehow by the finish I had moved into 4th place and a paycheck.

My chasing earned fastest female run split of the day. I give credit to wanting the race to be over faster, and my speedy Zoot Ultra TT 5.0 shoes.
I am happy to be done here.

I really love this sport. It is hard and sometimes while racing it feels unrelenting. But the friends I have made through triathlon and the ability to push myself to new levels makes me smile. I am excited for the 2012 season and I enjoyed kicking it off with an epic race at Leadman.

A huge thank you:

24 comments:

Damie said...

Charisa- I LOVE this post. I love that you take on these great challenges. And I LOVE that you had the fastest run split- so inspiring because I know you came from humble running beginnings and have worked so hard. So proud of you! yea yea!!!!

JC said...

Congrats - what a fight to the finish! That course sounds CRAZY challenging - way to ROCK it!

Molly said...

Congratulations Charisa!! What an epic day for you!

J. L. said...

Congratulations! Mighty impressive fight. Here's to a great 2012 season.

SSB said...

Whoa! It starts at 10AM? That's my kind of race. And it's in Vegas too! Guess I know one race I'll be doing next year!

Congrats on the race!

Angela and David said...

Sounds like a brutal day! Amazing job hanging tough. Congrats!

Steve said...

Good Job Charisa. :)

Steve said...

The thank yous tell a story.

Ana-Maria RunTriLive said...

Congrats Charissa. And amazing you did this through much life stress which you mentioned before. Way to fight!

ONEHOURIRONMAN said...

sounds like you had a great day. And the wind? Crazy. Personally I love the wind....... when it is at my back..

Christi said...

Great race Charisa!

Amy said...

nice work, Charisa!

Emily Cocks said...

I am glad you felt like the last 2 miles took forever too. I thought it was never going to end.

Beth said...

Sounds absolutely brutal!!! Way to fight to the end!! So inspiring. I know how you felt in that swim - O'side was the same for me. How do they get away so fast?? ;) CONGRATS Charisa!!! :)

Snakebite said...

Way to start the season off in the money!

IAN said...

Fastest run split. BAM!!

rr said...

Yeah girl! You're always so positive, and it pays off - literally. Congratulations!

BreeWee said...

TALK about AWESOME way to keep the fight going, really happy for you!

Libby said...

awesome race! way to fight til the end!!! that race looks amazing! hooray for pay days!

Jason said...

Thank you for the great race report. I have the 125 and 250 on my calendar for 2014 and really cannot wait for it.

Great race.....chasing them down and giving all you had and finishing in 4th on a hellacious day is amazing.

The Gnome Knows!!!!!!

Matt said...

Congrats! Fastest Run split = RAD

maybe in the area for a week in May, will have to meet up or ride

Lisa said...

Wind adds such a different dimension to any race and it can be hard to mentally get through. You continue to impress and inspire me.

Alili said...

Congratulations Charisa - way to run them down!

solarpowered said...

When my shoes are upside down I usually fall off my bike... Congrats for not doing that! And for a great start to the season. So great to see that big smile in those pics!