Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Wildflower Triathlon Race Report (How not to dismount into T2)

I first raced Wildflower 13 years ago as a poor grad student. I wore this awesome ensemble, and rode my Dad's old Softride bike. (No, it did not fit me). I had no idea what I was doing, but somewhere on the back side of the run course when I ran through the naked aid station I decided triathlon was fun.

I have countless memories from Wildflower. Camping with friends. A breakthrough race as a pro. Loving running into the Pit. Hating the pit. Then loving it for the carnage it caused and providing me the ability to catch some more girls ahead of me.

I have finished 5th twice as a pro at Wildflower and to tell you I wanted anything less than a higher placing would be a lie. It didn't happen and I'll save you the excuses, because honestly it's been a few weeks and nobody cares anymore - at least I know I have moved on and am focusing on future races. Instead, I'm going to share my mistakes and tell you the reasons why I love Wildflower triathlon and urge you to race it if you never have.

Dismounting: How to dismount gracefully with added flair (flips!)

A big thanks to Drew at Quixotic Racing for capturing my "I-have-no-idea-what-just-happened" dismount coming into T2. I've been racing a long time and quite honestly I'm still not sure what I did here. And no, I did not need medical. My di2 shifter did however.

Camping: Wildflower is an awesome venue. Post race I hung out with friends laying in the shade of a big old oak tree listening to part of the band Sugarland. (Yes - part of their band actually raced Wildflower and then played awesome music for us!) I can't think of many other races where this happens.

The Volunteers: Cal Poly students run most of the aid stations on the run course. I don't know about you, but I can't help but smile, even while racing uncomfortably fast, when a bunch of kids in huge sombreros grab a giant cardboard penis and start cheering like crazy for me.

Pros Cheering for the Kids Race
An Honest Course: Triathletes tend to love courses where they can set a PR. Wildflower is not this course. It is however an awesome, rugged, tough course that will bring out the best in athletes. It's a great course to find out what you're made of.

If you're one of those people who loves numbers and stats - I finished lucky #13th just 13 years after racing my first half here. I was sad about it for a bit and then decided life's too short and I've got a million other great things to be happy about. Onward!

Zoot - fast Alii shoes, flexible wetsuits, awesome training and racing apparel.  
Microscope World - my other great job.
Profile Design - fast TwentyFour wheels, aero bars and hydration. I love the Aero HC system.
Powerbar - gels, hydration and recovery for ultimate performance.
Nytro - my local (but they sell all over the world!) bike shop with all things racing/training.
Extreme Endurance - thanks for keeping me healthy and strong!
Rudy Project - great helmets and sunglasses, awesome colors!
Bont - best cycling shoes around.

Next up is Mont Tremblant 70.3!


Steve said...

Been reading you a while. My spreadsheet of the places and finishes for you in tris and stuff got erased, so now your whole professional triathlete career is lost to me.

Any chance you can do another race report for all your races for the last 13 years? ;)


Take care Charisa. :)


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MontanaNMe said...

Yes, that was an impressive dismount! Guess all those hours of GymMasters paid off!

Good luck @ Mont Tremblant!

Keith Byers