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!