I'm here to report on the Camp Courageous Triathlon that I did over a week ago now on August 7, 2011. It was a beautiful day and the race was awesome. The proceeds went to benefit Camp Courageous of Iowa. I believe that Camp Courageous is a great organization. From their website
Camp Courageous of Iowa is a year-round respite care and recreational facility for individuals of all ages with disabilities. The camp was established in 1972 with the first 211 campers attending in the summer of 1974. Today, Camp Courageous serves nearly 6,000 individuals with disabiliteies are served in a year-round program.
Mission Statement... The mission of Camp Courageous is to provide exceptional year-round recreational and respite care opportunities for individuals with specials needs and their families. The camp is run primarily on donations, giving all individuals the opportunity to give through gifts of time, materials, money, and other means that support the camp.
It's a pretty awesome place. So I was thrilled that I would be able to do this triathlon.
Packet pickup was on Saturday evening before the race. Included with the registration was a free athlete dinner on Saturday. Matt went with me and his dinner only cost $5. What a steal! The Smorgasbord included homemade applesauce, cottage cheese, pasta, ground pork, pesto sauce, and red sauce. And probably some other things that I forgot since it's been so long. It was delicious!
Matt and I then road tripped over to Jones County Central Park where the swim was to take place in the morning. Bikes were to be left there overnight so participants could park at Camp Courageous in the morning. We had to go home after that and have a slice of lemon cake that I made for my dad. Perfect pre-race food.
Matt really wanted to go out that night so we ended up going to a bar that night and watching a band. I had a beer for some extra carbs. Haha. Actually I believe in relaxing a bit before a race. One beer isn't going to hurt me.
I was up bright and early on Sunday to drive over to Camp Courageous. From there, I took a bus over to the park. I made sure all my stuff was in place for my swim-to-bike transition and got in the water a bit to warm up. I wanted to get there earlier so I could do a little run and bike warm up but I didn't so oh well. I'm over it.
My mom and my grandma came to cheer me on. I was in the last swim wave so I stood around for a while. They did waves but within the wave they let athletes off one at a time about 3 seconds apart. I thought that was a pretty neat concept. Athletes were supposed to seed themselves within their wave. I didn't really know where to place myself so I just aimed at the middle of the pack.
Turns out I underestimated myself a little. I swam the 500 yard swim in 8:54 which was good enough for 14th place overall. I passed quite a bit of people in the swim. And by passed I really mean ran into, kicked, conked in the head, or swam over. Okay that really didn't happen every time, but I did swim into a few people. The swim went great for me, I felt like I was pushing hard but swimming smoothly. And I stayed fairy well on course. It can be so hard to swim straight without the black line at the bottom of the pool.
I was out of the water quick and onto the bike. I think this is the worst transition because you can't dry off very well but still have to put on socks and shoes.
The bike was a mostly flat 16 mile course with a few small hills. I borrowed Matt's hybrid bike for the race since all I have is a crappy, too small, beaten up mountain bike. It made a huge difference! I averaged 17 mph on the bike whereas during my bike training I was only able to average about 11-12 mph.
I think I could have pushed myself a little more during the bike portion. I did get passed by a few people, but only one girl in my age group. And I did pass a few people as well.
The 16 miles went by fast and before I knew it I was into transition and running out!
Legs always feel like complete jello at this point. My legs really wanted to walk but I knew if I just pushed through they would loosen up. The run started with a short stint on a trail which was nice and shady.
Here you can see me passing another girl in my age group!!
Then it was done a really long and steep hill. It was nice to go downhill but as one runner said as she flew past me (she was on a team so her legs were fresh!), "This doesn't look very promising!" Because we had to turn around at the bottom and come right back up. I kept hoping the bottom of the hill was near but it kept going and going and going. Finally I made it to the bottom and after a short loop was headed back up. At this point I was probably a mile and half into the 4k. I ran about halfway up before I took a minute - 2 minute walking break. At the top of the hill was the 2 mile mark so I knew I was almost there. I tried picking up the speed a little but my legs were sort of shot.
Most of the last half mile was on trails which were shaded again. Then it opened up back onto the road way for the finish.
I managed to hold this runner off behind me.
My overall time was 1:35:27! Woohoo! I was excited because this was a lot better than I predicted. I placed 78/175 overall.
78 2/6 Alyssa Neiers 23 F 14 8:54 1:47 1:25 109 58:56 17.0 0:31 78 25:43 10:21 1:35:27
Full results are here.
And it turns out my time was good enough for 2nd in my division! Yippee!
I got a sweet little medal!
I know what you are thinking, I look so awesome post race. Sexy...not.
I smelled really bad too.
After the race I had some snacks at the huge snack and food bar they had set out for the athletes. The best part was the frozen lemonade slushies. So cool and refreshing.
Matt came to cheer me on as well, but this is how he felt about me waking him up at 5 am to give me a ride back to my car.
When I showed up, he woke up enough to ask, "What's that smell?"
"Who wants a hug?"
I went straight home to take a shower after that. When I pulled off my tank top and sport bra it was covered with dirt and sand from swimming in the lake. Disgusting.
I lounged around for a little longer and then had steak for lunch. I was starving! And my steak was delicious!
The Camp Courageous Triathlon is a great beginners triathlon and the volunteers are absolutely spectacular. The event went off flawlessly! Thank you to all the volunteers and supporters who made the day great!
Hope to see you there next year!
(Matt promised me he would participate too!)