Monday, June 8, 2009

Buffalo Triathlon Race Report

On Sunday, Derek and I arrived to a very cold day in Buffalo, MN. It was the first triathlon of the year for both of us and will most likely go down as one of the coldest! The weather didn't deter me because I love this race. Last year I won my age group and then decided to start racing in the elite waves. It is a challenging course with hills on the bike and run, and has lots of great volunteers and participants. I think between the Sprint and Olympic course there were about 1500 participants.

The weather in Minnesota is notorious for changing quickly. We have had great weather with highs in the upper 70's, but in the last 3 days it all went downhill. I think the high for Saturday was 55 degrees which made the morning of race day pretty chilly! As Derek and I were driving to the race the thermometer read 46 degrees. Unlike others, I like running in the heat and humidity – it seems that I do better in those conditions and knew it was going to be quite cold in the water and on the bike.

After the pre-race briefing all of the elite athletes started putting on their wetsuits and jumped in the lake for a “warm-up” and the lake was actually warmer than the air, so it felt really good to be in the water. I did not want to get out! I stayed in the back of the pack for the swim because I knew there were some really great swimmers (especially women, three of the seven elite women had the top ten swims on the day). I didn’t go all out in the beginning of the swim and stayed pretty aerobic and felt great coming out of the water. However, when I looked at my watch I was pretty dissapointed because I swam a minute slower than I had last year. I knew my sighting was really bad, because I was pretty far away from the buoys. I kept moving over to the right, but it felt like I was swimming in a straight line…WRONG! When I got up to my bike, I didn’t want to take the time to put on the underarmour shirt that I planned because I knew I was at least three or four minutes behind the other women.
The bike went great despite that I was FREEZING and the wind was blowing like crazy. I believe I was in fifth place coming into the bike and made my way up to second. I was so happy to get off the bike and start running to warm up, but it felt like I camped out in T2 for five minutes. My fingers were so frozen that I couldn’t get my helmet off and then my feet were so numb that it was hard to get them into my shoes. When I finally made it out of transition it felt like I had stumps on my toes and I don’t think my feet thawed out until the fourth mile of the run. I knew I was second coming out of transition and that Kate McCann is a great biker (and even better swimmer) and was probably about 2-3 minutes ahead of me and that Heidi Keller Miler was right behind me. As I made my way up the monster hill I could see Kate at the halfway point and kept telling myself to run faster. Close to the turnaround I saw Derek and he gave me inspiration to go-go-go. He told me “You can catch her Kort, do it.” I had read an article in a magazine a couple days before talking about going for the win and having confidence to go after it. I used that determination to push myself to the finish line, and get my second win as a newbie to this sport. Next weekend we are heading to Iowa and the weather looks to be much nicer – bring on the humidity!!

Below is a picture of Derek and I after he found out I had won.


Tiffany said...

Congratulations Kort!! How exciting. Nice work. Can't wait to hear more about your race season!

rhv said...

Congrats! I think anyone who raced this weekend (Buffalo or New Brighton) knows the numb toe feeling coming off the bike. Brrr.

Mike said...

Congrats Kort...We did not stick around because Owen and Ashley were freezing, even with their winter coats! We found out you won later... way to go. I figured you had a good shot when you whizzed by me on the run! Good luck in God's Country (and by that, I mean Iowa)!

GP said...

Congratulations, Kortney!!! We are so proud of you... and proud of Derek also, finishing fifth in his age group. Loved the picture.

Cy said...

Nice job staying tough out there! Have a fun trip to IOWA this weekend-First road trip in the mini van? You'll love it!!