Thursday, May 13, 2010

Race Preview: Lakes To Pines Triathlon

Event: 3rd annual Lakes To Pines Triathlon
Date: Saturday, May 15
Location: Park Rapids, MN
Previous Results: 2008 - 3rd overall, 2009 - 3rd overall, 2010 - ???

Main Triathlon
Swim: 500 yard swim held in the Park Rapids H.S. Pool.
Bike: Double Loop 14.7 mile ride on paved roads.
Run: 5K run on a fast, out-and-back course finishing on the H.S.Track.

Kids Triathlon
Swim: 50 yard swim will be held in the Park Rapids H.S.Pool.
Bike: 1 mile ride around High School Parking Lot
Run: 300 yard run finishing on the H.S.Track.

Let's talk weather first. As in 2008 and 2009 this event has been somewhat cursed by wind and cold. Last year was extreme. 33-degrees F but with 24 mph wind it felt like 21-degrees. Yes, there was an actual windchill.

In 2009, there were four waves of swim in the Park Rapids high school indoor pool. I was in the last wave. As I watched the first three waves, I witnessed something that you may only ever see in The Tundra during a triathlon event. People would exit the pool and saunter into the locker rooms to get on their clothing for the bike/swim portion. Think about that for a moment.

It wasn't as stupid as it sounds. Had you actually left your gear outdoors, you would not have located it due to the high winds. I saw people leave helmet, shoes, etc all out in T1 and as I set up my bike, watched as peoples gear blew around the transition area. In the end, I decided to don all my stuff, including helmet, at pool side. I donned two layers of clothes....and still froze. A number of people went with instant warm pads inside shoes and gloves. It was bad.

This year, the weather is looking conducive to actually being friendly. By the time the race kicks off at 9:00 AM with the first swim wave, the temps should be warming towards 50-degrees. I might not need to worry about any layers if it creeps into the low 50's! And the winds may be light for the very first time in the history of the event. Keeping my fingers and toes crossed for that!

This event also has a kids triathlon so the Boy®, fresh off his swim meet last weekend, will be making the trip with his old man to take on the field.

I'm not sharing goals for this event. I have them, but in this case I am keeping to myself. Two reasons. One, they are somewhat lofty. Two, my real job and the weather (wet and cold) this week have played havoc with my workouts severely limiting my planned week. could all blow up on me this coming Saturday. And I hate having egg on my face!

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