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Splash and Dash

Posted Aug 13 2009 7:17pm
I think I'm finally over my post-Ragbrai depression. Ok, not really, but it's time to move forward any way.

I needed something to get me out of my funk, so when Steve suggested doing the Splash and Dash race, I figured that was a pretty good idea.

I showed up at the race site early. (I can never judge how long it will take to get through rush hour traffic on 94 and 394. It didn't take nearly as long as I had feared.) I parked next to a girl in a blue tri suit. She looked fast. She had the suit and the shoes and all the Ironman brand gear. I was intimidated. Immediately I started to have doubts about this race. I suck at swimming! Why did I sign up for a swimming event?!

At that point, it was too late. I had committed to the race. I was going to have to do it.

The race was 2 sets of a 200m swim followed by a 1 mile run. The swim was 2 laps of 100m. You swam out 50m, back up to the beach, ran around a cone and then did it again. The run was an out-and-back course that was uphill on the way out and downhill on the way back.

First set - Total time 10:32

SwimWe started in a wave start. I pretty much swam the 1st 100m on top of Pharmie . I was completely tangled in arms, legs and bodies. It sucked. On the 2nd lap, the field started to spread out a little. I was tired. I think I started too fast. Fortunately, the swim was so short that once I started to feel tired, I had about 25m left to go. Piece of cake.

TransitionI ran to the transition square (it was literally a 5x5 foot square of grass marked off by orange cones), wiped some of the sand off my feet, realized 95% of the sand was not worth the effort of wiping off, threw on my shoes and took off on the run. I hit my watch on my way out of transition - 3:40.

RunThere was a girl right in front of me. I could tell she was not a runner. I am a runner. I passed that girl and looked ahead to the next person. The girl in the blue tri suit was next up, but she was a ways ahead of me. I knew the course would be downhill on the way back, so I figured I would make a move then and see if I could reel her in. I hit the turn around at 3:44. I flew down the big hill, but the girl in blue was still pulling ahead. I wasn't reeling her in. I ran hard and finished the mile in 6:51. I was a little disappointed that I didn't catch the blue girl, but it was still a good negative split.

Second set - Total time 10:01

SwimI am a runner, not a swimmer. I decided to use my strength and run the swim. The water was shallow. I could touch the bottom for at least 2/3 of the swim. We all took off and I ran through the water, doing a few dolphin dives when I could. It worked. I passed a ton of people on the first lap and ended up in a somewhat open area where I could actually swim without getting kicked by other people. My goggles were leaking, so I shook them out on the turn around and did my 2nd lap the same as the first. I ended up coming out of the water ahead of almost all the other girls!

TransitionI knew there was a girl on my tail. I looked at my feet. There wasn't much sand on them. I didn't even wipe them off, just threw on my shoes and took off on the run. Swim + Transition time - 3:24.

RunI could hear the girl behind me. I was running fast but she was staying with me. There was another girl ahead of me. She must have had one hell of a good swim because she had a big lead on me. However, like most great swimmers, she wasn't a great runner. I surged past her and then kept up the pace to pass another guy. I was now the lead female, but the girl behind me was still right on my tail. I hit the turn around and saw it was the girl in the blue tri suit. I flew down the hill, trying to put some space on her. It didn't work. We turned the corner and I could see her shadow was only about half a step behind me. I decided I was not going to let this girl pass me. We were about 400m from the finish. I didn't know what else to do, so I kicked it in and prayed I wouldn't blow up before the finish line. With 200m to go, I looked down and saw her shadow was no longer right at my feet. I was able to hold her off and finished that mile in 6:36.

The official results aren't in yet, but I think I did pretty well. I was happy that my 2nd set was 31 seconds faster than my 1st. Probably could have pushed the 1st run a little harder, but I'm still happy with that performance. I kind of wish they would have done a 3rd set because I wasn't quite ready to be done yet. Guess I'll just have to pick up another race soon.

Congrats to everyone who raced last night and a big thanks to Gear West for putting on the event!

I'll post official results when I get them.
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