Race Coverage

Self-Supported Adventure...

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Awesome photos by Philip Skulte / Visual Captive

 

By Christina Roberts

Outpace 70.3 Race Report - We were supposed to be racing Ironman 70.3 Des Moines last weekend. But instead of sulking about our lost opportunity, Coach Anthony (of Outpace Coaching) graciously offered to host a team Outpace 70.3 triathlon at Lake Ann in Chanhassen.

Anthony, who on that day played the role of coach, race director, aid station manager, and swim buoy, brought his athletes together for a mock race to give us an opportunity to either test our fitness, try to hit race pace goals, or just get out for a solid training day. It was a choose your own adventure course which was set up as loops for the bike and run so that athletes could choose a distance that aligned with their desired workout for the day. ...

 

I showed up on “race” morning at 5:40 for a 6:30 AM start, and the parking lot was full! It actually felt a little like a real race morning but with a lot less nervous energy and a lot more laughing, smiling, and chatting with friends who we hadn’t seen in real life for a while. Transition was set up in the trunks of our cars and the 30 or so athletes, along with family members and fans headed down to the beach once everything was set up. At 6:30 on the dot, the first of 4 waves took off on one of the most pristine swimming days I’ve experienced in a long time. The water was perfect and I didn't want to get out of the water.

We aanthonyj.jpgll took advantage of the untimed transitions and I definitely could get used to the leisurely changing of gear at T1 and T2 (maybe we can make this a trend in 2021?) I was mostly distracted by chatting and laughing with other athletes who were also in the parking lot at the same time but I was also on a mission to complete the full 70.3 distance so I tried to efficiently, but slowly, put on my bike shoes and grab a snack.  

The bike course took us out towards Waconia with some nice rollers and part of the challenge was knowing the course since it was not marked. Most of us found our way but there were a few directionally challenged athletes, who will remain unnamed, that took “choose your own adventure” to a whole different level and decided to forge their own bike route.  And that was totally acceptable. Unlike the rest of this spring, we had very little wind, and it was a blast to spend a lot of time in my aero bars, though my unconditioned back would say otherwise.

The run course was hillier than I wanted it to be but with 2 different aid stations and encouraging signs along the way, I couldn’t help but smile the whole time. What fake race has real race signs?! This one sure did. My favorite was the sign next to a porta potty that read “Gotta poop? You’re in luck!” Even though there was no red carpet or announcer at the end, the cheers from anyone who was in the parking lot was more than enough to get me to the finish "line" which was a moving target and just depended on when we wanted to stop running!

The event more than exceeded my expectations of a “self-supported” adventure and also satisfied my need for racing. It was truly a community event with family members coming out to cheer, providing kayak support, making signs, making cookies, and setting up aid stations while we had two photographers and one drone! It was the perfect day to get out and push a little bit but still remember what triathlon is all about which, to me, is celebrating fitness and spending a day with friends. It was triathlon in its most raw and basic form; swim, bike, and run. It’s what I imagine it was like when the sport first started and I loved it.

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