Race Coverage

Forgotten Goggles, Numb Toes & Cool Swag...


By Noah Billings

Tri Clear Lake Race Report - I was definitely excited for the Clear Lake Triathlon in Iowa.  All that build-up excitement would pay off because this race felt like a great achievement.  ...

I woke up at 4:00 A.M. on the 29th of May, tired yet pumped for the race ahead.  I hoped that the weather would be warmer than 32 degrees on the thermometer, but that wasn’t going to stop me from having a good race.

My cousins left on vacation a day before the race, and they left my family in charge of chickens, ducks, cats, and bunnies (all of which I’m allergic to).  We had to get up extra early to go to let them out of their cages. In the car I do what I do before most of my races --listen to music that will pump me up while I visualize about my race.

We all arrived at 6:45 and I was pleased hear that the water temp was still warm enough at 62 degrees to let the triathlon continue as planned.  They did offer a duathlon option, but I needed to work on my swim so I stayed with Triathlon.


I got my packet along with a very cool mesh swag bag and we all got back in the car to stay warm. After staying warm for a bit I was getting ready to head out when I realized something that freaked me out. I forgot my goggles. I immediately told my parents of this mishap and we split into two teams to find someone with an extra pair of goggles. While me and my mom were looking, and it seemed I would have to swim without goggles, we just happened to see a person talking to a group of people while holding up two pairs of goggles.  He was explaining why he brings two pairs of goggles to his races, and he was nice enough to lend a pair.  Sadly, WE never found him after the race to return his goggles.  Wherever that gentleman is in triathlon land, I hope he knows I will ALWAYS be bringing extra goggles in case I need to pay it forward.    

Prior to the race, there was a biplane buzzing the beach and a big riverboat sounding horns!  That was really neat.  The chilly race started with the water being 62 degrees and the air temp at 39 degrees.

The 500 Meter swim went better then I imagined.  I ran into the water with some guys walking into the water, so I passed them and looked around for the buoy and didn’t see anyone ahead of me, so I assumed I was in 1st and tried to keep a fast and steady pace. I had a good T1, my chip got caught on my wetsuit, but I managed to still get in and out quick enough.

The 12.5-mile bike was beautiful with roads going around the lake then through some fields.  The ride was pretty flat, it helped me keep a 23-mph average on my ride. I did have a brutal dismount however-- mainly because my feet were very cold.  When I dismounted, I had to run to transition on rocky blacktop with numb toes. 


After the pain my feet went through running barefoot on frozen feet it felt great to put on my shoes and run.  I almost immediately started to warm up. I then turned on my watch to track my pace so I could keep a good pace for the 5k ahead.

The run was very cool mainly because you got to run past the historic Surf Ballroom, and I will admit I slowed my pace to get a good look at the ballroom as I ran past. I finished and grabbed the medal and the very nice meal they handed out in an insulated nice lunchbox.

I completed the race with the following splits: 500-meter swim in 8:05, 12.5 mile bike in 32:05, & 5k in 19:04. My finish time was 1:01:03.   
After the race, I had to wait for results because the very fast Carson Deichman had started in a later heat.  When he finished, I was amazed that I won.  I received a nice trophy and was surprised to get a Clear Lake Triathlon single speed bike!
This was a very well put-together race with a great course.  They said this is the first year for this course and I really liked it.  I felt everyone volunteering there did a very professional job. I also received some very cool swag and a very cool bike. I could not be happier with how this race went for me especially since this is my very first overall win.  I’m very excited for my draft legal race next week in Pleasant Prairie, WI.