Augusta 70.3. What a day! I flew in from Seattle Thursday and arrived Thursday night. I was sharing a hotel room with my teammate, Sarah, who had already arrived and was settled in. We’ve known each other for 5 years, and been through a lot. I was excited to meet her in person.
Friday morning I put my bike back together and everything thankfully seemed in order. I wanted to take it to the techs at the expo however, just to be sure. The expo wasn’t open until the afternoon, so Sarah and I took advantage of the morning with a practice swim. The race was looking wetsuit optional and with the hot temps not much of an opportunity for that to change. Sarah and I are both strong swimmers so wetsuit optional was no big deal and we did our practice swim in swimsuits. With the current assist, it was a quick swim. After showers, we headed to packet pick up. That went quickly and smoothly, and the tech wasn’t there yet but the guys at Tri Bike Transport graciously offered to check my shifting.
Friday night we met up with Heather (teammate racing) and her husband Scott. We had burgers and beers and a TON of fun chatting. This race was all about team camaraderie for me and we were off to a great start.
Saturday Sarah and I did a shake out ride, and I ran through all my gear combinations just to make sure. Everything was fine so I figured that will be that. We headed out to bike check in, then met up with Brooke and John (local teammates who were there to cheer us on). We had a very long and enjoyable lunch, in which we got to discuss all things triathlon and training!
Later that afternoon we packed up for the race and hit the hay early. This race doesn’t have a super early start, so we could set the alarm for a leisurely 4:30am.
Race morning went smoothly. Up for coffee and breakfast, shake up our Ucan, grab extra water and head out. We parked in the big lot close to swim start, then shuttled to transition. Set up our stalls, went over plans, pumped tires, etc. It was still dark in transition but got light out by the time we were ready to leave and walk to the swim start, about a mile away. There were shuttles, but we figured we’d keep our legs loose by walking.
There are so many swim waves, we were easily able to watch the pro start, then Heather’s wave. Dropped our morning clothes bags, chatted a little, said our good-byes and good lucks. My wave went at 8:14am. The women’s age group 40-44 is so large they divide it into two waves (alphabetically). Crazy!
I was glad when the race finally started. Let’s get this going! The swim was great. I easily settled into a groove and had a quick time of 29 minutes, which I will happily accept as a PR with an asterisk that there was a nice current assist.
I saw Brooke and John leaving the swim. I was quite excited and happy they were there cheering!
T1 was ridiculously long, but I was fine with that. I wanted to take a Hotshot and drink a bottle of water with Nuun. That is not in my usual 70.3 plan, but with the heat it would be important. I started the day with more water, and added a Hotshot to my pre swim routine (which usually just is Ucan with TRS). I also had to put on my orange compression sleeves, which you can’t wear unless its under a wetsuit. So no wetsuit, no sleeves.
Left transition feeling good. Brooke and John were there. Its so uplifting to have a cheering squad. I was grateful ever time I saw them on the course.
The bike course starts flat, but then it rolls and rolls. Its a great course and I was feeling strong and following my nutrition plan (Ucan, TRS, water to sip, Hotshot near the end). At one point I hit a hill where I wanted to shift into the small chain ring and spin up it. Shift…nope. UGH! Try again. Shift…nope. When I got back from Outlaw 140.6 I was having this same issue and the bike shop put on a new derailleur. I couldn’t believe it was happening again. I wasn’t thrilled about being stuck in the big chain ring for the duration of the race and I spent some time feeling quite dark about it. Then I told myself, you need to flip it. I didn’t come all this way to have a crappy bike. Whatever you’re feeling, flip it. Pretend your goal was to ride the hell out of the course in the BCR. If I never even tried to shift, I never would have known there was an issue and would have been in an entirely different mental place. So I forced myself to pretend I was in that place and get to crushing this bike. Just about that point I caught up to Heather. We chatted a bit and I was like, we gotta throw down and crush the rest of this. It was the boost we both needed and we took off. Fortunately the remainder of the ride was smooth and fast and I felt good getting off the bike. Offical time 2:50 which is a PR that I will take with no asterisk.
T2 was quick, with a stop for sunscreen and porta potty. This is where I was unsure of the day. The forecast was for a high of 88 and damn if its not humid in the south! Thankfully there was some clouds, and the humidity was down a little from the day before. I had a hard start to the run, it felt very bricky compared to previous 70.3. I chalked it up to mashing more on the bike than I would have liked to, and figured once I settled in I would be fine.
I like this run course. It goes back and forth through downtown, which makes it easy to break into manageable chunks. There are many aid stations and the volunteers are INCREDIBLE. Most stations had ice, which I dumped in my sports bra every chance I had. Later that ice went under my hat and down my shorts as well. That was a lifesaver. I also dumped water on my head and took sponges when offered. The run is totally flat. Once I settled in, I actually felt pretty good. I stayed in zone 2. With the heat, my plan was steady, steady, steady. I had multiple opportunities to see Brooke and John, and get updates on Sarah and Heather. Again very uplifting.
Late in the run I heard Sarah behind me and we yelled and waved (approx. mile 11). Usually at this point I would push the pace, but I was taking this pretty conservatively and saved the push for the final half mile instead. Like any finish, it was exciting to come down the chute and hear “Rebecca Adamson, all the way from Sammamish, Washington.” I felt great, and despite it being my slowest ever 70.3 run (2:06), I was pleased that I was able to manage the heat and put together a respectable 5:35 for 22nd out of 188 in AG.
After, Brooke and John were waiting for and we headed back out to watch Heather and Sarah finish the run. Huge thanks to them for all the photos, tracking, and cheering us on the course. They were there every step of the way and it made all the difference in our morale!
Here we are cooling off and glad to be done. I would do this race again. Great course, great volunteers, and extraordinarily well-run from beginning to end.