Snake River Tri: Race Report

As I am sitting in the pool before I am about to do the swim portion of the Snake River Tri, a lap swimmer next to me sparks up a conversation. She asks what we are doing and I explain the unique format of this race. The fact that we swim on Friday night and bike/run on Saturday. She informs me that it doesn’t sound like a ‘real’ triathlon, ya know the kind where you do them all in a row.

She then asks about the distances and after I tell her about the 500 yard swim, 12 mile bike and 2 mile run, she is quick to say ‘Ohh, so this is a easy one’ and follows that up with ‘Have you ever done a hard one, like Troika or Ironman’. It was then, that I had to laugh and explain to her, just because this race is short, does not mean it is easy.

Tri-Fusion Registration Table w/ GU Energy Product for the racers.

Race Report:

The Swim:

I knew going into this race, it was going to be tough. All my training is for Ironman and the Snake River Tri is a sprint race, short and not so sweet.

The race began Friday night at the YMCA North in Spokane. The goal here is to swim 500 yards as fast as you can. There is no need to save the legs, no need to worry about transition or anything else. Just swim.

Based on training, I set a goal to be sub 6:30 for my swim. That was going to be a 24 second improvement over last year but I knew it was possible. After talking with Coach Kevin earlier in the week, the plan was to get rhythm in my stroke for the first 100, bring in some power the second 100, start bringing in some legs for the third 100, the forth hundred really start to kick and the final 100 is complete survival.

I followed the game plan to a tee. All my 50's were within 38-40 seconds and I was even able to pick up the pace on the final 100 or so. Overall it was a ‘good’ swim with a time of 6:30 ON THE DOT!!! I have a real problem of knowing myself a bit too well and knowing exactly what I can do (more on this later)…I Think it is time to quit setting time goals and just race the race. I am really trying to not get too caught up in it all but I do find it funny how well I know my ability.

Heading down to Lewiston...

With the swim out of the way and running on about 3.5-4 hours of sleep from the night before, we all headed down to Lewiston for the bike and run portions of the race. The weather was absolutely perfect, a far cry from the snow I remember from a few years back.

Going into this portion of the race, I knew my age-group was STACKED! I think I had the 9th fastest swim overall but felt with a solid race I could place in the Top 5. The only problem was 3 out of the 8 people (Ben, Nate and Derek) in from of me were in my age-group and are all extremely fast. It was going to take a miracle for me to catch them, let alone beat them, but I set out to push as hard as I could and hope for the best.

The Bike:

I took off out of transition with a goal to push hard the entire time...you have to remember this is an easy race...right? There was going to be no breaks, no points where I wish I would have pushed harder, it was all out all the time. I had a few carrots out in from of me and I was going to do my best to catch them.

Out on the course.

The bike portion hurt…in a good way. It took me a while to get my legs under me but eventually they started to respond. There is a long slow climb out to the turn-around which resulted in a super fast ride back. I am pretty sure I averaged over 30+mph coming back to transition…It was AWESOME!!! I ended up biking 1:45 faster than last year’s race so I am definitely excited about that.

The Run:

2 Miles...Just 2 miles! Sounds easy right, just ask the girl at the pool. Well 2 miles can be very painful. It was all I could do to keep moving forward. I wanted to get out of transition quick and see if I could chase anyone down. Fortunately I was able to catch one guy, unfortunately I was not able to catch the three guys in my age-group.

Heading out to the turn-around...

Remember when I said I knew my abilities...Before the race, I asked Tiff how ‘awesome’ it would be to finish 4th in my Age-Group and 4th Overall. That is how stacked this race was. So what happened? I was able to hold off a fast charging Greg by 8 seconds, and yep, finished 4th in my Age-Group and 4th Overall.

Coming into the finish line with Greg right behing me.

I may have bike a bit too hard (which was the goal) and it affected my run, I was still able to finish 1:49 faster than last year. Overall my run was slower by 35 seconds and after watching Dave Erickson’s video, I can see why. If this race was another 20 yards, I might have crawled to the finish line.

This is I!!!

I really enjoy this race, even if it is painful, and want to send out a special thank you to Lewis and Clark State College for putting on a great event.


Tiffany said...

Well, you already know what I'm going to say. Since I know you, I'm not that impressed. ;)

Love your goal of not worrying so much about times...easier said than done for you!

Regardless of your place, you rocked the race and I hope you're happy with your effort!

Rory Buck said...

You the man Keven. Can't wait to be sharing a house with you and cheering you on through the summer. See you in the pool!

Matt said...

great race, bummer I wasnt there to watch ya kill it!

I would guess people dont understand that easy is a subjective term in racing... like that was an easy half iron course..is there such thing..anyways you looking strong cant wait to see you rock IM CdA!