Saturday, Sept. 5 was the 18th Annual Southern Hills Triathlon at Angostura Recreation Area just outside of Hot Springs, SD, about a 5 hour drive from Hazen. This was the 2nd annual event for me as I did the sprint triathlon last year.
Once again this year, I was lucky enough to have supporters come with me and make it a long holiday vacation over Labor Day weekend. My Mom and Dad, sister and brother-in-law and husband all made the trek. I really didn’t expect anyone to come (well, except my husband) so it was great to have them there.
With my Mom and then with my husband. So glad to have them there!
This summer I was focused on training for the Go Far Woman half marathon in August. However, for cross training I was biking often and swimming when I could. In fact, over the winter I took a few swimming lessons in Bismarck at the Aquatic Center (highly recommend for new swimmers) to improve my swimming. I basically taught myself how to swim last year and even with lessons I am not that great but I enjoy being in the water. Due to half marathon training, I had very few brick workouts. I only did one bike/run transition actually. This was a little troublesome to me but I really wanted to beat that 1 hour 45 minute mark I just missed last year. So I signed up!
Making sure my helmet fits the hair and racking my bike.
When sharing with my Mom about the race she commented that she doubted we would have as good as weather as we had last year. I agreed as last year was near perfect and then told her not to jinx it. Well, I think this year was even better weather. The temps were maybe in the 60’s to start and warmed up into the 70’s through the race. It was a bit humid but not bad. You can see the water was like glass and was 73F. The only difference was this year it was overcast while last year it was sunny. Overcast is great, especially since the run is last and the shade really helps. So lucky!
Here is the breakdown so I don’t get too wordy. 1/2 mile swim, 12 mile bike and 3.1 mile (5k) run. This is a small, local triathlon benefitting the town library. We wear timing chips and there are some fast people but I wouldn’t call it super fancy or official. You can choose to participate in the kids tri, sprint tri, olympic tri, dualthon or relay teams for those events.
- Ages ranged from 6 – 71
- I was the only N. Dakotan, others were there from Colorado, Washington and S. Dakota
- There was a contingency of Black Hills State University women triathletes – this is the first year the NCAA is recognizing tri’s as a college sport – how exciting!
- I swear (my dad agrees) the course was longer this year, based on looks alone
- I swam the whole half mile – so proud of myself for this
- I need new goggles
- I need to work on speed drills and sighting
- I wasn’t the only one without a tri or wet suit this year
- Overall, I was slightly slower than last year which really makes me think they had it measured incorrectly last year since I had to stop many times last year and backfloat a lot too
T1 – nothing to note. Went well, I was a bit wobbly getting my socks on
- My favorite part of the tri, also my strongest
- No wind, a few hills
- I felt prepared for the hardest hill this year after doing the same route last year
- I passed several people
- Everyone was so encouraging to one another, love the camaraderie
T2 – nothing to note. Took off my helmet and snapped on my big
- Ugh, my legs felt like tree trunks
- I forgot about all the hills on this route
- I walked a few times
- I saw a guy I passed and tried to keep even with, he ended up passing me on the last hill
- This was tough, wish I would have practice more bricks
- My foot still hurts
- I love running through the finish line
- I had started my watch at the swim and it looked like I was finishing about 30 seconds to a minute over 1h45m; kind of bummed
- Had a great crowd cheering me on – thanks family
- Hot – I swear all the sweat starting pouring out as soon as I got my medal, I had to sit down for a bit and ate some fruit and half a PB&J; so delicious
- Drank a lot of water
We proceeded to get showered up and head to Hill City for some celebratory beers. I was happy with my performance, especially the swim and bike. We had a blast in Deadwood and were out until after 3 a.m.!
I thought the timing went really slick so I just happened to look on their website and was BEYOND thrilled to finish in 1h44m33.7s! I barely beat my goal!!
Now, will I do this again? I don’t know? I really love this race and all components but it depends on what else I have going on. I’d love to really work on my open water swim and getting a lighter bike but time will tell. For now, I am just happy!
Here’s my race breakdown (transition times really helped me!):
- 4th out of 13 in my age group (Females, 30-39)
- 26th overall out of 62 I think?
- 7th in age group for swim at 27:54
- T1 1:57
- 5th in age group for bike at 45:06
- T2 0:39
- 6th in my age group for run at 28:56; a 9:30 pace
- For a total of 1hr 44m33.7seconds