Seeing as this post is way overdue, it’ll be short, sweet, and to the point!
Doing a triathlon has been a very long-term goal of mine, and I completed my first one April 30 at Lake Anna. I chose Rumpus in Bumpass (Olympic distance) because it fit into my schedule, mainly, and because the name of the triathlon is amazing. I mean, check out these finisher medals?
First, Rumpus in Bumpass is a pretty good drive from DC…Lake Anna is pretty much in the middle of nowhere. And given how unpredictable/terrible traffic on I-95 south can be, going down the morning of just seemed like a bad idea. Not to mention that the race didn’t start until around 9 or so I think (wonderful April weather), and I hate getting up early if I don’t have to.
So we made the quick trip down to Fredericksburg the day before, leaving just about 1pm. It was a good drive, just before it started to get super busy. Princess chops (the dog) came along for the ride–because I need her emotional support (kidding…sort of), and because DH also likes to have Toasty tag along to keep him company for my athletic endeavors. I’m lucky to have such a sweet support team!
We stayed at the TownePlace suites in Fredericksburg, which was close to the interstate and, wait for it, had its very own cute dog space where Toasty could run off leash. Very, very dog friendly. With a kitchen, fridge, and microwave, it was perfect for filling up water bottles in the morning and enjoying an early pizza dinner. It took me about 35 minutes to get to the marina where the tri started from, door to door. Not too shabby. Particularly when I paid for it using Marriott points.
Lake Anna is really pretty. I hate lakes (swimming in them), and it was pretty clear, very clean, and I was all warm in my new wetsuit. So here is the quick rundown on the course.
Swim: Wetsuit legal and just fine. First time I’ve swam in open water, first time I’ve swam in a wetsuit (eh, give or take that…keeps me warm but don’t think it speeds me up much as my technique is pretty good as is). Kids, don’t do that if you aren’t a really confident swimmer, I know lots of people cringe when I tell them those things. Practice beforehand. I swam for over a decade, so swimming is my strongest leg–I was #6 out of the water of about 120 women at 26:59 (about 1:38/100y). I spent a lot of time swerving, since I didn’t ‘get’ the whole sighting thing till about half way through. But if only the swim were longer and the bike was shorter.
Bike: Um, this ride was characterized as “flat” which was blatant BS. It was not “flat” by any characterization of the word, and certainly not by someone who hates hills. Seeing your speed get down to 8mph is demoralizing. Nonetheless, I averaged just under 18 mph and finished in 1:21. For my very first competitive bike leg, again–ever–I can’t complain too much. Did I say I hate hills?
Run: Again. Not. Flat. If there is anything I hate more than biking up hills, it’s running up them. Fortunately, while these hills were steep they were also short. And I proudly held my bad attitude in check to finish in 54:51, or 8:50/mile. Considering I’m not a fast runner, I was pretty happy with this given that this was my first time, and well, hills are pretty much my nemesis.
The race was so well run, well organized, well signed, and just “easy”. Everyone was incredibly nice and very helpful. I’m doing another race in the VTSMTS series in July! Super excited about that, even though I don’t do well in heat, it is purportedly flat. Yes, I choose races based on lack of hills, no shame in that.
Overall, I ended up with a very surprisingly 3rd place finish in my age group and was 25th overall of about 120. Moral of the story: I think I’m switching from just running to triathlons. I’m really working on my biking, my speedwork when running, and keeping my swimming strong to make up as much time as possible.
I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this race, particularly to first-timers/novice triathletes. It’s a beautiful location, not too big, not too small, and well executed. On to Colonial Beach in July and I think my real goal, a half-ironman distance race in September.
Biking photo purchased from Joe Schrader Photography.