Wow, this was a tough race! I signed up for this race a while back when I realized that I wouldn’t be able to do any races in June. I wanted to get in an Oly distance race before my 70.3 in July, but I’m spending 2 weeks in the middle of June in France (yay!!). I’m very excited, but it means that 3 weekends of June are out for races, including the weekend of the Greenwood Tri, which is the only other Olympic I could do before July. So, Over the Mountain Tri it was.
This is not a PR race, for sure. It is very hilly, but scenic! I really enjoyed myself, but it was definitely challenging.
Also, just a logistics note: this is a point-to-point race. I had to leave a little before 5 am from Greenville so I could drop my bike at swim finish, set up T2 in downtown Kings Mountain, then take a bus to swim start (other side of the lake from the swim finish). They did a great job moving all our gear from the other locations to the finish line, though.
It was also much colder than normal on Saturday. It has been pretty “summery” the last few weeks, but a cold front came through late last week, so it was 39 degrees on race morning. Brr…
SWIM (1500 m):
The lake was super foggy before we started the swim. Luckily, the sun came up a little bit before the race start to burn it off, but it was still cold. The lake temperature had also dropped down from 74 to 70 degrees so I was glad I brought my wetsuit! I hadn’t planned to wear it, but the cold air temps made me decide to wear it. The swim course is an upside down “L” to the other side of the lake.
The race was pretty small, so even though the women’s wave was behind the old dudes, it wasn’t too bad dodging them. I felt pretty strong the whole time and really didn’t have any problems. The timing mat for the swim was halfway between the lake exit and the transition area (kind of weird), but I got out of the water somewhere around 23:30.
Time: 24:34 (2/39 Overall, 1/5 AG)
This is one tough bike.
It is, in fact, net uphill, with 2 Cat 5 climbs. It was a really enjoyable though. The ride up to King’s Mountain Park was really nice, and the ride through the park was beautiful. Then there were a few more big hills before reaching Kings Mountain downtown.
I had brought a jacket since it was so chilly outside, but I was pretty warm getting out of the water, so I decided to skip it. It turned out to be fine without a jacket with all the climbing, but my toes were numb the whole way. Definitely needed warmer socks! It’s really hard to put running shoes on when you can’t feel your toes.
Also, the ride was a little longer than the standard distance at 45k – I didn’t realize this until writing this post, but it makes sense considering the fastest bike times for this race were slower than my bike split at Lake Logan.
Time: 1:40:50 (18/39 Overall, 3/5 AG)
Oh, this run. It actually turned out better than I thought, so that’s good. The course is out and back, and very hilly. I started out the first 2 miles ok, but then I started getting tired. I kept going as best I could, but my legs really hurt. I was VERY glad for the cooler weather though – the course was not shaded at all. The volunteers on the course were great though; they must have recruited from the local high school because most of them were super-over-enthusiastic teenagers. They were sweet, though, and it was nice to have plenty of encouragement since I was having a rough run. I liked the out and back format as well. Most of the other women coming back on the course were really encouraging – especially when I was struggling on the hills. That was really nice. I even ran into a friend that I didn’t know was racing!
Time: 1:06:33 – ouch (34/39 Overall, 4/5 AG)
Total Time: 3:17:24 (21/39 Overall, 3/5 AG)
Overall, not a bad race for me. Run was not so great, but not really any worse than Lake Logan last year, and I definitely thought this course was more difficult. I was surprised I placed in my age group after that; I actually didn’t stick around for awards since I was meeting someone for lunch in Charlotte. Luckily a friend picked it up for me!
So, Over the Mountain is a great race! Just be prepared for a challenge =)
ETA: Oh look, a peekture: