As you can see from the photos, we were lucky enough to spend the weekend in Barbados. We talked our sister Sarah and Megan N into coming with us for a girls weekend and off we went with our bikes and backpacks to the deep eastern Caribbean for the ITU Barbados Sprint race. All it took was a five hour flight to get us from fridgid to hot and sticky - just the way I like it! We arrived, got a tour of the island- saw where Tiger Woods got married, where George Washington slept, and even some green monkeys on the Green Monkey (golf course). We also saw the race course: 750m in the crystal blue sea, 5 lap 10 180deg turn bike, and a flat 3 lap run.
We did a little practicing on the course, took some photos and then pretty much rested and drank EFS to hydrate ourselves until the race on Sunday. I had never done an ITU style race before and really had no idea what to expect. We just wanted an excuse to go to a warm place and get in a race! Never mind that I hadn't ridden my road bike in over a year, let alone ridden outside in months! Because it has been so cold, I haven't really done any sort of transition practice, which is crucial in draft legal racing. One little mistake and it goes from podium position to last place.
I swam alright, not great and was at the back of the pack. Struggled a bit to get on my bike but was right with a bunch of others...then made the mistake of trying to get my feet in my bike shoes - and I just couldn't get them in! The girls in front of me formed a pack and just kept going away from me. I rode 2 laps solo and then picked up two girls. I thought maybe we could work together to catch up, but it was essentially a time trial with a few breaks to try to get someone to help. We lost a lot of time to the top girls and I started the run a little bummed I was so far behind. But, as I ran I just got stronger and faster and finished with one of the top runs of the day. Funny because my first lap was about 15 seconds slower than that of some of the girls I ended up running faster than. Not very THUNDER of me! Definitely the only person in the field planning on doing an Ironman this year!
Despite not placing better I really enjoyed the race, got in an outside bike ride, and I was really happy to finish strong - it almost felt too easy! The announcer kept saying, this girl from the USA has been smiling the whole time. Why? I've waited about 6 years to do an ITU race and to finish one running well felt really good.
Congratulations to Lauren Campbell of Canada for her dominating win. It was really inspiring to see such top athletes in action.
Thank you to all the fans in Barbados- especially for pushing me to pass three girls on the run. The announcer really made me feel like a million bucks every time I ran by! The race was very well organized, very safe, and went very smoothly. Hope to be back next year.
Thank you also to all of my sponsors and supporters: Nike - (3 of the top 5 runners were wearing Lunaracers!), NYAC - (collected some points!), FRS, Zico, First Endurance, Rudy Project, TYR, Sidi, ISM, HED, and Chia Charger. And, special thanks to Anne, our kind and generous host for the weekend.
Now it's time for some training!