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Race Result

Racer: Karen Tine
Race: Reston Triathlon
Date: Sunday, September 9, 2007
Location: Reston, VA
Race Type: Triathlon - International Distance
Time: 2:47:56
Overall Place: 232 / 473
Age Group Place: 7 / 35
Comment: My First Oly!

Race Report:

Swim: 31:16
T1: 3:25
Bike: 1:14:32
T2: 1:45
Run: 57:00

I’ve been looking forward to this race all season! In past years, I have cheered for Mike and other RATS and this was the year to try this distance for myself.

Catching up with various RATS before the race helped take away some of my pre-race jitters. Jamie Roberson gave me a great pep talk (thanks, Jamie!) and Melissa Hancock said she would be cheering for me! I also met Dario who racked his bike next to mine. I’m happy to see he decided to go for it on the run!

As we were lining up before the start of our wave, it suddenly hit me that this was it! I joined the others in the water, heard the horn and we were off. I felt pretty good from the beginning and my new full wetsuit made me super buoyant. My goal was to get into a smooth rhythm and enjoy the beautiful morning in the lake. I swam along the rope line on the way out, which helped keep me straight. It was tough to swim into the sun as we made the turn, but I kept plugging away. I stayed toward the outside for this part of the swim in an effort to avoid being hit and kicked. With around 5-10 minutes left in the swim, I felt a little nauseous. I didn’t eat as much as I had planned the morning of the race, but knew I could nibble on a Clif bar once I was on the bike. I was kicked in the head a few times as we made it around the big drain, but didn’t let it slow me down.

As I exited the water, Michael Smith gave me a big cheer which propelled me into T1. I was happy with my transition and excited to get out on the bike course.

Mike and I had scouted out the bike course on Labor Day, so I knew what to expect. My goal was to push myself as much as I could, while still saving something for the run. I was so happy to be out there on the course! I couldn’t wipe the smile off of my face. I saw Mike and Kevin on my first lap (their second lap, speedy guys!) and had fun cheering as they sped by. I was worried about the turn from Twin Branches onto Glade but lucked out each time with few riders around me. The ride up Lawyers was tough at times, but I kept pedaling and knew the fun parts were just ahead. As I passed one volunteer for the third time she shouted, “There’s the smiling RAT again!”

As I made the turn into the school, I knew the tough part was to come. I saw Jeroen as I was racking my bike. He said he was sick during the swim and unable to make it out on the run. I wished him well and off I went.

As I ran past the tennis courts, I saw some of my RMST buddies and received a cheer. I wasn’t sure what to expect. This was my first 10K (I’ve run 5K’s and 10 miles, but never the popular 10K). The first big hill was challenging, but I knew if I could get up and over it, my legs would warm up and I could make it through the rest of the run.

I enjoyed running past all of the runners who had run before me. They were nearly finished and I was just beginning. I used that as inspiration as I wound my way up and down those hills. I waved to other RATS and had a few thumbs up from others. I passed Mike when he about a mile from the finish. We gave each other a high five and I didn’t let myself think about how tired he looked – I still had over five miles to cover myself!

I enjoyed the run a lot more than I thought I would. I checked my watch at each mile and was excited to see that I was maintaining around a 9:10 pace, sometimes a little faster. I took short walks through each water stop and ran for the rest of the race. I’ll admit I did have to walk for about 15 seconds up that terrible hill just before we broke out of the woods…

I was happy to see the turn-around. At about that time I passed an Irish guy who made small talk about the RATS. I didn’t have much oxygen to spare, so I grunted a few times and waved as I took off. He caught up with me later and we leap frogged a few times.

I set little goals at various points in the run – pass this person with the funny gait; don’t let the guy with the heavy step catch me yet; try to keep up with that fast woman. I also did calculations in my head to distract myself.

At one point I looked down at my watch and thought, I have about 30 minutes to finish this run to hit my goal of a three hour race…can I do it? When I realized that I only had about two miles to go, I knew that I was going to beat my goal – the question was, by how much? Time to really focus!

The last hill up to the bleachers was tough (I think this was the only time it hurt too much to smile). I allowed myself to walk for 15 seconds and then eased back into a jog. I was so excited to hit the track. I could see the finish line across the field. I waited for Mike to cheer my name, but didn’t hear anything. I think I surprised him by arriving much earlier than either of us had anticipated. He finally spotted me about 200 M from the finish. His cheers, along with the Ortons and my RMST buddies helped me sprint to the finish (or rather my definition of a sprint – Mike says I only have one speed… I hope to work on that with track workouts this Fall!).

I came across the finish line with a big smile and was so excited to see my final time: 2:47:56. I blew away my goal! Mike was there with a big hug and congratulations. Knowing he was at the finish line made all the difference!