How do you know you truly love triathlon??? Why you swim in 52 degree water with a couple hundred of other crazy people who think this is cray-cray but are still doing it with you. Yes that is right you heard me 52 degrees. That was the water temp at Lake Anna for the Rumpus in Bumpass Olympic Triathlon on April 21, 2018. It was an improvement on the previous day’s 49 degree water temp. The race was held on the “warmer” side of Lake Anna where the Nuclear reactor warms the water, but due to the unseasonably cool spring thus far it was seriously lacking. The following is a race report on the events that unfolded from my point of view.
Race Morning was pretty cool with a little nip in the air. Although if you ask anyone else it was not that bad. Parking filled up pretty quick and was a short walk from the car to transition. Walking into transition I had to dust off the cobwebs and remember what to do, how to set up my area and most important remember where I was racked. Got transition situated and start to freak out about the water, which is when Brian, who was kind enough to bring the thermal swim cap i had ordered, found me and gave me said thermal cap. Hey don’t judge… Left transition to finish getting body marked and get the timing chip. Had to ask Tava and Traci which leg it went on again… that is when I was like crap… do I remember how to do this thing called triathlon????? Anywho, got the wetsuit on (a.k.a the whale suit) got the before 3D pic with everyone look fantabulous and head out of transition as it closes down.
Waiting for your wave to start is always nerve wracking, but knowing how cold it is going to be jumps it up that much more. I at least knew I was not going to be in the water for that long since they shortened the swim from 1500 meters to 1000 meters but just the same, I had on a full sleeve wetsuit, booties (Thank you Deb) and the thermal swim cap. Only my hands and face were going to be exposed. As my wave begin to enter the water, I realized the water did not feel that bad…then I began to swim… my hands froze an I couldn’t breathe -- it was just so cold. Finally trading time with my hands in the water with time with my hands in the air (it was warmer that way) helped. Sound goes and the pink caps are off… I started at the from right hand side and just kept going from bouy to bouy. At some point I got off course and I ended up at the big boat on the far side of the rectangle. They asked if i needed help and I said “No I’m just lost, where am I?” They very kindly pointed me in the correct direction and off I went. By the last 200 meters I finally felt good and that was when I had to get out. I saw a couple people being helped to the ground after getting out from being disoriented, and was thankful that was not me.
Ran through transition and peeled off the wetsuit and dry myself off the best that I could. Throw on the cycle jacket, compression sleeves, socks, shoes, helmet beanie and gloves grab the bike and go. T1 was about 7 minutes so a little long, but I am glad I did. Upper body was very warm, but toes quickly went numb and stayed that way for the duration of the ride.
The bike course was not a closed course and there were some cars on the road with us. The bike was described on the website as flat. Well I am here to tell you that I know flats and that was not flat! There were some good rollers and flat sections, but after the 1st loop I knew what to expect. Passed some folks on the downhills and flats, but I was passed on the uphill. I held back on the first loop after I saw the first hill, but picked up speed on the second loop. The beginning of the second loop the first big hill on the course you come to, my chain decided it wanted a break and popped off, so putting that back on was fun with numb fingers, but got it back on and finished it out. Caught up to Traci and we decided to play a game of leapfrog… we kept passing each other depending on the terrain.
Got back to transition and still couldn’t feel my feet so I was hoping that I would not fall on my face when I started to walk to rack my bike back. T2 was a change of socks from the warm one from the bike, throw on the shoes, made sure to put my bib on, and headed out.
The first part of the run was on a trail and I kept thinking, “Ohh dear Lord please don’t have me fall and break a toe.” The upside is that if it happened I at least would not feel the pain--haha! Once you got out of the first 1/4 mile of trail and grass you got to road which was blocked off on one side for us runners to run up and down the rollers. This was a 2 loop run and for the first 2.5 miles I kept stopping every half mile because I thought I had a pebble in my shoe… I would take my shoe off and hit it to get the darn thing out thinking how in the world could I get a pebble in my shoe? Then it dawned on me... those are not pebbles in your shoe, those are the numb spots in your foot. Halfway on my first loop is when Tava told me that Brian got into an accident. I was worried and kept thinking about him for the remainder of the run, hoping it was nothing too serious or major. Turns out we need to watch out for Kamikaze squirrels in the area…As I was finishing up the run and entered the grass and trail portion again, I walked my happy butt until I got to the flatfish section of the path so I could run to the finish line. I could totally just see myself trying to run the trails and thwack trip and fall flat on my face eating tree roots. That was when I hear Tava yell at me to my happy butt and go!!!
I crossed the finish line and was excited about my time. This race was a PR for me by almost 50 minutes from 1.5 years ago. I felt like I had come so far! Overall the race was good with lots of friendly support and volunteers. The local community was great and it is one I would do again, if the water was warmer. If you are looking for a good season opener, this is a great race. Pretty laidback and friendly with a marked course and volunteers that are very helpful. Overall the day was a great race day with many 3 Degree podium placements. We really represented our club well!!