Team Trainright Blog: Sunrise Triathlon report by Malia Crouse

Team Trainright with Coach Winston Sauber

Malia and Amy on the podium–again!

Boulder Sunrise Olympic Tri Race Report- Saturday, June 4th, 2011
 

 

Cameron, 1st!!

Boulder Sunrise is a fairly new triathlon in the Boulder scene and run by another great organization called Your Cause Sports.  What makes this race, in all the distances that they fit into one morning- olympic and sprint distance tris, duathlon and 5k run race- more than just another triathlon at Boulder Reservoir, is that you can fundraise over 50% of your entry fee to a non-profit of your choice.  Instead of just one non-profit organization benefiting from an event, each participant selects a non-profit or "cause" that really matters to that individual to 'race for' that day.  I've supported the Nation Multiple-Sclerosis society for 3 years now- an organization that I feel very strongly about.  The past three years that I've done this event, I race not only for the National MS Society, but for my one of my best friends, who at the age of 23, was diagnosed with MS.  The same girl who I used to run cross country with in high school, was diagnosed at such an early age with a disease that has effected her balance to the point that she can no longer run and won't even think about riding a bike.  So each year, I think about my dear friend and race for both of us; I race for the things that she longs to, but can no longer do.

So with my friend in mind, I packed up the car, left my house at 5:20am, just as the sun was coming up, and headed to Boulder with my teammate Amy- ready to race!

I have one major piece of advice, that I learned the hard way this year, to anyone newer to the sport, like myself: do not make your first open water swim of the season on race day.  With the colder and wetter than normal spring, water temps hadn't given me a lot of options to get in the water before race day, especially as the Summer Open Sprint tri just two weeks ago was modified to a duathlon.  I'm sure you can guess where this line of thinking is going- let's just say, I let my mind play a couple of tricks on me and it took me a lot longer than I would have liked to really get into "race mode" in the swim. 

Thankfully I wasn't the last female from my wave out of the water, but I knew I had some time to make up on the bike.  Once the tires hit the pavement, I opened up.  My nerves settled and I found the rhythm that I look for on the bike.  My strength is on the inclines and did my best to use that to my advantage on a fairly hilly course out on US 36 down Nelson Road and made our way back into the reservoir. Re-racking my bike and slipping into my running shoes, I was back into familiar territory my strongest leg of the three disciplines- the run.  I had 6.2 miles to make up the time I had lost in the water, and I was ready for the challenge.  While I think about my friend with MS on-and-off during the race, the run is when I really see her face and her contagious smile.  I think about the 10 mile days we'd run together, through the cow pastures and guava fields of upcountry Maui.  I think about the countless ice-baths and injuries that we shared, and how we always encouraged and supported each other to go a little further, to push a little harder.  My friend's voice was with me on Saturday as I pushed my legs to the limit on the two lap run course to finish second in my age group and seventh female overall!  The same results I had from the Summer Open Duathlon- I like the streak I have going so far this season- hope I can keep it up!

While I know where I need to focus my training, swimming in open water, I am really happy with my results and the race overall.  To top off a great morning, my CTS teammates Amy Richards and Cameron Afkhami joined me on the podium as well!  Cam finished 1st in his age group and sixth overall and Amy finished third in our age group and eleventh female overall.  Amy flew out of the water, possibly with the second fastest female swim time.  Cam had a solid performance all around, though forgot his timing chip so we can't see how his splits broke down. I pulled out the fastest female run time and my fastest 10k run split yet.

As with every race experience, I learned about myself as an athlete and picked up a few pointers- both to-do's and not to-do's for next time. After a post-race nap, I'm already getting excited for my next race to push my limits and put my CTS training to the test!

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