Racing Ironman 70.3 Santa Rosa wasn’t part of the original plan; it was added to the calendar after a losing battle with GI issues at Oceanside. Santa Rosa seemed like an awesome idea – ideal average temperatures, postcard worthy scenery, the coach liked it, and wine. Somebody (Mother Nature??) must have figured out I registered and removed several degrees from the air. The low temperatures were trending in the wrong direction and I spent the days trying to figure out how to not turn into a block of ice, which was a legitimate concern. I’m well aware most things turn to ice at 32 degrees, but I actually turn to ice around 50 degrees. This called for packing as if I was going on a ski trip – multiple pairs of gloves, jackets, hats, multiple pairs of socks, hand warmers, toe covers, and anything else you can imagine to stay warm.
Gear was organized Thursday, the bike was checked into T1 on Friday, and run gear was also checked into T2 on Friday. The race is a point to point format so you get to get all of the logistical gear “stuff” out of the way before race morning which is actually really nice. Less to worry about the morning of the race.
The race kicked off at 6:10 for the pro men and our start was 5 minutes later at a balmy 41 degrees. Rumor has it the hand warmers I passed off to a friend right before the start kept getting passed back. Yes, hand warmers that people generally pack for ski trips. Hopefully they helped several people stay a little warmer!
After running up a small mountain to get to T1, we were off onto the bike course. It was an unseasonably cold day resulting in a very cold bike ride but the grape vines as far as you could see through your watering eyes made up for it. For those racers and spectators already planning 2018 race-cations, there are plenty of wine tasting rooms along the bike course and most of them open at 11 according to all of the signage ;-)
I didn't turn into an ice cube on the bike which meant it was time to run. Sunglasses on, hat pulled down, Infinit Tripwire in hand, and go. The run course was mostly on a walking path next to a river which made for a really peaceful setting and an opportunity to really live in the moment. Just keep those feet moving at whatever pace you can and count down the miles. The miles went by quickly except for mile 11 to 12. The 12 mile marker never wanted to show its face and when it finally did the finishline came up quickly. I saw Andy when I turned the corner for the finish chute and didn’t stop until I safely secured my 6th place Pro Female finish. Stoked with the result at my second Pro race and forever thankful to my friends, family, and sponsors for supporting this journey!