Sunday, June 14, 2015

SUP & Run 5K

Carolyn, Jackie, Wendy and I before the race.

Benderson Park
May 16, 2015

After many weeks of SUP training, it was finally race day. They day before the race, I learned that there would not be a seperate category for race boards, so I was going to have to compete on my bulky, surfboard type board against speedy boards. This is like riding a mountain bike in a triathlon and going up against people using speedy tri and road bikes. The surf SUP boards are heavy and slower. But, what could I do. I just decided to do my best.

Race morning: I got my board set up on the beach, right next to the water. By the time the race was about to start, I could see that more than half the boards were race boards. It kind of got me down, but I tried to push it to the back of my mind. It's not like I was going to win this thing, I just wanted a fair competition. The run was first, so I got lined up in the middle of the group. The race had a 5K Run, 5K paddle and a 5K run/5K SUP. I was going to do both. I started out at a fast pace, running up the little hill. I was in the high 7 minute mile range and knew I needed to slow it down. My plan was not to go all out for the run, because I knew I couldn't be out of breath for the paddle. People were passing my like crazy. There were a lot of fast runners out for the race. The course was out and back, so I was able to see everyone ahead of me, heading back. At the turn around, I did see some women, who were also doing both races, behind me. It was good to know I wasn't last! I picked up the pace a bit in the last half mile, Speeding up as I ran down the hill to the transition area. Gina was waiting down by my board. She gave me some water and stood by while I got my gear on. I hopped on the board and paddled out!
Heading to the finish

The paddle: we took a right, to loop around the back side of the island. I was passed by a couple of guys on faster boards, and then by a woman on a board like mine. She was fast! My heart rate was way up there, so I tried to concentrate on getting my breathing under control while not slowing down. As I came out of the little canal on the back side of the island, I could see about 5 people a ways ahead of me. My goal was to try and catch up. The wind was blowing from my left side, but because we were pretty close to the side of the lake, we had a bit of a buffer. About 10 minutes into my paddle, my music gave out. It was going to be a quiet paddle! Just before I got a mile in, I passed one woman, who had been at the back of the one pack. I now had my sights set on the other 4. This is were I made a little mistake. I didn't remember the announcer telling us we had to hug the side, just thought it would be easier. We were going to have to turn right at the end of the lake, so I started to paddle towards the middle a bit more, but, as I got closer to the end, I could see that I needed to go around a bouy before making the turn. That wasted a bit of time! After making the turn around the buoy, we had a short paddle heading west. There is a long walkway, that goes down the middle of the lake. It's set up for the rowing races. Thankfully, they had taken out a large section of it, for us to pass through. When Jackie and I had paddled out here a few days before, the walkway was in place, and there was only a small section at the end open. I almost hit the shore trying to paddle through. Just after making the turn, I passed another participant. She was struggling to move forward, with the now, very strong wind pushing us from the right. We both fell way behind the other people, who took the advice of the announcer, and stayed close to the center walkway. I, drifted further and further to the left. Since we would have to go to the left, to turn around the last bouy anyway, I figured it wasn't a big deal. I probably just had to work a little harder in the wind. After making the last turn, We paddled the last quarter mile straight into the wind, to the beach. I could hear my friends on the shore cheering me on. It was pretty awesome! I paddled in, left my board on the beach, and ran it to the finish line. Wow, my legs where like lead! Super happy to be done and very happy with my time. I took almost 15 minutes off from my previous 5K paddle!
5K Run - 26:00
5K SUP - 51:47

Crossing the finish line.