RACE REPORT: Louis at Galena Triathlon

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After a successful spring road running season, I was itching to get the triathlon season going and see what all that off-season training had done. I headed out to Galena with a couple buddies of mine on Friday and then learned what everyone means about this course being tough. The hills are like nothing we have in central Iowa. We got a shake out ride in and put our bikes in T1 on Friday night.

You have to love a leisurely 9am race start. We were up early to prepare T1 and T2. This is a point to point race with separate transition areas. We took the bus out to the swim start. I got a few bike warmup miles but missed the swim warmup messing with my wetsuit. The water was a balmy 59 degrees. I'm in the third wave 9 min back from the first group. I get a great swim start position on the outside, front row of a gate start and really bust out to get some clear water. I swam past the first buoy by a few strokes but got the turn. I tried to find a draft but wasn't able. I got out of the water with a decent swim split for me but 106th swim split overall. It was a tough transition. I was disoriented and off balance. I think it was from the very cold water. Out of transition there is a steep hill right away so I decided to put my shoes on and then clip in. I missed my clip in and had to stop. I guy 3 min behind me fell into me and almost knocked me over. I had to readjust my front brake but then was off.

Coming out of the park on the bike was tough. It was hill after hill with no flats and we were right into the wind. I picked off most of the field in the 4 miles coming out of the park. Being point to point we were into the wind 90% of the way. I passed everyone in my wave by mile 12 on the bike and most of the field. I drank an entire aerobottle of accelerade and forced myself to take a gel about mile 11. That proved costly. I ended with the 5th fastest bike split.

Coming off the bike my legs felt good and I was ready to run them down. The first hill is ridiculous. You don't really run up this hill. Coming up the hill I started to have abdominal cramps and some stomach upset—I'm sure from that GU on the bike. I had to run a slower pace than my legs and breathing could handle because of the stomach cramps. The first 1.5 is uphill which means the last 1.5 miles is downhill and this is a strength for me. I was able to up the pace a bit without increasing the effort and picked off a guy with less than a mile to go. I was hurting but tried to not let him know it and it worked. I ended up with the 4th fastest run split.

I was the 10th one in but only one was in my wave. I ended up 5th overall and handily won my age group. I was about 4 min off the winning time.


301 Grand Ave
West Des Moines, IA 50265
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Sun: 12-4
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