Rock Cliff Triathlon 2012 – Review

Race Review: Rock Cliff Triathlon 2012 – by Michael and Cindy Moody

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Review by Michael Moody

The race started just like many others- got ready, headed out to Francis and found a parking spot on the front row at the Fairgrounds. Took a nice 3.5 mile ride into transition and began setting up for transition. After setting up transition and mingling amongst the athletes, Aaron Shamy started in on his very energetic pre-race information meetings—Great Job Aaron!

First time of the year doing Olympic distance. I was worried about the cold so I brought a neoprene cap; no need as the water felt great! Beautiful surroundings for the swim. The Olympic men’s wave started and we were off. I decided to try to go nice and easy and it worked well. I felt slow, but just kept plodding along. On the 2nd loop about half way through, I saw a swimmer pull up next to me and I saw the bottoms of her hot pink compression socks; Kelly Jones had just passed (chicked) me. Finished the swim, checked my watch, 34 minutes & change- ouch, much slower than I expected.

One of the understood rules of triathlon is to not try anything new on race day. So, what did I do? I tried out a new watch. Watch worked fine on the swim and in T1, however when I started on the bike, my watch would not transition over to bike mode. The bike is a nice gradual climb with false flats that seem to last the first half of the bike. I spent about the first 6 miles messing with my watch before I got my watch back working as it should. Did I mention how incredible the scenery all around us was? This was nature at its best! A little headwind on the first half of the bike meant one thing- tailwind on the second half! The second half seemed to fly by as we had a tailwind and were going downhill. The best part of the bike had to be going downhill at a 10% grade- flying so it seemed. Overall, my bike was a little slow, but not too shabby…1:13

I had never seen the run course, so I did not know what to expect. I had heard it had a bit of everything and boy was that accurate! Started out on asphalt, then rocks, then trail, then a long bridge and finished off on grass. I started the run with 26 or 27 Olympic distance athletes ahead of me— got it down to 12. I thought I had an idea of how fast I could run the course but I was in for a surprise. The run seemed difficult. I could not get into a flow at any time. I continued to plod along, noting how many Olympic athletes I passed.

Did I mention how great the volunteers were? They were great not only at aid stations but also at directing traffic on the trails & giving encouragement to all along the way— it was awesome! I tried to pick up the pace on the 2nd loop, but just couldn’t push enough. I felt pretty decent about the run & sprinted to the finish!…43 min & change. Total race time: 2:33(3rd place in AG)…finished 13th overall

Amazing post race food- watermelon, bananas, bagels, chocolate milk, etc. followed with a story by an awesome athlete, Travis Hess, giveaways by TriEdge and awards.

This venue is as beautiful as they come! Racetri did an amazing job once again and this race is a must do! Thanks to all the volunteers who were so very helpful, I’m looking forward to doing this race again next year.

Review by Cyndi Moody

I woke up to a beautiful morning ready for racing. This was my 2nd triathlon ever and I needed redemption from my flat tire at the Salem Tri. The weather was nice, we biked in and I felt great. This was the first triathlon I got to do with my husband and it was nice to have a buddy to help set up. I watched my husband start the Olympic swim and I was ready for the sprint. I was told that the water was going to be really cold so I was pleasantly surprised as to how warm it was. It felt great. The swim was really nice although the last buoy was really hard to see because of the sun. I just hoped that the rest of the pack I was swimming with knew where they were going.

After the swim, I transitioned to the bike. I have struggled getting my left foot clipped in and while I was concentrating on that, I looked up and realized that I was going into the mountain. Note to self, I do not have a mountain bike. Down I went. I was asked if I was ok to which I replied, as long as my bike is good, I am good. And I was. The bike was actually a lot of fun. No flat tires!! I narrowly missed running over a snake. I am sure he was relieved until the gal behind me ran him over. Poor thing! She and I played cat and mouse the last 5 miles. She beat me on the bike. But.. I got her on the run!

The run was a lot different than I expected. I enjoyed the trail run although it was really hard to take advantage of the downhill as it was all rocks and I was afraid I might break something. I loved the scenery and I enjoyed the bridge run to the finish line. I took fourth in my age group which I was pleased with still feeling like a beginner in all this.

After the race, we cleaned up and didn’t want to wait for the shuttles so we started to bike out. I was so grateful to have my husband there since I made him bike up the big hill to get our car. Yes, I played the woman card today. I thought that this race was a lot of fun—Racetri does a fantastic job putting these events together and I would definitely do it again! Also, TriEdge had fantastic giveaways & the post race food was great! Thanks to all the organizers and volunteers!