Salem Sprint Triathlon 2012 Post

Here’s a report from the Salem Sprint posted on Ironmaninthesnow

A great post on the 2102 Salem Sprint Triathlon.

Starting your weekend off with a Triathlon always seems to do the thing to do right?  Well as of Thursday May 31, 2012, I was not planning on doing anything this weekend besides rest.  I have a couple triathlons the following two weeks so I was wanting to rest.  I wanted to check the race and results schedule on here to update it, but then I noticed I had a tri this weekend.  Oh NO! I have a tri in two days and I am so far from mentally prepared it isn’t funny.

With a quick search in Gmail to see if I paid for the tri, it was all signs go! So since I already paid you better believe I am going to get a nice race in.  No time to mentally prepare, but I have been pretty active for the most part since the Fargo Marathon.  I knew that I would be able to do decent, but my legs are still so tired.  One thing I have learned this summer, DO NOT run 2 marathons in 3 weeks.  Your legs tend to hate you.

I have no bounce to my legs currently, so I will run a tri to get over it.  Today started with arriving at, fellow team member, Chris’s house in order to car pool down to Salem, UT.  It isn’t a far drive, but riding together was pretty enjoyable.  He printed off the course map and we were able to discuss the course since he had done it a couple times.  There were 4 of us total and 4 bikes, we were quite a show to see.  Below is a photo of the car fully loaded. My bike is on the right.  The blue machine I have not formally named her yet :( I’m a slacker.

No worries, I am just as surprised as you are we all fit.  Thanks Chris for driving! Well getting to Chris’s house at 6:20 in the morning was a chore, but he only lives a few blocks from me.  We got everything loaded and we were headed south.  I tried to get pumped up for the race, but I just couldn’t.  I slept really bad last night and just no desire to do anything it seemed.  I really wanted to rest.  No time to rest when you have your first open water tri.  That is one thing that has always had me concerned was the open water.  I know swimming is my weakest sport, but I am working on it.

We got to the race and I had to still do packet pickup.  Once we finally got everything setup in the transition it was time to relax and just breathe.  I was able to tune out a little bit and try and get into my racing mindset.  Nope still wasn’t feeling it UGH! This is just going to be a middle of the pack race I was thinking the entire time.  The view from the transition always makes me feel better though.

After the MC did his spill, it was time to finish getting the wetsuit on and go play in the water.  The swim consisted of an 800 meter open water dip.  I am so thankful that I looked at the website last night.  I was planning on just going there without the wetsuit. The website listed that wetsuits were mandatory. HA I caught a break with that one.  Well since I am still a young gun, I started in the heat after the pro/elite category.  Once we were going I was very nervous.  I went straight to anaerobic it seemed immediately.  I think my nerves had to do a bit with it.

I got kicked in the head a few times. What a great way to start a race eh? Since I just recently learned how to spot, I just kept the big orange buoy in my site.  There were people around me that were piss poor at doing this.  One guy I swear was making Z’s while swimming.  He swam on top of me a couple times.  So annoying.  If he would have gone straight he would have killed the swim.  Due to getting kicked in the head and continuously hit by other people, I swear I drank over a gallon of lake water.  The lake was straight up nasty though.  I was told earlier in the day they found a dead body in the pond a few years ago. GREAT!

Once I saw the beach it was go time.  People were swimming to the buoy on the beach, but I just swam to the closest point on the beach.  This worked out perfect for me and it was legal.  I jumped out of the lake and started running.  My conquered at least halfway my first fear.  The second part of open water swimming is removing my wetsuit in a timely manner.  I saw my angels.  Attractive females yelling out strippers; can life get better HA!

I had the girls help me remove the top of my suit.  I figured I could remove the bottom half pretty quickly once I got to my bike.  The downfall to this tri is the distance running between the beach and the transition zone.  I swear it was like 0.2 miles from the beach to transition zone.  I ended with a swim time of 14:20.  While the ladies were helping me strip down, I accidently hit the pause button D’Oh.  That made me loose a few seconds from my Garmin time and my official time.

Getting to the transition I felt awful.  I knew I had to continue plugging away though.  Throw my socks, bikes shoes on, and my helmet then run to the mounting area. Once I was on the bike I figured it would be downhill for me.  I have learned generally I do pretty well on the bike and pass a lot of people. This time it was different for me. I felt AWFUL!

The lake water really started screwing with my stomach.  I got pretty nauseated, but knew I could power on.  Only like an hour or so left right?  Getting into the aero position was just tough.  I felt like I wanted to puke I even tried to puke while riding. The lake water didn’t want to come back up.  I guess I would just have to tough it out.  No way was I going to stop.

The bike consisted of 2 – 6 mile loops.  There were a few hills and we covered 553 vertical feet total on the two laps.  On the first lap I became pretty defeated mentally.  I had several people pass me that were on really nice bikes, but I didn’t have anyone in my age group pass me.  I am sure that there are tons of people in my age group way ahead of me.

The streets were pretty beat up in terms of rough pavement.  On my second lap, there were a lot more people on the bike course.  This is for sure the benefit of starting before others.  It seemed I wasn’t really able to get over on the right side of the road like you are supposed to due to people just going slow. Thankfully though, I had a nice deep burp which helped clear the air/water swallowed on the run.  Time to hangout in aero position and just try to pass as many people as possible.  My second lap was nearly 2 minutes faster so clearly something changed.

Getting back into transition was a breeze.  I passed a couple guys right before I went into the chute and got yelled at for going too fast.  Whoops don’t have the transition at the bottom of a hill!  The bike course took me 35:21 to complete it.  The transition only involved throwing my running shoes on and my bib.  I was there for a total of 1:17.  I blame the length of this on the amount of running I had to do once I got in there.

I broke one of my big rules on this race.  My shoes are DEAD.  They have roughly 400 miles and 2 marathons on them.  It was time to get new ones.  So what do I do Friday night? I buy new shoes of course.  Having never worn them, I figured I would still be ok since I only had a 5K to run.  The run course was tough I will say.

It seemed the sun decided to come out on the run course and I was fading.  I swear the first 1.5 mile was uphill the entire way.  The aid station couldn’t have come soon enough.  Since I felt pretty bad on the bike, I didn’t take in enough fluids.  Once I reached the aid station I took in a GU and drank water.  This helped provide me  the spark I needed.  I might have gotten passed by several people, but yet again no one in my age group passed me.  This point I am hoping for an AG top 10 finish.

Once I had .4 miles left on the run I really tried to book it more.  The entire race I felt like I wasn’t moving very fast.  I knew I wasn’t but I did end the run with a 7:52 min/mile average.  This includes walking the aid station so I will take that.  I would have been happier with a 7:15 min/mile pace, but oh well always next race.

Crossing the finish line was really nice since no one was behind me.  I finished with a total time of 1:17:54.  My goal was for 1:10, but I honestly did not know what to expect this race.  I was happy with my time since I felt so bad on the bike.  After cheering on two of our other team members across the finish line, I figured I would go look at my placement.  What do you know 3rd place overall! This makes 3 multisport races and 3 podiums.  I am starting to think they might not be a fluke after all.  I really enjoy this triathlon thing.  There is not a photo of me on the podium; my dumb phone was acting stupid.  This is a good looking group of teammates.  I swear I am on the best triathlon team in Utah.  Go to the facebook page and give us a Like

Chris, the guy on the right, and I we both won 3rd place in our respective Age Group.  Below are the medals we won.

What I Learned:

I learned that I might not be as bad at this whole triathlon thing as I though.  I did learn a lot about open water swimming since it was my first race involving it.  Being able to continue to spot the buoys really helped me out a lot.

What I enjoyed:

I really liked the entire race.  Getting on a podium will never get old.  I will say my most enjoyable moment was passing a 63 year old man.  I passed him and just thought boy I sure hope when I am even in my 50’s I am able to get after it like this guy.  I don’t know the guy, but he is for sure a hero of mine.

Will I race this event again:

Absolutely! This was a super fun race, and I know that this race is pretty competitive from talking to people afterwards.  Whenever I can get on a podium I will enjoy the race.  It seemed very organized with plenty of volunteers.  Overall a very fun event!

Salem Triathlon Report by Jen Hamilton

Salem Triathlon 2012 Award

Here’s a recent post from on by Jen Hamilton with contributing authors TeKoi Smith and Carolina Herrin on the Salem Triathlon.  If you participated and want to share your incredible exerience please do. Here’s the post:

The tenth running of the Salem Spring Triathlon held on June 2, 2012 made a king of B.J. Christenson and a queen of Jeanette Schellenberg. Christenson (01:01:00) bested Dave Warden (01:04:29) by nearly three minutes. Christenson had the fastest run split of the day (17:55).  Zachary Meinzer (01:04:50) finished in third place.

The women’s race came down to the run, where Schellenber
g (01:10:06) found an extra gear to distance herself from runner-up Sarah White (01:11:27). The two were virtually tied heading into T2. Schellenberg out ran White by nearly one minute. Skye Murphy (01:11:41) rounded out the women’s podium finishing a mere 14 seconds behind White.

Athletes raced in near perfect conditions with cool temperatures for most of the morning. A slight overcast and a mild breeze followed many of the racers through the bike. The sun broke through for much of the run, making the hills on the 5k course a little tougher to climb.  304 athletes participated the event, held in Salem, Utah.

Review by TeKoi Smith

RaceTri has been putting on this event for 10 years now and it is becoming a fine tuned, fun & competitive event for all triathletes from newbie to veteran.  I arrived somewhat early race morning as I like to be able to find a good spot in transition and not rush.  As soon as I pulled into the city of Salem, I could feel the buzz of excitement & anxiety coming from the other triathletes and I knew that it was going to be another fantastic race.

It didn’t take long for hundreds of people, triathletes, volunteers & spectators to gather and wait for the 1st wave to swim in the “Pond”.  The water temperature was low 60’s which is perfect for me, personally, as I have a full sleeve wetsuit.  The race started on time with each wave and when the gun went off I felt calm and collected in the washing machine that is called the swim.  It is always hit and miss to how long I will be beat up in an open water swim with hands, feet, heels to the face and swimming over and being swam over, and this time it seemed to be for the full 750 meters and I loved every minute of it.  Coming out of the water I was greeting by firemen spraying everyone with “clean” water and it’s always fun to run up the grassy knoll into T1.

The bike course starts off flat for you to get your feet underneath you, but quickly takes you up 2 short hills where I need to downshift to be more efficient.  It is a 2 loop course that has gentle rollers and hills for you to climb and descend at a very fast pace.  Right before you come into T2 everything is pretty flat and then takes you down a hill so you’re legs feel good for the hilly run.  The bike course takes you on some rural roads that can be bumpy so be careful!

The run course changed this year to avoid cross traffic with the cyclists which made for a very hilly run.  In the past, the run has been about 1 mile and change up and then flattens out before you descend.  This year it took you up a hill that was almost 2 miles long.  It’s not terribly hard or long, but you’re not going to PR on this 5K for sure.  The aid station was right around the 2 mile mark and then you made a quick descent that leads you into the finish line.

The end of RaceTri’s Salem Spring Sprint is amazing. The finish line is full of families & friends and the awards ceremony is fun for everyone. TriEdge was there as well to provide some raffle prizes as well.

RaceTri’s Salem Spring Sprint is an excellent way to start your season with a great open water swim and fun all around.  I’ll be there next year, will you?

Review by Carolina Herrin

“Am I really going to be doing this?”  I asked myself as I looked into the water at the Salem Pond, watching the Pro’s head out and quickly swim away.  I have never done this before- I haven’t even swam since High School swim team.  As I got in the water, I knew it was now or never!  The sound from the starting horn faded away and after a few strokes, I caught myself thinking, “I can’t turn around now.  Just keep swimming.  Biking is your favorite, running is fun and then you’re done!”
But the most interesting thing to me was that my number one thought always seemed to be; “Wow, I like this!”

The water temperature felt just right to me.  Great swim course.  A long stretch out and under the Salem Bridge, for a quick turnaround up to the beach.  It was nice to know that there were so many volunteers in the water ready to help you, if needed.  Coming out of the water, it was wonderful to see so many familiar faces.  I really enjoyed having their support, as this was my first real race.  I have been around many who are involved in triathlons, but have never trained or found the time to do one.

During the transition, I quickly slipped on my bike shoes, threw on a shirt and got biking up the gigantic hill.  The bike course was just right.  I loved the hill and the challenged it posed.  There was just enough elevation on the course, for a beginner to handle.  Throughout the bike course, I noticed how well marked it was.  There were plenty of spray painted warnings on the road, marking the rough road, cracks and especially the manhole covers.  I also saw plenty of words of encouragement marked on the course.

Coming in from the bike, the volunteers did an amazing job directing and talking you back into the transition area.  I could feel the sun beating down on me a bit more now and I had this incredible feeling of joy, as I was two thirds of the way done.  It’s funny how in my head I was moving fast through the transition, trying to slow my breathing down, getting my Altra’s on, but looking at my transition time, I sure took it slow.  Plenty of support from the crowd and the volunteers kept me going and I soon found myself out onto the run course.

My favorite had to be; you start the run going over a bridge and end it going over a bridge.  So cool!  The run course was well marked and again, with just the right amount of challenges for a beginner triathlete.  I loved the fact that you’re going up on the way out and coming down on the way in.  The aid station on the run was well manned and stocked up on cold water and power gels.  As I cornered the last bit and was able to see the finish line, I couldn’t believe that I had just done my first triathlon.

Crossing the finish and getting that very large, awesome, finishers medal; what a feeling! I again, had the same thought I had at the beginning of the race; “Wow, I like this!”  This was such an amazing experience. The volunteers were great, the spectators were wonderful cheering everyone on and the overall atmosphere at the finish line is one that can’t be beat.
The Salem Spring Triathlon is a must for beginners and pro’s alike and I can’t wait to come back next year and improve on my time.  Thanks Racetri and Triathlete’s Edge. I can’t think of a better way to have spent my Saturday morning.