Desert Triathlon Series Sprint 2015

March 19, 2015 3:18 pm

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It’s amazing how quickly this came around: it seemed like only yesterday we were doing our last race of 2014 and thinking there was an off-season ahead of us. This race weekend serves as the start of the 2015 season for many SoCal athletes – it’s close proximity to massive tri markets San Diego and Los Angeles means it offers a solid competition in a well-executed three race option weekend. Klein Clark have been hosting this race for many years and have the logistics downpat. Unfortunately this particular weekend they didn’t have control of the weather, but the races went on regardless.

Champion Factory Coaching had a great showing of local athletes and we’d opted to hire a house to complete the ‘team experience’ portion of the weekend.

Saturday’s Sprint Triathlon started off beautifully. Weather reports had warned of storms and dreadful conditions but we woke to a surprisingly mild morning and headed off to Lake Cahuilla, the race start venue. It didn’t take long once we were situated to realise that the wind was really picking up force. The abundance of sand and open plains further exaggerated the situation as there isn’t a lot of protection – both at the lake for spectators, and on the course for the competitors.

Warm up was relatively uneventful: there were definitely moments when you felt the force of the wind, but we were (at this stage) oh so happy that it wasn’t freezing cold.

Lake Cahuilla has been known for some chilly temps but today wasn’t too, too bad. Always the burn when your face first hits the water but that soon passed. With every minute that passed the wind seemed to be getting worse and the race directors were having some difficulty getting the buoys to stay put out on the lake. Race start was held a little while until these details could be perfected however it wasn’t to last too long.

We had athletes starting across all the waves and by the time W40-44 were up the buoys had again decided to do their own thing with regards to positioning. Leesa was at their mercy and swam far further to pass it as per standard, when others were being directed down to buoys secured down the lake.

As the race wore on, we were to realise that the swim issues were the least of our worries. Out on the bike course we were faced with reported 45m/hr winds blowing a gale and often unpredictable in their lashings. AT times you couldn’t see five feet ahead of you for the sand being blown across the course. I saw people (and me!) being pushed about the course; aero position was a luxury that didn’t happen for fear of loss of control. I was happy with my 60mm choice for wheels – pre-race discussions of a disc wheel might have killed me!

So thankful for me and my team mates that we only needed to ride 14miles in these conditions, and needless to say the site of t2 was a blessing! The run course is three miles around the lake and associated camp grounds with a little soft sand in the beginning to really jolt your legs back to life. Due to the short nature of the sprint race we didn’t get as much interaction with other competitors (the Olympic distance is a couple of laps on bike and run) but the CFC crew were 100meters outside of transition, with Coach Pete offering quick words of encouragement and cheers. And before you know it, it’s over!

Although we had a group of athletes racing this weekend, the stand out performance was Sue Montgomery. Sue had expressed her hesitation prior to getting into the swim about the winds on the bike course, and it turned out they were worse than any of us had expected or experienced. Coaches Pete and KT were super proud of her grit and determination shown to get through the challenges presented. And she was so stoked that she backed up with Bonelli tri the following weekend! Keep it up 🙂


Desert Triathlon Series Sprint 2015 Transition are, the calm before the storm, literally…


Katie Kyme pre race warm up posing for a picture as the dust storms start to show their pressence.


Our girls Katie Kyme, Lynne Fiedler, and Sue Montgomery getting set up in transition.


Mike Schmidt and Coach Pete Coulson pre race chat.


Mike Schmidt anticipating the swim start.


Seemed like a beautiful day when looking at this picture, don’t let the clear skies and sun shinning fool you, this day was a race from hell.


Katie Kyme at the front of the swim start getting ready to smash the swim and take the overall win!


Leesa Leigh on her new slice flying out ot T1.


Gabe Lara and Andrea Bauer channeling their inner Zoolander sporting their CFC apparel.  Thanks to Champion Systems.


Lynne Fiedler and Mike Schmidt making their way out on the run course where the dust storms definitely didn’t make breathing very easy.


Katie Kyme storming through the run course to take the overall win!!


Lynne Fiedler and Katie Kyme very pleased to take home wins and be done with this race after dealing with conditions they will never forget.


Sue Montgomery, CFC stand out, Sue made the last minute decision to do this race and what a race she chose to conquer under such trying conditions.


Lynne Fiedler, Katie Kyme, and Mike Schmidt finishing up a cool down run, switched the camera to video at this moment and the wind showed its presence.


Challenging to gain focus for a quick image of Sue Montgomery and Coach Pete Coulson.


Katie Kyme, Womans Overall Winner on the day and wasn’t far off beating all the men!!


Lynne Fiedler taking home yet another win!!


Andrea Bauer having a moment with Chase Crawford and Chris Pratt.


Ava Victoria stealing the show as per always.

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