Hits Palm Springs Triathlon Series
The Hits Triathlon series 2014 Championship hosted in beautiful Palm Springs was a season closer for CFC athletes. It was a weekend full of endurance activities put on by Hits Triathlon Series, a half and a full distance IRONMAN on Saturday December 7th, followed by a sprint, olympic, and an open distance race on Sunday December 8th. All of which had the option of doing a relay with friends and fellow athletes. This race has a mellow atmosphere compared to most and is a great race for anyone who wants to compete in their first or twentieth half IRONMAN distance race. The energy was great, race director Mark Wilson was more than accommodating and the event was filled with smiles. The hits triathlon series Palm Springs Championship was an amazing season closer for our athletes with some fast times on the day.
On Saturday, all of our athletes competed in the Half IRONMAN distance race so I won’t be going into detail on race description for the full distance.
The swim was in Lake Cahuilla which was rumored to be “freezing” from competitors who raced the year before. It consisted of a two lap course with a mens wave and woman’s wave start. A last minute decision to make it a combined single wave start wasn’t relayed very well to athletes and definitely caused some frustration among female competitors who lined up behind a majority of the men. The swim course ran along the waters edge where you were able to spectate and walk along side the athletes the entire swim. There were a lot of walkers in the shallow depths of the lake which I think takes away from the experience a bit. We are triathletes right? I believe you are meant to swim during the swim portion of the race. If you walk the swim I think thats called a duathlon, just sayin… For some reason I think people may actually think that walking may be faster than swimming, news flash, have you ever tried running in waste deep water? That shit ain’t easy, get your floaties out and start swimming. Very spectator friendly swim though and it was fun for friends and family to be so close to the action! Good news, besides the mixed reactions from the water temperature, I heard a lot more non complainers than I did complainers.
The bike course was a two lap course on semi-closed roads with every intersection being guided by highway patrol. The course was scenic with farm land and endless views of mountains. Lots of Date palm farms, otherwise knows as Dactylifera farms that engulf palm desert and are definitely a staple in the scenery. I heard it was kind of an ugly bike course but I thought it was very pretty and scenic. For the most part the roads weren’t too bad. Although there were a few sections that were pretty bumpy. Bumpy enough to rattle the bolts out of my aero bars on training rides two days in a row. No one ever said Chinese manufactures would provide me with the correct length screws to prevent my near death experience but thats besides the point, the roads were bumpy in sections.
The run course was a two lap course in which no one is to sure of the exact distance when looking at Garmins and pace averages. I can assure you though whatever the distance I think everyone was happy they didn’t have to run any further… Lets just say it got hot when the sun decided to show up. It’s always nice seeing your friends suffering from their own self inflicted pain, with an addition to mother nature trying to rape you. I’m going to go ahead and say what every one was thinking coming into the finisher shoot, where the F@%! do I go???? The finisher shoot was a mirage hidden behind a mountain(a grassy knoll), with no direct path to the finish line. It may have been a good obstacle to finish a spartan race but all too confusing for someone finishing a half IRONMAN especially with a sprint finish for third place trying to make a swooping right hand turn down a side hill grassy knoll. Just seemed like an easy way to get injured or just confusing to athletes. Then again it was a great way to get the spectators involved which created good entertainment and lots of cheering to help direct athletes through the shoot.
Andres “The Missile” Gomez smoking the race with a 4:23:26 and a sprint finish to just fall short of third place. It was a great effort on the day with a 25-29 age group win but we all know that sprint finish and missing third by hundredths of a second is absolutely gut wrenching and he’s ready for a rematch.
Katie Kyme taking down 2nd place woman with the tail end of a cold finishing with a 4:40:39. This race was Katie’s race to win. This just fuels the fire for Katie for 2015.
Clem “The Beast” Chavez competing in his very first half IRONMAN and second triathlon to date finishing 4th in the 25-29 age group with a time of 4:40:36. When he finished the race he said to me I don’t know how I feel about that distance, maybe I’ll stick to sprints. I think it’s a feeling we all get from time to time when doing long course races. You want to go fast but sometimes you need to pace yourself.
Marq Prince flying in at 4:53:25 showing no signs of weakness. I think we are going to see some good numbers from Marq in 2015.
Last but not least, Mr Lenny Mayzel finishing out the weekend competing in the Sprint on Sunday for the Clydesdale 39 & Under in division Clydesdale. A third place finish for Lenny with a time of: 1:21:42 – First race after finishing IRONMAN Arizona a few weeks prior with a PB.
We did have a good team in tow, Andrea, Gabe, Pete, Amber, Ava, Romeo, and myself were all there as the cheer squad and the party starters.
Transition area was set up very well. Plenty of space for each athlete, bike racks set up nicely with a stool for every athlete.
Andres and Katie make there way down to the water.
Clem getting all the help he can get when his phone died leaving him with no alarm clock and nothing but a half drunk photographer to wake him up with only a few minutes to spare.
A beautiful sunrise to start the race on Lake Cahuilla, Palm Desert.
Lap 1 of the swim was fun to watch.
Buddy Green making mince meat out of the swim putting on a swim clinic and making it look easy.
Athletes making their way back to the starting line for lap 2 of the swim.
Katie Kyme powering through the bike on lap 1 of the bike course.
Clem playing catch up and hammering out the bike to get back into contention.
Katie with a nice friendly wave starting lap 2 of the bike course.
Marq Prince making an appearance on the bike course just behind Clem.
Andres coming into T2 with a flat in the rear throwing a shocka.
Andres the “Missile” looking fresh coming out of T2 about to tackle the run course.
Clem has been playing catch up to Katie all day, both fighting for positions. Katie searches in the distance and gets the run underway while Clem is powering down a gel.
And the battle for the crown continues…
Marq Prince gets a little love from Coach Pete (Master Pete – sensei)
Clem making the turn just in front of Katie but the lead didn’t last long, Clem is about to fall into the cave and the pace slowed right down. Finishing 4th 25-29 – 15th overall – 4:40:36
Katie making the turn on the run, water, sponges, and oranges were a must. 2nd place woman 4:40:39
Marq making the turn on the run course making it look way to easy. finishing with a 4:53:25
Andres in a world of hurt after a sprint finish only to miss third place by a toe. 1st place 25-29
Chef Gabe grilling up Pollo Asada and Carne Asada, Lenny on Beets, Amber on Salad, Dre on Fruit Salad, Myself on Salsa.
That meat is making me hungry… Turning Vegan because Coach Pete loves Vegans… Vegan during the week, meat on the weekends?
Champion Factory coaches and athletes want to send a special thank you to the team at Hits Triathlon Series for hosting the event. As a team we really enjoyed being apart of the fun and we look forward to years to come closing out our race season with you guys. This event is great for all athletes, from newbies to experienced athletes and their families to come and enjoy the fun. We had a great weekend for the end of the year CFC party and season closer at Hits Triathlon Series Championship Palm Desert and we will see you next year!
Author: Topher Riley : CFC Athlete : Photos: www.topherriley.com