Steelhead 70.3 Relay (6/27/21)

During the 2019 season, a few of my teammates talked me into doing a 70.3.  The original plan for 2020 was to do a relay in the summer and then for all of us to do one sole (with guides) in the fall.  However, even before the Pandemic hit, the others decided that the fall 70.3 wouldn’t work for them.  While I had to tap out of doing the solo 70.3 in the fall, I was still on board for the relay.

The weather on Saturday created some changes, but everything worked out.  I am extremely grateful to Mara and the rest of the Athlete Services staff for all of their assistance not just during packet pickup, but throughout the entire event. 

There were some pretty fierce storms throughout the day / night, and the swim ended up being cancelled.  This mean that Eric didn’t get to swim, and it also led to a time-trial type bike start based on bike finish times.  As we were waiting to start, we heard that someone had wiped out on the bridge and heard the ambulances going by.

So when we started about 40-45 minutes after the cannon start, we took that first mile a extremely cautiously.  After that first mile, things went smoothly on the first half of the bike leg.  There was one gigantic hill that was a challenge, but the overwhelming majority were rollers.  Although I don’t have an exact speed, I would guess that we were averaging between 23 and 24 mph on the way out.

The second half was unfortunately an entirely different story…  At that point, I started having issues with IT bands and sit bones.  It essentially turned into a walk/run, but on a bike.  We had to continually stop so that I could try and stretch things out.  Thankfully, our starts and stops were solid, so even though we did a total of about a dozen during the bike, there weren’t any issues.  There were a couple of points that I was in so much pain (especially after that gigantic hill) that I was in tears.  However, there wasn’t any way that I was going to tap out or ask for the SAG.

When we did finally make it back to transition, Sarah was ready to go.  Our plan was to walk up to where the loops ended so that we could cheer her on.  After having some time to recuperate, we started walking there with Eric.  Because the road was active, we had to walk on the shoulder.  And while we were able to get about 3/4 of a mile in, it just wasn’t possible to get to the loop splits.  So we ended up in a restaurant while waiting for her to run by.

Just looking at the tracker, it seemed like the heat and humidity was taking a toll on her  — but she was still having a solid run.  We did all manage to make it out to cheer her on when she passed by.  After she finished, I found out that we had won the PC Open category! 

While it was a struggle on the bike, it was still a lot of fun.  I am grateful to everyone who made the weekend a success and to Billy for guiding and Eric/Sarah for being the other parts of the team.  I look forward to doing another 70.3 Realy in 2022!

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