Escape from the Rock (aka Mercer Island)

Swimming in Lake Washington isn’t exactly the same as swimming in San Francisco Bay, so the name of this race has always made me laugh. This little race also holds a special place in my heart as it was the very first triathlon I ever did back in 2007 that started all of this shenanigans.

The weather was perfect for a race and this one is so low key. You can rack your bike wherever you want and you can start the swim whenever you want. That is why it is such a good beginner’s race. Because of all the 1-90 construction, they had to shorten the race, so it was crazy short: 600-yard swim, 8.9 mile bike, 2.5 mile run.

I woke up late and was frantic all morning. Kevin helped me load the car and we raced over to Mercer Island. I was having a few mechanical issues again around the fact that my new tubular race wheels are too fat for my brakes, but thankfully Sean from Mr. Crampy’s Multisport was on hand to help with the problem and help calm me down. (Thanks Sean!)

Every year, one of the race director’s sings the National Anthem and he likes to really milk it for all its worth. (I used to sing the Star Spangled Banner for high school and college sports and would get thanked numerous times for my to-the-point rendition ….) At least this year, he skipped his usual encore, “America, The Beautiful.”

Swim: 600 yards, 10:21

It looks like my arms want to keep swimming!

It was pretty uneventful. I went in the first wave, doing my best to avoid anyone who might kick me in the shoulder. I haven’t really pushed myself on the swim this year, rather taking the ‘just get through it’ approach and hoping that my shoulder would be ready to take on the rest of the event. I was the 4th woman out of the water and ran up the grassy hill towards the transition area. It is a pretty long run and I wonder if it would be better to take the wetsuit off and run with it in hand rather than leave it on. A few dozen yards with a wetsuit on is fine, but this was getting awkward.

Bike: 8.9 miles, 23:04

I was so fast, that this is the only picture Kevin took of me on my bike. Er, okay, its the only picture because the race was so short.

I had another rubbing tire! This time, it was the front wheel but I thought it was the back one. Nonetheless, I rode hard and was focused. I managed to pass the 3 women ahead of me and actually had the 4th fastest bike split of the day, regardless of gender. (I guess I shouldn’t give myself too much credit for staying focused for 8.9 miles …)

Run: 2.5 miles, 17:28

Let's get this race done!

In transition, I slapped my running shoes on (no socks) and heard someone say that I was the first woman and the 10th person overall. I grabbed my number belt, visor, shot bloks and booked it out on the run. I was passed by a couple of boys (they looked like they were 13) but I passed a couple of men too. Once I got a look at the 2nd place girl at the turnaround, I panicked and gave it everything I had. I was so sure I was going to get picked off, but I actually think I put a little more time into her. I gave that last 1/2 mile everything. I almost fell over after the finish line and a volunteer caught me. Totally worth it! I won again, which is crazy. I was the 10th person overall which I thought was cool too.

Overall Time: 54:25, 1st OA, 1st AG

AND! I won a wetsuit. Hot dog! Even better? They let me trade the low-end sleeveless wetsuit for their WTC-legal speedsuit! One less thing to buy for Ironman Cozumel. Thank you so much, Xterra!

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1 Response to Escape from the Rock (aka Mercer Island)

  1. Wonderful! And very nice that you got a speedsuit out of it also!

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