Posted by: forgingahead | July 1, 2010

GG Triathlon Race Report Part II

The exciting conclusion of my Olympic race recap!

Why, oh why, did it take me 21+ minutes to get from swimming to cycling?

I came out of the water, ran up the beach, grabbed my bag with my shoes and sat down on the concrete wall next to the water station.

I know I wasted about 8 minutes getting off my wetsuit, washing off my feet and putting on my shoes. Why? because I’m a big baby about sand on my feet. For this reason alone I can never go pro. Well, that and my glacial pace. We’ll blame on the sand though.

I think the mile run back to transition took me at least 11 minutes. Yes folks, we had to run an ENTIRE MILE back to transition. Have you done this? I think it’s no fun. And not fair. And that’s all the whining I’m going to do on the subject.

And then I was desperate for a bathroom break. And yes, that all adds up to a nearly 22 minute transition.

I win the award for the slowest T1 transition of the whole pack!

The Bike

The bike was tough. Six loops of climbing up a hill, bombing down the other side, turning around and doing it again. Fellow racers were super encouraging because we were all struggling.

At the race meeting the night before the Next Step Racing guys – brothers Bryan and Patrick Kent – shared a great tip – put 6 pieces of tape on my handle bars and remove one after finishing each loop. Brilliant, because there was no way I was going to remember how many I’d done.

The 1:44 on the bike went by quickly – relatively speaking. And then it was done.

What did I do for nearly 4 minutes in T2? I’m not sure, though I do remember chiding myself for being slow.

The Run

The run? Well, the beauty of this particular run is you go up, up and up some more from the shoreline to the Golden Gate Bridge. Stairs and steep pitches.

I think those were my favorite volunteers. So positive and upbeat. “You’re nearly to the top!” And Clair literally was at the top! It was such a relief to see her smiling face. She told me I was looking strong. Thanks Clair!

We ran on the East side of the Golden Gate Bridge with the hundreds of meandering tourists which made for an adventurous run. And way noisier than I’m used to. With no iPod keeping me company the persistent cacophony of traffic started wearing on my nerves.

High points were each time a racer would pass me on their way back we’d exchange smiles and thumbs up.

I finally made it to the other side where I informed Bryan Kent (head of the running volunteers) that I was pretty sure I was the last runner. He ran along with me for few steps to point out where I was headed. Then dropped back and got on his phone.

I ran along through the visitor parking lot, found the aid station and had some warm Heed and then ran around the 4 tiny little orange cones that marked the turnaround. By the time I got back to Bryan he was shouting jubilantly “You’re not last! You’re killing it!”

Nearly tripping over my own feet in laughter I picked up the pace as I headed back across the bridge. I did pass the woman in last place about mid-span and she wasn’t looking too good. I hope she’s ok.

Once I crossed the bridge and started dropping back down the hill the volunteers greeted me with much cheering. They were all commenting on my smile which I’m sure was ear to ear because this tremendously long morning was nearly done!

The Finish

The finish line was a bit of a challenge because the awards ceremony had begun and everyone was standing in a big group right in front of the line. As folks started to realize I was an actual participant, they started clapping – which was super nice.

And I now have another finishers medal to add to the pile. I think I’m becoming a medal junkie.

Bring on the half ironman!

The Golden Gate Triathlon
Crissy Field, San Francisco
put on by TriFreaks
Just to reiterate…

My Times
1 mile swim 34:57
T1 21:56 – I know, super slow.
22 mile bike 1:44 – hills, hills, hills
T2 3:34
6 mile run 1:03 – no reason, I’m a slow runner
Total Time 3:49

Here’s a video of last year’s race – so you can see what I’m talking about!



  1. that was no walk in the park…seriously? a mile run from swim to ride…and all those stairs during the run….your one tough cookie. kudos!

  2. A MILE from swim to bike?????? Surely, that is illegal!

    But – you did Awesome! Wow! You are amazing, Kathleen – simply amazing!

  3. I’d never heard of a mile-long trek to the transition area either. At least you didn’t get lost!

    Congratulations on adding to your bling and blog collections. Great race report!

  4. Great job sticking through it!! And that ridiculous distance to T1…yikes!!


  5. You are a resilient racer. You are strong, you are invincible, you can do anything!!



  6. Ha ha, like the two part race report blog entry. I was suffering on those hills too so doubt I had too many encouraging words but good on ya for finishing that swim alone! And hey, we’ll be racing together again at the end of the month, Barb’s race and the full Vineman happen on the same day!

  7. I love your laughter and sense of humor! It sounds like you had a fun time. These darn races are NOT easy and pounding them out, awesome job!

  8. I think you did AWESOME! And you were not slow – you were enjoying every moment of it 🙂

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