Sunday, May 10, 2009

Iron Girl Sherpa and Spectator Report

Yesterday I watched my awesome friend Leslie, a newly crowned triathlete, finish the Iron Girl sprint race out at Lake Las Vegas.

I did not sign up for Iron Girl because, frankly, the race seemed like it had potential to be a giant organizational clusterf**k waiting to happen. The course out there is not my favorite. However, after sherpaing the race for Leslie yesterday my opinion is revised. I observed a pretty darn well run race (there were a few question marks I still have about the course) with over 1000 athletes participating. It looked like fun. So much so I may consider it for next year.

It was very strange getting up at 4:30 am, going to a race site, and not racing. I didn't mind it! Especially since they had coffee there! I picked Leslie up at 5:20am (she lives three blocks from my house) and she was excited! This was her first tri and she seemed well trained and in an excellent frame of mind. Since her husband wouldn't be there until just before the swim start I had offered to sherpa for her because I didn't think she should go to her first tri alone. Even though she was very well prepared and could have totally handled it no problem.

We got there in plenty of time and Leslie got set up in transition. We then went to the beach start over at Mira Lago. Because it's a resort the grass was thick and soft and there were lots of tables and chairs there. Leslie was calm, cool and collected. Here she is starting to think about getting her wetsuit on to warm up:

Here she is pre warm up:

And here she is right before the start. Great Attitude: CHECK! :-)

Leslie's swim wave was the very last to start and one of her concerns leading up to the race was that she would be the last swimmer out of the water. Her concerns were completely unfounded.

She was so far from last out of the water that it was impossible to count the number of girls coming out after her, or the number of bikes still in transition when she got there.

While I think Leslie feels (as many others do) that the swim is probably her weakest leg, on race day, WHEN IT COUNTS, she had no problems getting into her rhythm, no problem sighting and she had an overall great time in the water!

Here she is starting the bike:

She took almost exactly the amount of time she thought to complete the bike and was soon back in transition. Then Leslie did something that made us chuckle. She stopped in one of the porta potties in transition. The following conversation (or an approximation thereof) ensued:

Stef: No Leslie don't do that! Can't you just hold it?

Kym (Leslie's husband): That's going to cost her some time.

Stef: Yeah (exaggerated sigh, checking of watch) . . . .

Kym: We need to document this.

Stef: Yeah! We also need to tease her about this later.

Kym: (nods head in vigorous agreement as he positions the camera and waits)

Here is Leslie right after emerging from the porta pottie. Although her face is conveniently obscured by tree leaves, trust me, it's her!

Here she is waving to her adoring fans as she starts the run. There is a BIG ASS hill at the start of the run that you can't see in this photo. The run overall is difficult. It is typical desert terrain -- dirt trail type surface with some nasty hills thrown in. Hurry Leslie before it gets really blazing hot! :-)

We did not have long to wait at this point. Here is Leslie coming down the big ass hill to the finish:

Leslie had an estimated time spread going into this race and she finished just a couple of minutes over her best estimate. The first thing she said after she crossed the line and hugged Kym was:

That was so f**king fun!

Leslie kicked Iron Girl's ASS! Way to go Leslie! I see many more tris in her future! She did some training with Tony and me to get ready for this race and, as I said (and it bears repeating) she KICKED IT'S ASS!

Overall I would recommend this race after spectating it. While it's pretty hot here now (close to triple digits) the mornings are still nice and if you do the sprint (or if you do the Olympic and hustle to get in in a decent time) you can run the race before it becomes too unbearable out. Yesterday there was a little wind but nothing too bad. The water was calm and the buffet that Iron Girl had for the athletes looked really good! Plus of course it is all women and seems very beginner friendly. I can definitely see why Iron Girl is a popular race!


Karen said...

YAY Leslie! I did the Iron Girl in Atlanta and it was so much fun. You and Leslie should definitely do it together next year.

WADDLER26.2 said...

Great job , Leslie!!

Wes said...

That is awesome! You are fab sherpa :-)

KodaFit said...

Nice Job Leslie!!

I saw last years race on TV, and it looked like a blast - Almost made me wish I was a girl so I could give it a go!

Calyx Meredith said...

Yay for Leslie - and yay for Stef, the super sherpa! :D Fun report.

Formulaic said...

We had the Olympic bike go almost literally right outside our door.

It was great to go out there an cheer on the bikers.

It was fun as they were totally not expecting any cheers at that stage.

Nice job being a super sherpa! And more importantly, way to go on being with her for the training. That's the time that really mattered.

Lisa Slow-n-Steady said...

Yay for Leslie and yay to you for being a sherpa for your friend. :-)

ShirleyPerly said...

What a fun race report!! Congrats to Leslie. Love that photo of her at the swim start.