Sunday, April 19, 2015

Ice Breaker Triathlon - Race Report

This was my third Ice Breaker Triathlon (third time's a charm, right?) and in my mind, my best to date. Well, I guess it was my best to date...I had my best overall time, but the splits are hard to compare. On top of that, I messed up the multi-sport setting on my Garmin so I couldn't even use my own data for comparison. Oh, I have just says that it was all cycling. LOL

I may not swim perfectly straight, but I know I didn't swim in circles!


As I was getting my stuff ready HS asked what time the duathlon started. I told him it started at 8am and that my race started at 9am. At that point, he decided he wanted to race. He threw his race gear in a grocery bag and was ready to go!

We headed up to Folsom with a quick stop at an ATM to get cash for his race fees. His decision to race sort of changed my plans for the race. HS was supposed to zip my wet suit and hold my spare pair of goggles. Oh well, everything worked out. I found someone else to zip me up, and I put my extra pair of goggles by my shoes (I'm working on embracing change LOL).

After the start of HS's duathlon, I put on my wetsuit and headed down to the water to warm up. As I was standing in the lake talking to my teammate, Steve, a girl came up to me and said "I know this is going to sound crazy, but I recognize you from YouTube"! She explained that she was looking for videos about Ice Breaker and saw the video I made of Ice Breaker 2013...for those of you that missed it is...


The swim starts in 2013 and 2014 were on the shore and you would run into the water. This year, with the water continuing to recede because of the drought, we actually started in the water. Unfortunately, even with the water start, there were lots of big rocks you had to navigate around so as not to break a toe.
2015 - Sunny and no wind

In 2013, they clocked your time for the swim down by the arch as you came out of the water (if you watched the video above, you can see them tearing my tag off). My swim time in 2013 was 18:46. Below is a picture of me coming up out of the water and heading up the hill to T1...I was not a happy camper.

2013 Ice Breaker - Worst swim EVER

In 2014, they didn't clock your swim time until the top of the hill...which is quite a distance (probably around 1/4 mile). My swim time in 2014 was 21:46...and I had a much better swim. It really bothered me that it was "slower" than my sucky swim in matter how many times I reminded myself about the change in where they clocked your time.

This year, my swim split was 19:15...still not as fast as my sucky swim in 2013! ARGH!  Just kidding...this year they once again clocked your swim at the top of the hill, so at least I could compare it with last year and it is definitely quicker...2-1/2 minutes quicker ;-) I also decided to have a pair of shoes down by the arch so I wasn't trying to run up that rocky, sandy hill.


My bike was about 30 seconds slower than last year. Not sure if this is significant or not. I did feel like I dilly-dallied a bit longer than usual in T1. I took the toe warmers off my cycling shoes, grabbed a bite of just didn't feel as quick as I usually try to be in transition.

During the actual riding portion, I made an effort to keep up a high cadence and not trash my legs trying to grind up the hills. This could have also contributed to a slower bike time, but it did pay off in a much better run split.


This year the run course was a bit different than the first two years. It was still 4 miles, but it headed out in a different direction that was supposedly flatter. It may have been flatter (I don't think so), but a good portion of it was a sandy, single track trail. I'm pretty sure it was in this new section that I picked up a rock that wore a good sized hole in my big toe.

T2 was speedy and efficient. I started to head towards the normal "run out" spot when I heard my teammate, Dani, yelling at me to go the other way. Oops!

In 2013 my run split was 37:34, last year it was 40:16, this year it was 36:01. I'll take it!

Final Thoughts

Overall, I am very happy with my performance at this race. In fact, I feel like I've finally put this ghost to rest. After 2013, I wanted to do this race again to show that I could do the swim. Then last year, after I added time, I wanted to do the race again to show that I could go faster. This year, not only did I go faster, but I feel like I had a great swim. I no longer have that feeling like I need to prove something.

2013: 1:44:38 (2nd place...out of 2 in my age group)
2014: 1:46.48 (4th place... I really didn't like standing on the grass)
2015: 1:40:32 (3rd place...good enough)

Will there be an Ice Breaker 2016 in my future? Not sure. This race definitely favors swimmers, sprinters, and trail runners... three things that would not describe me as a triathlete. Still, it's a fun race and a good way to kick off the race season.