Now that it’s three months later and registration for NEXT year’s race is open, it’s about time I share my REV3 Williamsburg Olympic recap. I’ll be honest, I didn’t mean to wait this long to post a recap, but after doing so a small part of me really enjoyed experiencing the emotion and positive energy at a completely random time a few months later, it seriously still feels like it happened yesterday.
I’m going to start by this was my first time racing a REV3 race and it was an incredible experience. Everything from the race venue to the volunteers to just the overall feel of the environment, it just felt like they really cared about the athletes regardless of skill level. There were fun/motivational posters hanging in the porta-pots and that made using a porta-pot, dare I say it-fun.
This was also the first year at the Chickahominy Riverfront Park venue (versus Jamestown) and couldn’t imagine it being anyplace else in the area. Excellent choice, REV3.
I went to packet pickup as soon as it opened because 1. I was unsure of the parking situation and 2. it was HOT outside and wanted to get back home to the AC asap. However, I still ended up staying at the race site for about 4 hours just taking in everything.
After picking up my packet and getting my athlete wristband on, I placed my numbers on my bike and headed down to transition to rack my bike.
Transition was quite big and the bike racks were awesome. Each bike had its individual space with your name on it. This allowed for equal spacing for gear at transition instead of someone having a huge mat of junk taking up others’ space.
After swimming, I took a walk around the rest of the area to dry off, got my water bottle from the car and sat down in the shade waiting for the female pro panel to begin.
It was fun to listen to the pros speak–>about training, training-life balance, etc. I wish I would have written this down because I can’t remember exact quotes, but I would highly recommend sitting in on a pro panel if your race offers the opportunity.
Immediately after the panel the race director held a mandatory meeting, discussing race details–the course, the starting area, the heat, etc…
After the meeting, I headed back home to rest up and cool down for race day!
I woke up at 4am after a very good night’s sleep. I was calm, which felt a bit odd since I always get a little nervous on race day. To further relax myself, I did the Jasyoga Race Day Mantra Meditation. I found it very powerful and even wrote the “I am, here now” mantra on my forearm….which came in handy later on the run.
Tyler and I left around 5:00am to get to Chickahominy Riverfront Park. It’s about a 40 minute drive from where we live in Newport News and of course I wanted to make sure we go there with adequate time for me to set up transition, pump my tires back up, get a little warm up in and eat a Honey Stinger waffle before starting.
Swim-that time I was faster than allllll of my training swims, thank you river current
Official 26:35, 1:50/100m, 0.90
16/21 (30-35 out of the water)
The current in the Chickahominy River is a triathlete’s dream, especially a triathlete who is a weak swimmer.
Race day water temp: 83.4 (just BARELY wetsuit legal but if you chose to wear one you had to start after everyone else and were ineligible for awards). This water was WARM. I couldn’t imagine wearing a wetsuit during this swim, but to each their own.
The 30-35 age group was last to go, so there was a lot of standing around. After chit-chatting with some other racers, I got into the water to get used to it about 20 minutes before my wave went off.
Started toward the back of the pack since I’m not a strong swimmer and didn’t want to get run over by other swimmers. At the start, the current kept pushing us forward having to stay behind the start line took some effort!
The swim went by so quickly (and was uneventful), due to the current and before I knew it I was making the turn to go toward shore/swim exit. I did have to take a couple of “catch my breath breaks” during the swim and during the last one I looked at my watch and was in complete shock at the time–it was 24:xx (can’t remember exact numbers) and all I could think of was that getting to the swim exit in under 30 minutes was actually going to happen. The excitement must have boosted my pace even more because I got to my bike at 26:49 (per my Garmin) which was way faster than I had expected, especially for having a goal of 35 minutes.
Oh my I was nauseated and a little disoriented from the swim, but also excited for the bike portion which is my favorite part of this course. I need to figure out if it’s swallowing too much water or motion sickness. I’ve only experienced sea sickness once in my life and that was on some pretty rough water on the boat in Hawaii on the way to a snorkel site. Unfortunately this nausea feeling lasted until about mile 15 of the bike. Otherwise T1 was uneventful, I took my time and made sure I had everything I needed.
Official 1:35:49, 17mph, 27.20 miles
I LOVE this bike course. It’s got one giant hill/brigde (for this area) that you go over twice–once at the beginning of the race and coming back into the transition area. Otherwise, the course had some very small rollers, lots of flat areas and A LOT of shade. There’s not a ton of crowd support on the bike course, but it’s nice to have spectators on the bridge cheering you on as you go up it and back down–in fact, Tyler was there at the start of the bike and got some good pictures. I remember yelling to him “OMG my swim time was unreal!!!!!” And he responded “yay!! great! Now go ride!” The bike course is not closed to traffic, but for the most part cars kept their distance. There were a couple of spots where cyclists had to slow down because cars were trying to get by but had to stop for oncoming traffic. That was pretty frustrating, but I tried to not let it affect me too much and just kept moving forward. There was one gal who (in my opinion, stupidly) went around the cars on the left side, squeezing through the stopped cars and oncoming traffic. Maybe she was going for a podium spot but sorry, you can’t stand on the podium if you’re hit by a car and can’t finish the bike. Not worth it. Okay, rant over, back to my race. The bike went by relatively fast, I did note some lower back tightness toward the end, meaning I need to do more core/back strengthening and spend more time on the bike. I also passed a pretty bad cycling accident (the police/first aid were already there) that later ended up re-routing the bike portion onto the Cap to Cap Trail where the runners were. I did check the REV3 W’burg Facebook page later on and found that the woman who crashed was okay and sustained no serious injuries. Before I knew it I was FLYING down the bridge and headed back into transition.
Not sure what I was doing here. I had a hard time getting my shoes on and had to put my hair back up—-need to find a hairstyle that stays from the start of the race to the finish!!
1:08:58, 11:08/mile, 6.2 miles
Ouch is the word for this run. It was HOT, we had to cross the same bridge/hill that was on the bike course twice (out and back) and I ended up with some massive blisters on my feet. Thank goodness for water stops, cold sponges and cups with ice that I dumped down my top. I remember taking my time in the shaded areas and going faster in the sunny areas just to get back to the shade. I had a time goal in mind but that quickly shifted to “just don’t walk, just don’t walk.” However, at some point I’m pretty sure I could’ve walked faster than I was running, especially back up over the bridge. With about two miles to go my feet felt destroyed. I like to run barefoot in my shoes and I trained without socks but f*ck I could feel the blisters rubbing against my shoe with every step I took. To keep my mind off of the pain I would sing different songs to myself, do math in my head and picture myself crossing the finish line. I also went back to the meditation I did earlier in the day and reminding myself “I am, here now” and that I just need to push through and get it done. Before I knew it, I was over the bridge and could hear the cheering at the finish line. I was close. The last stretch of the run seemed to take FOREVER, but I was soaking it in because you only get one first race at the Olympic distance. I had almost expected the last tenth mile to have lots of spectators but to be honest there were just a few…but at least they were cheering their heads off! That put an extra pep in my step and I felt like I sped up a little bit. Finally, I rounded the corner and saw the finish line straight ahead, running toward it as fast as I could. My eyes were on the prize–which at this point was a cold Gatorade, water and an ice-cold towel to drape over my shoulders. I crossed the finish line, got my medal and ice-cold towel and met up with Tyler.
Official: 3:16:49 (17/21-30-35 age group)
After downing my Gatorade in record time (seriously like less than a minute) Tyler and I headed over to the food tent because I thought I was hungry. Turns out I wasn’t, I was just thirsty, but I got food anyway. Red, Hot & Blue (a bbq restaurant) provided the food and there were burgers, baked beans and other options. This, in my opinion, was unfortunately the worst part of the race. I honestly would have rather have had a slice of pizza instead of a lukewarm burger on a stale bun and funky tasting baked beans.
I opted to stop at Sweet Frog for froyo after taking a few bites of the above food.
Okay, let’s talk swag. First of all, the finisher medal is awesome. It’s big and has two sides which is pretty cool.
The race t-shirt is also very nice. It’s white and black and has a subtle design specific to the race location, which I like. I think it’s meant to be technical material, but I actually wear it as a regular shirt. Also included was a Boco Gear visor. I love Boco Gear anything, so I also purchased a technical REV3 trucker at packet pickup.
I think that about wraps it up! Would I do this race again? Absolutely! And yes, I’m already registered for the 2017 Olympic distance race again and I’m looking at other REV3 events to participate in!
A special thank you to Tyler, my husband and sherpa who makes sure my bike stays in tune and that I always have a water bottle and snack wherever I go so there’s no chance of the hangries. So much love to you, xoxo.
So, registration for REV3 Williamsburg 2017 is now open….will I see you there?!