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IM70.3 Virgina Blue Ridge Race Report



It is "top-off" season with the Jeep, so I really enjoyed most of the drive to Roanoke on Thursday.  I did have to dodge a bit of a storm that I caught the edge of, but I don't melt and I never had to put the bikini top on :-)  I splurged for this race and stayed at the hotel that was across the street from transition - If you are considering this race, I HIGHLY recommend staying at Spring Hills Suites because of the location and how amazing they were to the athletes.  They even had breakfast out for us at 2am on race day!!  On Friday, I drove the course and had dinner with Team IMF and a few other Tri-Friends that were in town for the race.  I was enjoying the company too much and forgot to take pictures at dinner.   

On Saturday, my awesome strength coach (Brandon Ostrander of CTG Endurance) lead the TEAM IMF athletes and a few other friends in some activating exercises to get us prepped for race day.  I did my shake-out run and safety bike check before dropping off my run gear and sending my bike with the staff to the Reservoir.  This aspect of the race made me nervous - but the staff did an excellent job of transporting and setting up the bikes.  

Swim: 1.2 miles/38.52  19th F45-49, 131st by Gender, 541st Overall

What a beautiful location.  We were bussed out to the reservoir VERY early in the morning, so we get to watch the sky SLOWLY light up with the mountains in the background.  Beautiful.  I found friends, took in nutrition, and just really enjoyed the rising sun before the start.  

The swim was very typical for me.  As a matter of fact, all of my recent 70.3 distance races have been 38:?? overall time.  There was a bit of a current that made the swim out to the 2nd buoy feel a bit like a washing machine (turns out water was flowing over the damn?) 

Bike: 56 miles/3:40:10  42nd F45-49, 221st by Gender, 1060th Overall

Let me start by saying that there are portions of this bike course that are beautiful and if you have read my previous race reports, you know that is normally important to me...

That said, I will not do this bike course again.  I am glad I did.  It was good information gathering for my upcoming race in St. George, but... it was miserable and I do not want to do it twice.  The ridiculously long climb from mile 25ish to mile 40ish was not fun.  I had to get off my bike 5 different times to stop my glutes from cramping.  Silver"ish" lining is that I know that I can clip back in going uphill.

I am also a nervous descender, so I did not let go on the downhills.  This will also be a concern in St. George, but that is OK.   For reference, in Lake Placid FULL Ironman in 2015, I averaged 15.4mph over 112 miles, the same as my average for this race...  

Run: 13.1 miles/2:35:46 66th F45-49, 329th by Gender, 1256th Overall

What I remember about this run is that it was HOT and hard.  Not because it was hilly or anything, but because my legs were fried from cycling.  The run course is mostly on a greenway with lots of opportunities to feel the energy of spectators and other runners.  Aid stations were hopping and fun.  My poor performance on this run course is all mine to carry.  At least I got a few good pics.  

Overall: 7:02:32 54th/68 F45-49, 255th/393 by Gender, 1075th/1545 Overall 

I will still (hesitantly) recommend this race to those thinking about it.  The community was AMAZING.  The swim location was gorgeous.  The bike is VERY challenging, and why I will still recommend this race.  Most of us racing at the distance are NOT looking for the easy way out.  We embrace challenges.  The bike course has got to be at the top of the "most challenging bike course" list.  I am glad I did and I can say I accomplished that challenge...  I will not do it again.  

My FAVORITE moment of the race was when I had finished and turned around to find my friend, Jeremiah!  This was his redemption race after a DNF at IMNC last year.  I was SO proud of him AND was thrilled that we were able to get a few of our finisher pix together!!


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