On April 30th, Chris Kenon messaged me asking me to be her Battle Buddy and join her for this race. If you know me, you know it did not take much thought before I was IN! Travel + Triathlon = Happy Erin!! Rumors were that this is a fast course with good chances for a PR. I asked her to join me on Team IMF for this race! She got to work right away and raised over $1800 for the Foundation! We also traveled with fellow Team Zooter - Chandler Carranza, our Coach - Sami Winter, and Sami's Fiance (and bike mechanic) Charlie! It was a quick trip flying to California on Friday, Racing on Sunday, and Home by Monday! We stayed at a VRBO near the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, which worked out perfectly!
On Saturday we did our bike safety ride and then dropped off all of our things. At this race, you have to dip your wetsuit in a chlorine bath and leave it at T1 along with your bike and bike bag. The Run bag goes to T2, which we coordinated with the Team IMF Q&A with the race director. Saturday was a busy day, but we got it all done (including my pancake dinner) and managed to get to bed early.
I love race morning! This one was even more fun than normal because I was able to hang with Chris and Sami most of the morning before we finally got in the self-seeded rolling start line. Of course, I set my race day goals, too!
I seeded myself at the back of the 34-37 minute group, which is what I swam, but once again felt very frustrated with how others had over-seeded themselves. I passed SO MANY swimmers. The sighting was easy and I felt very strong throughout the swim. I did have to deal with slower swimmers kicking and scratching me as I passed them... Definitely the most contact I have experienced during a swim.
Bike: 56 miles/2:50:27 12/36 AG, 97/387 Female, 712/1629 Overall
As you can see by the ride map, there are a lot of turns and turnarounds on this course. The road conditions are pretty rough and there was a strong headwind coming back into town. So, I was pretty proud to have maintained a 19.93mph average for the 56 miles.
The mountains and palm tree farms along the course were very pretty. The coolest part of the bike course is part of a race track. There is a neighborhood where all of the homeowners are race car enthusiasts, so they built a course in the land between their houses. We only got to be on the course for about 1/4 mile, but it was smooth and fun!! I also enjoyed about 15 miles of legal drafting/ working together with another athlete that was about my size - that was fun too! Other than that, this bike course was my least favorite bike course of the 10 IM races I have done... I would not recommend this race because of the bike course.
Run: 13.1 miles/2:32:04 29/36 AG, 272/387 Female, 1252/1629 Overall
When I got off the bike I knew I would need to have one of my fastest runs ever to pull off a PR, but I still wanted to try. As soon as I climbed the grassy hill into the golf course, I knew that was not going to happen. I quickly changed my approach and just wanted to finish without completely regretting signing up for this race. I reminded myself that I had PR'd my bike and had an awesome swim. Since my 2023 focus will be Aquabike that made me feel proud. I focused on the fun times I had with my tri-friends that had also flown across the country to do the race, which made me feel happy. Thanks to the tattoos on my arms, I was reminded that many of my friends had donated to the Foundation to encourage me through this race and I felt accomplished and loved!
This was not my slowest run, but it was the run that took the most mental strength to get through!