Rev 3 Quassy Olympic Race Recap

So I am a little behind on my race recaps….I had this all typed out the day after my race…but I just went through the pictures yesterday haha. So, here is my race recap from Quassy a couple weekends ago.

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Quassy was my first triathlon of the season. The whole week prior to the race I am pretty sure I went through all of the emotions….excited, nervous, anxious, tired, energetic, happy, anxious, anxious, and finally anxious. I did not know what to expect from this race. I have been dedicated to a training plan for my 70.3 and Quassy would be the first test of this training plan. With that being said I was also told 1000 times how hilly the course was and your time most likely would be slower compared to other races. So, 3:30am the alarm went off…..

Our house was a little wild Saturday morning. We had gained 3 people who slept over and were all coming to the race. My brother, parents and I loaded up the car and were on the road around 4:40am. Spencer and I jammed out to our tunes the whole way. I got all set up in transition pretty quickly and then had to wait about an hour before the swim start.

The first wave went off at 7am which was my brothers wave and I was the fifth wave at 7:20am. My first reaction when I first saw the swim was, “Doesn’t that second turn buoy look a little far out there.” I could over hear people chattering as we were warming up and many of the others were saying the same thing. At about 7:05 I started my swim warm up. The water really wasn’t too cold. After you went in it felt nicer in the water then it did standing on the beach. Finally, it was my turn to line up for the swim. Of course my goggles kept fogging before the start and that was a bit frustrating. And at 7:20 we were off. Everything for the swim went really well for me. I found my own spot and no one really bothered me most of the swim. My breathing was in control and I felt like I was having a good swim. I don’t wear any kind of watch racing so really I had no idea of my time I just felt good.

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I ran into T1 which as a bit of a rocky parking lot. Luckily my bike was the second row in so I did not have to run far. Had a decent transition and off I went on the bike. I could hear all my family and friends cheering which was very encouraging. I wasn’t sure what to expect on the bike. Everyone says how hilly it is, but I also know I train on hilly courses frequently. As with the swim everything went really well on the bike. I would say there were two climbs that were pretty tough, but both very rideable. I just kept my composure going up the hills and even passed some people which gave me a boost. The last 6 miles or so there was one long hill in there, but it helped knowing you were almost done with the bike. The whole time I rode I had in the back of my mind what my coach told me, “Don’t burn your legs out on the bike, especially on the hills in the first half.” Even though there were hills I thought you were always rewarded with a nice downhill which helped out. Finally, I came whipping down the hill to take a sharp right into Quassy and it was time for the run. My only complaint on the bike would be my toes. In the tri shoes they were a little cold.

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T2 served as no problem for me. I decided to put on socks for the run for two reasons. One it was a 6 mile hilly run and I wasn’t trying to run hills with blisters. And the second reasons was my toes were a little cold on the bike so I wanted to try to warm them up. As I was starting the run my Mom yelled Spencer won and that made me give her a little fist pump. Then I saw my brother running around in his speedo and that made me laugh (of course). The run was an interesting course. The first mile was flat and downhill which was nice to get your legs back underneath you and for my toes to thaw out. The second mile had one decent hill. Then we hit mile three and that was the toughest hill for me. It was short, but it was steep. All the other hills I just took it a little slower and trotted on up them. Again, I was passing people on the hills which as encouraging me. There were a descent amount of downhills too which allowed you to catch your breath and get back in a rhythm again. I was worried about mile 5-6 because I knew we had gone downhill for a decent amount of time in the first mile. Thank goodness it was not as bad as I was expecting. I actually felt pretty good the last mile. Then it was time to go down the finish shoot. Again, I could hear all my friends and family screaming. What stood out the most was my Mom yelling at me that a girl was trying to pass me. So, I kicked it into high gear and sprinted across the finish line (something I don’t normally do)! I knew I had come in around 2:55 because I knew I had started 20 minutes after the first wave. The announcer announced my name as I was running across the line and even said what I wrote in the little bio when I registered for the race. He said my brother was also racing today and that I was training for my first 70.3!

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Overall, I was thrilled with the race. I knew my first two Olympics were under 3 hours so I was trying to do that. I just did not know with the hills how much that would effect my time. I told my parents right away I felt great the whole race and I was really happy with it. As soon as she could my Mom went over and got my results print out. To everyones surprise I was FIRST in my age group! My mom screamed and gave me the biggest hug after checking out my splits. My swim improved by about 6 minutes compared to my first two Olympic distance races. And anyone who knows me knows how much I love swimming (insert eye roll here), so I was pretty happy with that time as well. My bike was right around where I should have been and my run was faster then what I had expected. What I was most happy about was that I had such a good time while still feeling good the entire race. The race gave me a big boost to continue the dedicated training for my 70.3. It is clear the training plan, early mornings, and dedication is working! Thanks to everyone who cheered for me at the race. It was a fantastic day for the Ralston family. It is officially triathlon season for me so as always happy training!

-Hunter Ralston