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Orange Crush @ Stower Seven Lakes State Trail Triathlon

About a month ago I got a message from Adam saying he was putting together an all-star team for the Stower Seven Lakes triathlon.  He wanted me for the bike leg.  I tried to break it to him that I'm probably not all-star caliber on the bike, but he insisted.  At the time I didn't have anything else on the calendar so I let him talk me into it.

Adam was lining up Tammi for the run leg.  Now we were talking all-star.

And come race day, Adam was coming off a relay win at the Minneapolis Marathon so we definitely had a winning pedigree on the team.

So the team was lined up:  Me - 16 mile road bike, Adam - ~1 mile kayak, Tammi - 5k run

Team Orange Crush was ready to roll.

Race Report

My Bike Leg

I prerode the course the weekend before.  It is all paved, not in terrible shape, rural, and somewhat rolly.  I put the aerobars back on my road bike and took that for a spin.  I haven't ridden my road bike since I bought the Warbird this spring.  It's a fine bike, but, I like my Warbird, a lot.  Sadly I do not have a road wheelset for it and Frank indicated that I would probably suffer a penalty of several mph.  So I reluctantly decided to stick with the road bike.

No, I don't know what they heck I'm doing with my face in this picture.
Because the bike leg was first, we had a mass start bike race.  A little sketchy in my book, but the field was only about 20 or so people.  Standing on the starting line of a pretty small race, I was eyeing up the competition.  There were a couple of legit tri-bikes there so I figured I was going to be chasing.

Right off the line we took the first right.  I almost missed it because, well because I didn't quite have that part of the course down.  I shortly found myself in second place behind one of the guys on a tri-bike.  He led through about mile 2 when I decided to close the gap and pass him.  I proceeded to lead then through about mile 5 when he rolled up beside me.  We exchanged greetings (his name was Jake) and pleasantries and he rolled on ahead.

The race was somewhat lacking in any stated rules, but most triathlons I know are no drafting so I let him get a respectable distance ahead, but then held the gap.  Somewhere around the north end, say mile 9, I passed Jake back.  I was pretty certain he was a solo racer.  Being a relay member, I had to leave it all on the course.

We had a nice tail wind all the way out.  Guess which way the wind was coming from on the way back.  So I got "comfortable" in the aerobars and just pushed.  As we hit the end of the loop with about 2 miles to go retracing our steps, it was time to bury myself.  Jake was still just a little ways back.  I pushed as hard as I could up the hill and then dropped back to the aerobars to cruise the smooth pavement around the lake to the beach.

I quickly decelerated at the beach pavilion and made a quick handff of the timing chip to Adam.

Adam - Kayak

Adam took off to the beach with enthusiasm and dragged his kayak into the water.  He promptly capsized it a couple of times trying to make a hasty departure.  He did get underway eventually still with a respectable lead.

Adam coming in from the Kayak with Tammi waiting for the hand-off.
Jake came in about a minute back and then Collin Hoogland about 2.5 back.

The kayak course initial goes around a point out of site from the beach.  As people started to come back in view on the far end of the lake, Adam had drifted back to third place and looked to be losing ground.  Collin was very strong in the water turning in the fastest split and had passed both Jake and Adam.

As they started up the far side of the lake, Adam pulled things together and was able to reel Jake back in.  Things got a little dicey on the home stretch and there may have been some incidental contact between Adam and Jake.  OK, I really have no idea what happened, but somehow Adam ran into Jake.  Thankfully there were no course marshals to DQ us...

Hand-off #2
Adam and Jake made shore and a quick hand-off was made and Tammi was off in hot pursuit of Collin who had about a 2 minute head start.  Jake had to actually transition (put shoes on etc).  We cheered him on and told him he had a good shot at running down Collin and he was off like a rocket.

Tammi - Run

Adam and I meandered over to the finish line.  I forgot to look at the time when the transition was made so it was a bit of a waiting game at the finish that seemed to drag on longer than I thought it should.

As expected though, the first runner we saw approaching the finish line was Tammi.  She ran a blistering 5k finishing with an 18:36 5k split.  She secured the 3-person relay title and the overall title for Orange Crush.

Bringing home the win.
Other Finishers

I had expected Jake to be the next finisher, but surprisingly it was some youngster coming in.  Turns out it was Max Hoogland who had run down Jake and Collin (I'm guessing his dad).  Impressive finish.

Results Summary

Orange Crush - 1:25:09
Max Hoogland - 1:28:39
Jake Gould - 1:29:17
Team "O" - 1:30:14
Collin Hoogland - 1:30:30
and more that didn't feature in my report

Full Results Here

We ended with the fastest overall bike split (thanks to not needing to save anything for anything else), fastest overall run split (thanks to having a ringer), and... well Adam did just fine on the kayak, pretty sure I wouldn't have done any better.

We were the first overall finisher, the first relay, and first 3 person relay (last 3 person relay too).

It was a lot of fun and I would definitely do it again.

It got me thinking about doing the Scandia St. Croix Fat Cat Triathlon solo.  It has a slightly different format with a 3.8 mile river kayak, 5.2 mile (UPHILL) trail run, and an 11 mile road bike.

Mullin's What's Next

At the finish of the race, I had planned to do a little ride in the direction of the Wren from SCF on the Gandy to catch my girl on her way back.  Unfortunately that ended up being a ride almost ALL the way to the Wren.  So I ended up with about 45 miles on the day.  Normally that would be just fine, but I had some bonehead idea to race the DirtWirx MTB race on Sunday, so I probably didn't need the extra miles.

At the time of this writing that race is already finished... so stay tuned for that report in the near future.

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