Take Two: Block Island Triathlon

Over the weekend I took part in one of my favorite events of the summer: The Block Island Triathlon. I competed last year and loved every second of it. This year was different, I had a race team.

IMG_1387I must have made it sound easy or something as my mother, Karen, and friend, Evan, decided to sign up as well. My mother is a fit lady who loves to be active in many ways (especially Jazzy ones), and Evan is a runner who has never competed in a triathlon.
Mom was pretty confident. Saying ,“Michael Phelps isn’t even a stellar athlete” as we watch him carry the US flag at the Rio opening ceremony the night before. I guess she thought she could take him on the swim portion if she had to.

 

As race day approach we were all nervous about the weather with storms predicted. I said my prayers and wished for the best. Luckily, Saturday arrived with sun and smiles. We prepped our transition stations with “recyclable” footbaths.

At 9 am the race went off. I was in the first heat. Ekk.

The race consisted of a ¼ mile swim at Fred Benson Town Beach. It was tough as I was running into the water and headed towards the same buoy as the rest of the pack. There was a lot of arm flaying and no apologies.

When I ran out of the water and went to throw my sneakers on I swear everyone else was dilly-dallying. I had places to be. The bike ride consisted of a few close calls with cars and other bikers and only once did I yell “MOM!” at the wrong lady.

13901547_1233309526699427_8045180890117176352_nBy the time I got to the beach, I was pumped yelling, “These are my roads” to everyone I passed. The run was tough as the high tide meant wading through calf-deep water at some points. I was cheered on my beach goers loving my St. Lawrence T-shirt (and Cole Hann shades).

I finished in just over 1 hour and 30 minutes, third overall female and first in my age group. For anyone else that did the race, I had to search far and wide for the results (here they are) I am now the proud owner of the coolest T-Shirt on Block Island. So yes ,this blog post is somewhat a humble brag, but I know you care.

Besides me, my mom did phenomenal. She finished 12th out of 20 people in her age group. Take those Tri Veterans! Her biggest feedback was that the race was the perfect choice for her. The mixed training was better than simply training for a half-marathon that she had been interested in.
IMG_0963Evan crushed the game as well placing 2nd in his age group. I had to say no when he mentioned a “cool down” run after the race.

Block Island is a great place to race. There is one more chance this summer to “Run Around the Block” on September 10th. I won’t be able to be here for it so you might have a chance.


Have you ever raced on Block Island? Is Michael Phelps a stellar athlete? How many scoops of ice cream did I eat after the race? (Wait, don’t answer that)

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She definitely earned her cone.
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Getting a Running Start

Guess who’s back to Block? This lady right here! I’m headed back to the island later this month for another summer of living in paradise.

As I think ahead, I have begun to plan out some of my race training. I am excited to participate in the Block Island Triathlon again, but there are a few other races that take place on the island as well . So if you are looking for a great reason to race over to the island, look no further.There are races throughout the summer for all abilities. The racing on the island is the whole experience, whether it be for only race day to race or even turning it into a whole weekend.

Here is a complete list of all the races on the island for the summer of 2016:

 Block Island Shad Bloom 10k Trail Run

Saturday, May 14th, 2016

Details: Hosted by the New Shoreham Recreational Department this race is a mix of trails and road terrains. Be sure to train for hills and pack an extra few layers as it will likely still be chilly this weekend. Sign up for this race if you are looking for a quiet island experience; it should be quiet on the island just runners and wedding guests.Screen Shot 2016-05-08 at 6.41.45 PM

Check out last year’s results to see what you’re up against.

Block Island Triathlon 

Saturday, August 6, 2016.IMG_4006

Details: As the only race I’ve personally participated in, I can vouch that this is a great sprint triathlon. The race consists of 1/4 mile open water swim, 12 miles of YOU CAN DO IT biking and a 4 mile run on Cresent Beach. It is great for rookie tri-hards and experts alike. Compete in this and have bragging rights for a least a year.

Block Island Heath Service 5K Beach Run/Walk

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Details: Block Island’s spin on the average 5k. It’s in the sand! If you can still walk after the triathlon, make it a real weekend to remember (or at least for your body to remember) with this race. Running in the sand might not be the path to PR but it is an excuse for some extra (insert great Block Island food here).

GOPR0142The Great Salt Pond Swim

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Details: Though open water, this 1-mile swim takes place ou of the heavy surf of most of Block Island’s beaches. The race is a part of an entire day to “Celebrate the Pond”. The race is capped at 150 racers and staggered starts to keep from people clobbering each other. A great race for all to train swimming abilities for! All proceeds go to the Committee for the Great Salt Pond. 

41st Annual 15k Run around the Block

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Details: See the whole island on this mid-distance run. Beginning in New Harbor, the race explores close to all of the paved roads. September is beautiful time on the island. It is also popular! If you want to stay on the island be sure to book ahead of time.

A few things to know if you plan to race on Block Island

-Most races will be postponed if ferries are not running due to weather

-Most hotels require a two-night stay on the weekend, so plan to make a real weekend out of a race

-Don’t cut off anyone on the course! You’ll likely see them again in a small place like Block Island!

Are there races you know of taking place on the island this summer? What is your favorite?  Have a great training course on the island, share! Last question (and most important) where are you getting your post-race drink?

Adventures Etc: Block Island Triathlon

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“I strictly do Iron, but I made an exception since I was on the island.” #thingstrihardssay

Yesterday I got to experience my best workout on the island thus far. I participated IMG_4001.JPGin the Block Island Triathlon. I had been going back and forth about if I wanted to do it or not, making up a whole bunch of bogus lazy girl excuses. Thankful I decieded to sign up and spent July training.

I kept myself calm knowing that this was not my first rodeo. I completed a similar sprint tri last summer with success, so how could I have any issues here? Training plan? Run daily, bike almost every-other dayish (does biking to the beach count?) and swim once (yeah not much of a swim fan.) OK, so I ran a lot. I have endurance, that’s what matters. I channel my inner Lohan when I strapped on my Ankle monitor timing chip.

One big difference was that the swim was in open ocean, and that means sand was involved in the tricky transition from the water to bike. I was given the secret trick of having a foot bath at my transition station. It was magic.

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As we lined up at the start, they announced the run had been shortened by a ½ mile due to the high tide, as others cheered I silently cursed knowing I needed the run to catch the pack.

The swim was #strugglecity at first with waves just crashing in my adrenalized-pumped face. But I got my bearings and didn’t have to be a washout early on. Triathlons are a special instance where people do not care if they kick you in the face, elbow you out of their way and forget human decency. I do not say this in spite of these situations, I say it because it’s apart of the experience, there is no time for “sorrys” in a Tri. Say the chitchat over post race bananas.

On the bike, I was cruising. Once the elite 50-year-old women passed me (inevitable), I settled into a good cadence. I developed a “catch-me then I catch you” with one other female biker that helped to distract from the miles. The loop was 2, 6-mile trips around the west side of the island. I am proud to say, the male top finisher did not pass me until the SECOND loop! And sounded like a Clydesdale when he did.

Finally, I made it to the run. I had trained on the beach for this part, but I had never considered running without shoes like most people did. I committed to my sneakers and just screamed, “I love it” when the waves crashed high and bogged my Asics. With the run being along the beach with turn a around points, it was fun to make faces at those I was beating (or losing to). Most importantly I was able to check out guys who were beating me, winks were exchanged and extra motivating. Whenever I needed a pick me up, I would cheer at the beach-goers would be then reciprocate the cry.

I surged hard on that run and caught up and passed a lot of women who had previously written me off as I struggled up hills on my bike. I finished in 1:33:43, which put me #3 in my age group, and 17th Female overall. I am pretty proud of my race, and honestly can’t wait to do it again!

As I bike home slowly following the race, Mr. and Mrs. Clydesdale passed me (aka the top finishers of the race) and I overheard a conversation along the lines of “So I was thinking of doing a workout this afternoon”. GTFO, I’m going to the beach and getting ice cream.

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