The water hazards increased this year with rain. As I drove to the park, I passed through torrential rain on the east side of town, but thankfully reached blue sky at the park. When I arrived the men's wave had already gone off, and they were dashing their way through the park. TJ called and parked next to me, and made sure I changed my hairstyle to pigtails for our team, the 2008 TTG Board team. Little did I know there would be much hair pulling at this race!
We hiked our way to the starting area and found the mass of purple TTGs. Iron Holly had awesome purple bags complete with the TTG logo and a T-shirt inside. I was grateful for Holly's T-shirt, as the one provided from the race was less than attractive. It had a drawing of a turkey in a sports bra and a running skirt. Do turkeys have boobs that they need sports bras? I shudder to think.
We made our way to the starting area and before we knew it, the gun sounded. We were off in a mass of estrogen. Of course, the drainage ditches that the course passes over filled with water between the men's wave and our wave, so at the first crossing we had to run through several inches of water. It was hilarious hearing the girlie screams and squeals. Princesses! The course was crazy muddy and I started to like the wash crossings to wash my shoes off. Robin and Jen came by and I told Robin this was exactly like an XTERRA (minus the swim and bike). We headed up a short muddy hill, followed by a downhill and a stream crossing. There was actually a bottleneck due to people trying to cross at the rock crossing. I headed straight through the stream. The worst was the steep hill just before the hay bales and water crossings. The mud was crazy slick, so I resorted to a snowshoe technique of turning my heels inwards and forming a "V" with my feet. Granted, I've never worn snowshoes, but I would guess this is how you climb hills in them. I avoided falling in the slick mud on the other side of the hill, and made huge splashes in the man-made water crossings after the hill. The water crossings provided for the race seemed kind of hokey after the flooded arroyos we had previously crossed.
On the second lap Julie caught up with me, and so I moved over so I could run with her. We had a fantastic time chatting as we made our way through the course. Even though it's a 5K, it feels much harder. On our last lap we mugged for the cameras of the TTGs cheering for us, splashed through the water crossings one more time, and made the last sprint to the finish. I looked down at my watch and saw 30:19 on my Garmin as I crossed the line, a full 2 minutes faster than last year and on a much harder course. That's always my secret goal for this race...to do better than the year before.
Afterwards I hung out to visit with the TTGs, photo ops, and finally made my way back to my car. I came prepared with a towel and sandals and a plastic baggie so that I could wipe my legs down and take my soggy shoes and socks off. What a great way to earn that Thansgiving pie!
I stole the following photos from Julie and Danielle. :)
The clean Tri Girls before the race. What an awesome turnout from the club!
Then all hell broke loose and the hair pulling began. Jump on the Tri Girl train!
Danielle caught a great photo of my splash, which was my big goal for the race. Biggest splash! Mission accomplished.