Filed by Meghan Trainor
The theme of the morning was, ‘why not?’ Five Team Great Divide members put their egos aside (as best we could) and decided fun was the name of the game and to try something new. Both fortunately and unfortunately, the morning was sunny and warmed up quickly. This made for an easier time of deciding what to wear for our first winter triathlon, but also meant soft snow for the bike and ski loops.
One hour before the start time, Greg gave Russ a skate ski lesson. As a testament to Russ’ adventuresome spirit and ability, he finished 6th overall. The examples of adventuresome spirits and thrill-seekers didn’t stop there. Greg finished fourth overall. Laura, persevered through a very trying bike course to be the third woman to finish. And Jennifer Griggs, who was just walking out of the lodge in time to see the race start, successfully completed her first triathlon.
The course overall was not easy, filled with plenty of ups and downs. The bike course was a problem-solving exercise as Greg alluded to. Figuring out the tire pressure and keeping the tires on the untracked snow helped maintain traction. The backside of the bike course was a super fun roller coaster of hills that was followed by a buzz-killing mandatory dismount. The dismount was a 40-foot stretch of solid ICE across a wetland – that thanks to the warm weather had melted and was not holding snow. Race mode had to quickly be turned off and self-preservation mode on as racers walked the bike (many with bike shoes on) across the ice.
I think we were all looking forward to the ski course and hoping for some gravity-induced rest for the legs. But that hope was crushed as the middle of the loop contained one long hill that we got to experience three times.
The uphill finish put us back at the transition area in front of Homestake Lodge. The race entry fee included soup and sandwiches. Any plans of skiing and exploring more trails around the lodge after lunch were quickly changed as we all settled into the deep cushy couches in the lodge, basking in the sun shining through the three stories of south-facing windows. It was a fun morning. I’d do it again!
Thanks to Dave Holien for ringing the cow bell and cheering everyone on. And thanks to Sarah for the Team banner.
Race results can be found on Homestake Lodge’s website at http://www.homestakelodge.com/events1.html