May 5, 2013
RAIN. The one word to define the Rev3 Knoxville weekend is RAIN. Once again Mother Nature has decided that race day will consist of 50-degree temps and rain.
This was my second race with Revolution3 Triathlon that I have taken part in; the first event was in Columbia, MD in October 2012, which I did not finish YET, but that’s another story.
I stayed at the Knoxville Marriott over the weekend, just a mile from the transition area, with two friends (T-Racer Girl & TriDixie) and my daughter. As always, impressed with the Marriott’s service, location, and rooms. I can say with confidence that Marriott brand hotels are always my hotels of choice. We dined at Dazzo’s, an Italian pizzeria restaurant in downtown Knoxville. The food and service were fantastic, and I certainly got my fill of carbs for the next day’s race, but we ate after 8pm, which was definitely too late and too close to bedtime. I ended up not being able to fall asleep when I wanted to with the pasta sitting so heavily in my stomach and ended up with only a few hours of shut-eye.
Even after only a few hours of sleep, I woke up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at 5:30am ready to go. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to enjoy my traditional English muffin and coffee breakfast, so I opted for a PowerBar (thank you Rev3 swag bag).
We headed over to the transition area…it was STILL raining. I was very happy that the transition area was setup in a parking garage so all of our gear stayed dry, at least for the moment.
Jumping into the 60° water took my breath away so bad that completing the swim was challenging. For the first part of the swim we were going against the current, so it was nice to hit that turnaround buoy to get the current behind me. My body was nice and toasty in my Xterra wetsuit, but putting my face in the water was difficult. This actually surprised me because Ironman Oceanside 70.3 water was only 58 °. Finished the swim with a not-so-good time, 00:30:05, but I finished. Very grateful to the Rev3 volunteers for pulling us up out of the water, as always you guys are awesome.
My T-1 time was a ridiculous 07:49, but it was also almost a ½ mile run from the swim finish to the transition area. Normal transition, nothing too exciting.
Riding in the rain always has its challenges, but riding in Knoxville in the rain also includes hills. The rain was nonstop and at times got heavier slowing down my pace. I did well cranking it up the hills which involved a lot of switchbacks, but took it easy on the way down. Fantastic bike course, could’ve done without the rain though. Course time 01:29:53.
My bike-to-run transition was much better at 02:36, but I took my time. I was soaking wet, cold, and just happy to be done with the bike and under the parking garage.
And…out into the rain again. I should have taken off my jacket that I wore on the bike. It weighed down my run, and I got too warm on the run for comfort. I kept a smile on my face through the rain and cheered on my fellow triathletes as we crossed paths on the run. The run was mostly flat with a few slight, steady inclines. We ran mostly off-road on a running trail. Lots of puddles means soaking wet, squishy feet. I ended with a run time of 54:55. Slower than I would’ve liked, but I’m happy that I finished the race.
Wow, what a day! It was cold and rainy, but a lot of fun. This race presented a lot of challenges for everyone. Cold swim, slippery hills, non-stop rain, but a whole lot of fun. Regardless of the weather, the Rev3 volunteers were out there with smiles on their faces, motivating athletes from beginning to end. It wasn’t just a race, it was an adventure. I will be back next year.