Hard to believe that this was my 5th year competing in Trinona. I love Winona and its community, and that is what brings me back each year. Winona is a gorgeous city making it a great location for a triathlon. A few years ago the race was purchased by Lifetime Fitness, and while the race still has some local flair to it it’s just not the same as it was in the first couple years that I competed. Plus, the registration fee has greatly increased and yet it’s the same race it was. Ok, enough negative talk. Let’s talk about the race.
Packet pick-up, volunteers and the morning of the race- Packet pick-up the night before the race was a breeze as there were so many volunteers ready to help you. The morning of the race there were plenty of volunteers for body marking and helping you find your way through the chaos of people. I was participating in the sprint course which started after 8am, so I didn’t have to wake up at the crack of dawn which was a huge bonus. Since this was my 21st race, setting up my stuff at transition area took me less than 5 minutes. I’ve gotten really good at bringing the bare minimum of equipment, and knowing exactly how I need my gear set up. I’ve even learned to keep a separate bag of all my swim gear (goggles, time chip, wet suit, swim cap, body glide, nutrition/fuel and Garmin) that I take with me and get ready outside of transition.
The Swim – Considering I did minimal swim training this spring I had a decent swim. I was about a minute behind my pace from last year, but I feel as if I dealt a bit more with traffic than in 2014. Trinona does a time-trial start, which means they let us start two (2) athletes at a time instead of the dreaded mass start of 30+ people.
As always, Lake Winona is the murkiest, smelliest lake I’ve had the pleasure of swimming in. A new feature of the lake this year was the after effect of swimmer’s itch. Have you heard of swimmer’s itch? If not, let me enlighten you. It’s a skin rash caused by the allergic reaction to parasites that burrow in our skin. The parasites are from waterfowl feces – and Lake Winona is rich in duck and goose poop. Fortunately, humans are not suitable hosts for these parasites and they die within a few days, but not without creating some nice itchy chiggers. I had minimal swimmer’s itch on an ankle and wrist. At first I thought they were really bad mosquito bites, but after reading some remarks on Facebook from my fellow Winona swimmers I realized that I had nasty duck poop parasites underneath my skin. I proceeded to freak out slightly and drive to the nearest drug store to get some extra-strength hydrocortisone cream. I read accounts from others who hadn’t worn a wetsuit at Trinona that had full body swimmer’s itch. Gross! [Read more…]