This was my 2nd year doing the RochesterFest Triathlon, and it’s a smaller, low-key event giving it a more relaxed feel. The race is held at Foster Arens park, with the transition area located in their parking lot with lots of room for athletes. The big improvement this year was that they added more parking nearby the venue – much appreciated!
Last year, I had a decent race considering the weather was rainy and windy. This year, I was battling lack of sleep and exhaustion since my husband and I had our 2nd wedding reception (yes, we had 2 receptions!) the evening before. I’m pretty sure I was a little dehydrated going into the race as I had sweated the entire day before wearing my wedding dress (I got to wear it twice!) in 85+ degree weather and dancing most of the night with family and friends. I tried to pump as much water into myself that evening, but it was an uphill battle that I just couldn’t win.
So my goal for race day was to just get through it, and I certainly did. It wasn’t the prettiest race, but I pushed through the pain and crossed the finish line. I figured it was good practice for the torture I’m going to put myself through on the day of Ironman Wisconsin.
The lake at Foster Arens is small, so the 1.5 K swim involves 2 loops. It’s a spectator-friendly venue as family can follow you along pretty well. This means that you must get out of the water, run along the shoreline to the start line and jump back in.
The race staff had placed foam noodles along the swim course as there are rocks along the shoreline. However, they provided us with a fairly small space to swim through to get to the shore line. I had to deal with a little bit of traffic trouble in that small space on the first go-thru, but fortunately was prepared the 2nd time around and coasted past the swimmers before navigating that final bit to shore.
Since I’m a strong swimmer so I was able to have a very decent swim. I finished in just under 29 minutes, and trekked up the hill to the timing mat and transition area (30:13 according to race time).
The bike course has come rolling hills and travels out into farmland where there is no trees available to block the wind. This is where the race went downhill for me. My legs just did not want to come out and play that day. Cramps and tight muscles for the majority of the course made for a painful ride, and didn’t set me up well for the run.
The run course is a combination of foot/bike path, sidewalk and a small portion of a grassy/muddy/rocky terrain. For the most part it is a fairly flat course, with a few inclines. There was lots of volunteers on the run course, so I need to give credit to them for being out there in the heat supporting the athletes. It was a hot morning, and there were plenty of people walking part of the course (myself included). I practiced the run 10 minutes, walk 1 minute plan. I thought this would be a good opportunity to trial it since I will need some sort of run/walk plan for Ironman Wisconsin.
If you are a newbie looking for a good beginner race, I think the RochesterFest Tri would make a good event due to it’s low-key atmosphere. I’m hoping to do this event in the future and actually conquer the bike course like I know that I can!