|RACINE 70.3 - 2010|
I stayed in the village of Wind Point (village of Racine) and not just in a house….THE Wind Point Lighthouse. Couldn’t get a much better view of the water I would say! Mike and Susan Arts put Luke and Lucy Bell and I up for the race. I arrived a little earlier on Wednesday afternoon coming from another 70.3 in Rhode Island. As we were leaving Milwaukee airport a tow truck driver was trying to push this man’s broken down car out of the pay gates to his tow truck but had reached a slight incline and wasn’t going anywhere. It was hot and humid and you could tell his patience was wearing thin, so Mike stopped the car and we ran over and helped push it to the truck. A good way to get some blood pumping after a few hours of air travel!
After a quick grocery shop, I went for a quick dip in the lake which looks like an ocean, die to the fact you can’t see land around it, only the horizon. Also because this day there were waves that I could body surf. I even thought to myself….it’s not real salty!
One thing I learned, Mike is a BBQ chef. Don’t know if it goes with name, Mike Hutter, Michael Major to name a few who are also good BBQ chefs (and no, they’re not on the food network!). He cooked marinated chicken, asparagus in some special oil (with kosher salt n pepper) and peppers….so good.
I slept for over 11.5hrs that night and finally got up around 10.30am or so and Mike and I headed out on the bike course to ride it. I wondered why Mike wasn’t going to join me for the loop and he wondered why I thought I could do the loop in 1.5hrs or so….after Mike turned back for home, I continued on and he said he would drive the car back to make sure I was ok. I insisted I would be fine, I would follow the course arrows and I had money. I see mile 20 and thought I couldn’t be that close to the water but continued on. Mile 25, 30 and it occurred to me, Mike wasn’t riding the loop because it was 90km/56miles, not 28miles/45km. A sure way to learn a course is one loop and not two! Within minutes of realizing this, Mike pulls up behind me in his car and asks if I am ok for water due to the fact that from where I it was a long way to any shop so my money was of no use! We had a good laugh about him deciding that on his ride home, that I must have thought it was two loops and therefore came to find me.
That night we went to this awesome Spanish restaurant for dinner and a few tapas and vegetarian paella which we bought some of it home which I got to have for lunch the next day….mmmm….
The next morning after another good 10.5hr sleep, Mike took me up to the top of the lighthouse. The stairs certainly woke me up and got the blood pumping but the views at the top were like none other, 112ft above land. It is hard to comprehend the water is a lake and not an ocean, when you cant see land on the other side, just the horizon.
So quiet and green. The lake is so clear with varying colors of blue…spectacular. I also learnt a lot about the lighthouse and how it used to work. Tough job when the lighthouse workers had to carry 4gallon drums of fuel to the top of the lighthouse to keep the light working. One drum lasted 4hrs! Three families lived in the lighthouse and shared the duties of keeping the light working, the grounds neat and tidy, the cleaning of the windows at the top of the lighthouse and regular maintenance work, year round.
Another swim in the lake, no worries about going solo as there is nothing in there to get youJ
Mike invited a few people over for a BBQ, beautiful steak, marinated in kosher salt and pepper, asparagus, rice and mushrooms….so good!
Saturday was the usual pre race training and race briefing and Luke, Lucy and I decided to cool off on the lake out the front of the house. It is a little rocky but I followed Lucy’s lead while Luke chickened out and just sat on a rock (part of the remains from the original jetty that was once there for boats). It was rather fresh which made for a short but fun swim. I hung out on a rock for a while to take some pictures and enjoy the peace and quiet….until a boat passed and caused the wake to wash up onto my rock…I was laying on my stomach looking at the clear water when I saw the water receding and immediately thought Tsunami!!! and got up quick smart, only to realize a boat had caused the waves and therefore some water to be pulled out….and it isn’t an ocean I told myself again!
Saturday night, BBQ night, this time chicken, pork, asparagus, rice and mushrooms, our favorite then a quick trip with Susan to the frozen custard shop for dessert.
Race morning was an early start as usual and Luke and I rode down to the start. The forecast was for thunderstorms and there were some pretty good clouds in the distance but so far so good.
It is a point to point swim so we walked a mile down the beach to start and had to run a little before it got deep enough to swim. I had a pretty good swim and came out in the first group (of 3) and onto the bike. My legs felt better than the last time I did two half’s back to back which was a good sign. I had a clean ride and enjoyed the quiet course, except for around a church and a couple of turns where some cars had to stop but I needed to turn right.
I came off the bike in second, Sam Warriner was ahead but there were also a group of girls not too far behind. I had to run my own race but tried to start out fast and hold it. The sun came out on the run which was great as I love it but some do not! Desiree Ficker was flying the first loop and I had made a little ground on Sam but not significantly. Lap 2, I had started to make up more ground on Sam and Desiree didn’t seem to be closing the gap. At the turn around I could see Sam closer than before. I had made up 2.30min on her and with less than a mile to go was closing the gap even further. A downhill out of the zoo and we were both running as hard as we could, I finished 13seconds behind. So close, yet so far! Desiree finished third to round out the podium. Solid racing for all of us!
Then the clouds came over really quickly and a huge downpour sent everyone running for cover which lasted about 5mins and passed. Enough time for Mike to make me a poncho out of a garbage bag and get it over my head!
I met up with a friend of mine Sonja Hoff who has massaged me in Kona but lives in WI and had a few clients racing. As usual, I didn’t get to spend as much time catching up as I would have liked but it was still great to see her.
Back in Action Chiropractic had a tent sent up to do massage, adjustments etc and I felt so much better after leaving, it was amazing. Then to food and Luke and I headed out for the ride home….we got half way home and a guy who was on the run leg was in a bad way and had walked off course, onto the grass. I stayed with him and poured water over his head and in his mouth while Luke went to get medical. When Luke came back, the guy had leant back onto me so Luke said it looked like we were having a cuddle. A great opportunity to crack onto somebody…when he literally is half unconscious!!! When asked where he thought he was, he said at a baseball game. That told me right there and then, we were not meant to be!!!
Home, pack bike, eat, shower, eat, awards, home, pack car, airport and on flight back to San Diego.
The best news is…the Captain said it would be a smooth flight! That is when I gave the fist in the air and cracked open the lap top. Lucky for the guy sitting next to me too, he doesn’t realize how lucky!
A huge thanks to Mike and Susan Arts for putting me up and putting up with me. I had a great time.
Mike’s new ride…safety first, he always wears his helmet!!!
Also to my support crew- Saucony, Oakley, Wilier, Reynolds, John Cobb saddles, Nathan, Sailfish, Profile Design, Computrainer, Nytro and Continental Tires and my legendary husband Jeff!